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How Much Can You Sue For a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

How Much Can You Sue For a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

shapiro.admin July 19, 2021 Wrongful Death

The last thing anybody expects to go through is the loss of someone that they love. However, wrongful death claims arise in various ways in Mesa and throughout Arizona. Family of the deceased members and file civil lawsuits against the alleged negligent party in order to recover closure and compensation for their losses. Here, we want to discuss how much compensation may be available to family members and estates if a wrongful death claim is successful.

What is Recoverable for a Wrongful Death Claim?

Before we look at how much may be recoverable for a wrongful death claim, we need to look at the various types of compensation their family members may be able to recover. Typically, this includes a variety of economic and non-economic damages, such as the following:

  • The value of household services, including the household duties that a person would have performed over the course of their lifetime.
  • Future financial support, including the amount of income the deceased would have received, had they survived. This can also include lost benefits as a result of the death.
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The loss of gifts or benefits the family would have received had their loved one survived.
  • The loss of affection, guidance, attention, companionship, and moral support resulting from the loss of life.

There is no Set Dollar Amount for Wrongful Death Claims

Despite the numerous “wrongful death settlement calculators” that appear online claiming to be able to estimate how much money you should receive, the reality is that there is no way to properly determine this ahead of time. There are so many factors that go into calculating the total amount of compensation family members and the estate will receive. Some of these factors include the points mentioned here.

The deceased

There are various factors surrounding the person who lost their life that could affect how much money a family receives. This includes the age of the deceased, their expected lifespan, their occupation, etc. These factors will have to be analyzed when working to determine how much a family has truly lost as a result of the fatality.

Assets of the defendant

The at-fault party in these cases will be closely scrutinized, including their assets. Most wrongful death claims will end up going against insurance carriers who represent a defendant or a business. Death claims are typically limited to the maximum payout of the insurance policy involved. If a defendant has very little personal assets outside of what the insurance carrier will pay out, it is less likely that a larger verdict will be handed down.

Fault

Just like in a personal injury case, it could be the case that the deceased shared some of the fault for causing their own injuries. However, even if a person is responsible for the injuries that caused their death, the family could still recover compensation for their losses. Arizona operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system, which means that compensation can be recovered even if a person is 99% at fault for the incident that caused their injuries. However, the total amount compensation will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

Human emotions

If a wrongful death case does end up going all the way to trial, it is important to understand that the jury will be made up of human beings. While attorneys for both sides will work diligently to present the facts as they see them, humans have biases. How the attorneys present themselves and their case is an important part of these lawsuits. Juries can be swayed by any number of things, including whether or not the plaintiff or defendant are likable. This is why it is so important to have a skilled wrongful death lawyer by your side who has experience handling these claims.

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