How Much Compensation I Get In a Wrongful Death Case?

Wrongful Death Lawyer

A wrongful death case is a personal injury incident that resulted in death. There has to be some level of liability on the part of a person or organization, which makes wrongful death an aspect of personal injury cases. 

Every wrongful death case is unique, so the compensation that survivors get will vary based on financial and intangible factors. Two cases that look similar on the surface may result in vastly different awards for that simple reason. Still, it is useful to know how much wrongful death cases are worth and how a court determines what to award in each case. 

The Average Award Amount

There is no “average” award amount in a wrongful death case. A little internet research for “wrongful death award amounts” will yield a wide range of figures, from less than $500,000 to tens of millions of dollars. The amount you can expect to get has nothing to do with an average calculated by adding some award amounts and dividing by the number of cases. A number of factors can make the difference between getting $400,000 or $4,000,000. 

Factors in Calculating an Award

When evaluating a wrongful death case, a number of economic, medical, and personal factors weigh into calculations. Courts use several factors to evaluate how much to award the family based on the deceased individual’s future contributions to the household. Typically, these economic elements will influence the settlement amount:

  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Lost wages, based on the deceased person’s earning power
  • Unpaid medical expenses at the time of death
  • The deceased person’s age and health
  • Services provided to the family, such as housekeeping and shopping
  • Other costs or damages

Who is at fault in the case may be relevant to some settlements. The fault in wrongful death can be hard to determine and sometimes it can’t be proven that the medical provider was 100% responsible for the death in question. 

The law also allows survivors to be compensated for intangible losses. These “intangibles” include things like emotional support, companionship, and affection. These losses are hard to convert into numbers, but this can be done. Intangible losses could be valued even higher than the financial losses

Discuss Your Case with a Lawyer

If you think you may have a case for wrongful death after a family member passes away speaking with a wrongful death lawyer can provide you with counsel on whether your case has merit. A lawyer will guide you through the legal process, conduct research into your case, and advocate for you in court so you get the justice you deserve.