Losing a family member or loved one unexpectedly is tragic and traumatic. This is especially the case if someone else’s negligence or intentional acts were the cause of the victim’s death. When this happens, a wrongful death lawsuit can be an essential step in recovering damages for losses as fast as possible.
Of course, family members experience both financial and non-economic damages. These losses can include funeral and burial expenses as well as emotional distress. You may wonder what might be included in your wrongful death compensation or about the settlement averages. But how can you know how much a wrongful death settlement may be?
A wrongful death attorney can offer the legal help you need to navigate your wrongful death case. The team at Gould Injury Law is ready to offer you a fast, free legal consultation for your potential wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Contact our law firm today at 888-WIN-FAST or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation.
Factors That Can Influence the Amount of Your Potential Wrongful Death Claim
In many states, surviving family members or others are able to file. However, in Connecticut, only an executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate is able to file a wrongful death claim. In cases where a person did not have a will naming an executor, the court may appoint a person to serve in this capacity.
It is impossible to place a monetary value on human life, especially when it is a beloved domestic partner or family member you have lost. So, how is a fair settlement amount determined in wrongful death claims and lawsuits?
Each state may have its own laws and regulations. As a general rule, two pertinent factors can influence a potential settlement amount in most wrongful death cases: the type of accident and the amount of damages caused by the incident.
The type of accident
Depending on the nature of the event that led to the death, the options for compensation for wrongful death damages can differ. For example, most workplace accidents leading to death fall under workers’ compensation rules, whereas traffic laws or settlement caps may apply to fatal medical malpractice or car accident cases.
The amount of damages
Another significant factor in determining settlements for wrongful death lawsuits is the amount and type of damages caused by the incident.
Potential damages may include:
- Potential lost wages: Settlements in a wrongful death lawsuit may include compensation for the deceased’s earning capacity and potential lost wages. In order to determine this amount, the age, occupation, and capacities of the victim are taken into consideration. The settlement should provide compensation for the financial support and lost benefits that would have been provided to the deceased’s dependents.
- Medical expenses and burial expenses: In some cases, incidents that result in death involve additional medical costs before death. Additional medical bills should be included as part of the settlement in addition to funeral and burial costs. These can include bills for ambulatory care, emergency room care, surgical treatment, home care, and medication.
- Pain and suffering: Non-economic damages should be considered in the settlement amount as well. These may involve emotional losses, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and emotional distress the victim suffered before death.
- Loss of consortium: A surviving spouse and any minor children may be able to claim loss of consortium as well. This refers to the loss of affection, moral support, and companionship the surviving family member would have received from the deceased person if he or she had lived on. In the case of a spouse, loss of consortium applies to the loss of sexual intimacy.
How a Wrongful Death Settlement Calculator Works
Wrongful death settlements are unique. There is no fool-proof formula to determine a potential settlement amount without already knowing all the details of a case. However, some online tools exist to calculate wrongful death settlements for surviving family members.
An online wrongful death settlement calculator may seem to offer a fast estimate of your potential settlement amounts. But how do wrongful death settlement calculators work, and are they accurate?
These online calculators gather information on the medical, funeral, and burial costs along with lost wages. They may also use the deceased person’s circumstances and age to determine an approximate settlement amount. Some online tools may even claim to replace the need for wrongful death attorneys. Is that really the case?
Benefits of wrongful death settlement calculators
Online wrongful death settlement calculators can be useful in getting a general idea of compensation that you could potentially recover by means of a claim. These tools can give those who have lost a loved one an initial rough estimate of what they may be able to receive.
Three benefits of online calculators for wrongful death settlements are:
- Most online calculators are free. One draw to using online calculators is that they are free. This means that anyone can make use of them, no matter his or her financial situation.
- Online calculators are fast. In most cases, these tools allow a victim’s family members to receive a quote immediately after entering the required information.
- Online calculators are easy. Using an online calculator is often easy and straightforward. You do not need to be an experienced attorney to make use of such a tool. In addition, the calculators do the math automatically without the victim’s family needing to determine the calculations themselves.
Limitations of wrongful death settlement calculators
Of course, while a wrongful death settlement calculator may have its uses, such a tool is limited. Thus, these calculators should not be viewed as standalone, reliable ways of determining an acceptable settlement amount after a loved one’s death.
Some issues with using online calculators for a wrongful death case are:
- Online calculators may be inaccurate. While results come fast, they are most likely inaccurate. Since the number you will get is a rough estimate, you could be misled. An online calculator may give you false hope of how much your settlement could be. Or, an underestimation could discourage someone from seeking compensation when he or she would actually be able to recover much more than the calculator estimated.
- Online calculators are limited. Of course, these calculators are limited in scope. Unlike a consultation with a legal expert, these tools may not be based on up-to-date laws, regulations, and legal precedents. There are also different state laws that may not be taken into consideration with some online calculators.
- Online calculators are not personalized. Online calculators offer a general idea of a settlement amount but cannot give you a specific, personalized review of your unique circumstances and own distinctive potential wrongful death lawsuit. Without an accurate picture of the fair compensation you deserve, it would be much more challenging to effectively negotiate a settlement.
While online wrongful death settlement calculators may serve a purpose, they are no replacement for a personal consultation and case review with reliable wrongful death attorneys who can address your needs.
The knowledgeable, fast-working attorneys of Gould Injury Law, for one, have experience with wrongful death cases and can inspire confidence in you. When you work with us, you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that we are pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve both fast and effectively.
Schedule Your Free Consultation and Case Review
When another party’s negligence causes a family member’s death, you need personalized legal help from a wrongful death attorney you can rely on. At Gould Injury Law, we are committed to providing free, fast legal consultations and case reviews. There is no commitment necessary – just the legal advice you need.
When you work with an experienced wrongful death attorney at our law firm, you can be sure that you are not alone. You have a team of reliable legal professionals on your side to fight for your legal rights by means of your wrongful death claim. We are dedicated to providing our clients with reliable, quality representation. That is why we take the time necessary to fully understand the unique story of each client so we can build you a strong case with a fast resolution.
Contact our law firm for guidance regarding your potential wrongful death case today. Call Gould Injury Law at 888-WIN-FAST or fill out our online form for your free initial consultation.