Learn About A Personal Injury Attorney and The Law

What To Know About Your Wrongful Death Settlement

When a loved one passes away, you may struggle to cope, and facing financial struggles can worsen the situation. However, if someone else caused your loved one's death, you may qualify for a wrongful death settlement. Wrongful death settlements can help you recover financially after the death of a loved one. If you believe you qualify for a wrongful death settlement, check out these three facts.

The Settlement Is Based on Financial Injury Sustained to the Survivors

If you get injured and receive a settlement, it likely covers the cost of any medical bills related to the injury. Similarly, in a wrongful death settlement, you should receive any medical bills related to your loved ones accident. However, wrongful death claims also take the future into consideration. If your loved one hadn't passed away, they would have earned more money, had more investments, etc. If you win your case, your settlement will also include money to cover this lost prospected money.  

Many Factors Are Used to Calculate a Fair Settlement

To determine a settlement, the insurance carrier or courts start by determine how many years your loved one lost because of the accident. They do this by considering your loved one's overall health and related habits, such as smoking, exercise, etc. However, they also take into account behavior and character. In general, the healthier and less reckless a person, the longer the life expectancy. Next, they determine how much money your loved one would have earned during the remainder of their life. For example, if your loved one worked at the same office for 20 years, the court will likely assume they would have remained there until retirement. On the other hand, someone who rarely holds a job would have likely earned less money.

The Court May Approve Punitive Damages Too

The settlement is often determined by a jury, but the court can override their decision. This can be extremely beneficial if there were extenuating circumstances, such as unusual lapses in employment. At the same time, the court can determine if punitive damages are also necessary. Punitive damages have little to do with you and your loved one. Instead, they are a punishment for who caused the wrongful death. Punitive damages are common if the death was caused by gross negligence, malicious behavior, etc.

If your loved one has passed because of a terrible accident, you shouldn't have to struggle with finances. A wrongful death attorney can help you get the settlement you deserve to put you back on the right financial track. For more information, contact a wrongful death attorney in your area today.