The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one can be devastating. Along with confusion, stress and heartache, family members are also burdened with the financial costs related to a funeral, medical expenses and lost wages. If the deceased was the victim of a wrongful death, the pain and distress can feel completely overwhelming to family members.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a case filed against a person or entity who can be held liable for a death. The claim is brought by the surviving family members of an individual who has died as the result of an accident, negligence, injury or medical malpractice. The most common types of wrongful death cases include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
What Is the Average Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlement?
The loss of a loved one is heartbreaking and can never be quantified monetarily. Recovery in these legal cases generally involves economic and emotional distress damages caused to close family members by the death of the person. A “survival claim” is also made for damages the person could have claimed for personal injury had they remained alive. This helps compensate for the financial burdens related to the death and seeks to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.
Because each case is unique, the recovery amount in a wrongful death claim will vary depending on the circumstances. A variety of factors will be considered to help reach a fair wrongful death settlement amount, including:
- The nature of the victim’s death
- The age of the victim
- The victim’s earning capacity
- The victim’s state of health
- The victim’s income at the time of death
- The age and circumstances of the victim’s dependents
- The victim’s training and education
- Medical bills and other expenses related to the death
- Funeral expenses
- Value of benefits lost (for example: health insurance or pension)
Some types of damages, however, cannot be quantified but are still grounds for recovery. These non-economic losses include things like:
- The emotional pain and suffering the loved one’s death caused
- The family’s loss of love, companionship, care and comfort
- The decedent’s pain and suffering before death
How a Lawyer Can Help with a Wrongful Death Settlement
If you have lost a loved one due to injury, accident or negligence of another, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. But when you’re experiencing such traumatic grief, the idea of navigating a legal process may seem prohibitive. A wrongful death lawyer is a trusted partner who will offer financial guidance and legal counsel throughout each step of the process, helping to ease your heavy burden.
It’s important to keep in mind that, depending on where you live, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim differ. There are exceptions for minors and criminal actions, but it’s always best to begin legal proceedings as soon as possible to avoid missing these deadlines.The wrongful death claim statutes of limitations for areas vary, so you should speak with a legal professional for specifics.
Here at JJS, we know that our clients are so much more than their cases. We care about you and want to help ease the burden as you work through this extremely difficult time. Our nationally recognized firm has won hundreds of millions in wrongful death settlements for families all over the country, including in Baltimore, Chicago, Columbia, NYC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Charlotte and Des Moines.
Contact our wrongful death lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. We’ll help you decide the next steps in your case so that you can get on the path to healing.