Losing a loved one is a very painful experience. However, when this happens because of an accident, the unexpected loss of life may turn into a legal matter. If someone close to you lost their life due to another person’s negligence, you may seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Because this process can be hard, time-consuming, and confusing, our attorneys at Morris Bart are here to help you.
Determining How Much a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Is Worth
You cannot put a dollar amount on a lost life. Also, there is no set amount by law regarding how much one can get from a wrongful death lawsuit. However, collecting a settlement for wrongful death is one of the initial steps towards moving on after a tragic accident involving your loved one.
Several factors will determine how much you get as compensation for wrongful death. Some of these factors include but are not limited to: what state you are in, how old the deceased was, their nature of employment, the party responsible for the accident, and the damages caused to the wrongful death beneficiaries. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be compensated for both economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
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Economic damages are the main form of compensation Morris Bart’s lawyers will help you get after a wrongful death. These are damages that have a direct financial impact on the beneficiaries. In most cases, it is easy to quantify economic damages since they directly relate to either direct financial losses or new expenses incurred after an accident.
Examples of economic damages include:
Medical bills will vary depending on your loved one’s stay at the hospital. For example, you will get higher compensation if your loved one was hospitalized for several months, as opposed to if they immediately died upon their arrival at the hospital. Examples of medical expenses Morris Bart attorneys will seek on your behalf are:
- The cost of medication
- The cost of surgery
- Money paid to specialists
- The cost of emergency care
- The cost of an ambulance
Lost wages are usually not hard to calculate. The amount to be compensated is determined by multiplying the number of days the victim missed work by their monthly salary. However, when it comes to wrongful death, things get more complicated because your loved one will never go back to work.
To determine the value of a wrongful death suit, Morris Bart’s attorneys will take the following factors into consideration:
- The general health of the victim and how old they were at the time of their death
- Your loved one’s earning potential. This will be inclusive of factors such as their career, and their level of education.
- The victim’s parental status
In the long run, how much the beneficiaries will receive as compensation for lost wages will be determined by the level of financial dependence on the deceased, and their future earning potential. When calculating the future earning potential of the deceased, factors such as inflation, missed bonuses, pension, and promotions are considered.
These are probably the easiest to calculate. The total cost of the funeral is simply added to the damages.
The amount of money you receive as part of the wrongful death compensation will depend on your relationship with the deceased. A case in point, a wife or husband may receive companion benefits and loss of consortium. You may also be eligible to collect pain and suffering for your loss.
Also known as exemplary damages, sometimes the judge may include punitive damages as part of the compensation package. This category is not meant to compensate for the victim’s losses. It is, however, meant to act as punishment for the responsible party if the actions that led to the death were reckless and avoidable. In some states like Alabama, punitive damages are the only damages available for wrongful death cases.
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When to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death lawsuits are time-sensitive. This means that you will be expected to file a wrongful death suit as soon as possible or risk losing out on compensation. Most states require you to file your case within two years from the date of death. However, this time can be significantly reduced if you are dealing with a government institution, and in some states can be as short as one year.
While the statute of limitations may be two years in most states, you should file your claim as soon as possible to increase your chances of getting full compensation. Sometimes, the victim may still be alive the first time the case is filed. This is a good opportunity to present evidence of injuries and pain and suffering to boost your case.
Speak with a Qualified Morris Bart Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If your loved one has lost their life following an accident that was no fault of their own, you may qualify for compensation. Morris Bart has an experienced team of lawyers who work hard to fight for every dollar of compensation that you deserve. We have more than 40 years of experience fighting for personal injury victims in more than 15 locations in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Our main goal is to get the best possible outcome for your case, which means getting you maximum compensation for the untimely death of your loved one. We make it very convenient for you to work with a high-quality personal injury attorney. Contact us today to book your free consultation.
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