Wrongful death claims are a way for those struggling with a recent loss to seek justice. A successful claim can provide closure for grieving family members. There is some relief that comes from have a judge or a jury finding that the business or individual who wrongfully caused the death of a loved one responsible.
A successful wrongful death lawsuit can also provide for the financial losses sustained as a result of a wrongful death. Courts can grant awards for many of the economic losses that have resulted, including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost support and other economic harms.
In many cases, lost of support comprises the largest part of the award in a wrongful death case. Calculating those wages properly is an important step. There are two important considerations for those contemplating a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wages aren’t just about a paycheck
The income of your loved one who is killed is not just the salary paid. It is all of the bonuses and benefits your loved one would have received as well. Knowing how to factor in all of these things is important when determining the loss of support to which a family may be entitled.
From the value of their employer-sponsored health insurance and paid time off to employer-matching contributions to retirement accounts, families could lose out on another 30% or more in annual financial advantages above someone’s base wages if they have benefits attached to their compensation package.
Unpaid work is also valuable
If you have a loved one who did not work outside of the home, there is still economic value in the services that they provided to the family. Childcare is a valuable contribution that many who do not work can provide to the family, and people pay a premium for professional drivers, chefs and personal shoppers.
Experts estimate that a stay-at-home parent can easily contribute more than $150,000 to the household’s economic situation through their services. A good lawyer will help you develop the evidence of the value of the things a lost loved one did for the household and make a claim based for what it would costs to replace those services.
Determining the economic contribution someone would have made to your household and calculating future losses can be a big challenge during a wrongful death claim. Learning more about the rules for wrongful death lawsuits can help those who want to seek justice in the civil court.