A settlement (or verdict award) in a wrongful death case is comprised of two elements: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages that can be claimed include:
- Financial support that the deceased would have contributed during either the life expectancy of the victim or the claimant, whichever is shorter.
- The loss of gifts or benefits that the claimant would have expected to receive from the victim.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Any household service the deceased may have provided to the claimant.
Non-economic damages can include the following:
- The loss of the deceased’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection and society.
- The loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations, if applicable.
- The loss of the training and guidance of the victim, if applicable.
Some very important elements that one cannot get compensated for are grief, sorrow and mental anguish. Please note that non-economic damages in a wrongful death case depend heavily on the quality of the relationship between the claimant and the deceased. The nature of the relationship can be proved through letters, emails, photographs, videos, and witnesses. Wrongful death cases can be very complex and very few injury attorneys, including experienced ones, have the knowledge and ability to present compelling and pertinent evidence. Demas Law Group, P.C., has experience in successfully representing wrongful death claims.
Damages that can be recovered in wrongful death lawsuits are many and varied, and this is just one of the reasons why anyone contemplating filing a California wrongful death lawsuit should acquire the services of an experienced wrongful death attorney. Proving the levels of income and support that have been lost can often depend on expert testimony and complex calculations. Lost income alone can include:
- Lost wages that the deceased could have reasonably been expected to earn during the course of his life expectancy
- Bonuses, benefits and pensions
- Increased income due to the promotions that the deceased could reasonably have been expected to be given
- Gifts and other fringe benefits the deceased could have reasonably expected to receive in the course of his career
After that, your attorney must also show the effects in terms of loss of companionship is worth in dollar terms. This requires skill and experience, and is just one more reason to hire the best wrongful death attorney you can find.
Posted in: Wrongful Death