How Much Can You Sue for Wrongful Death? These Are the Average Amounts
Alongside trying to manage the devastating loss of a loved one, some people also find themselves trying to manage the high costs of that loss. There are funeral expenses to cover, medical bills, not to mention weekly income that they may have relied upon to live.
When the death of a family member was caused by ill intentions or negligence of any individual or company, you may be able to sue for wrongful death. If you are wondering how much can you sue for wrongful death to cover your impending costs, the following information may be helpful.
Average Wrongful Death Settlement
It can be challenging to calculate an ‘average’ wrongful death settlement when so many factors are at play. However, a study involving 110 cases in North Carolina determined that the median settlement amount for a wrongful death suit was between $490,000 and $500,000. With a jury verdict, mean and median amounts ranged from $2,000,000 to $2,224,080. The study also determined that marital status made a difference in those cases, and men fared better than women.
What Damages Make Up the Average Wrongful Death Settlement Figure?
A settlement or jury-determined figure is made up of several damages that a wrongful death attorney can claim on your behalf. The most common ones relate to your direct costs, such as funeral and burial costs, the loss of the deceased person’s income, and medical treatment costs before death. However, some of the following compensation claims can also be made in several cases:
- Pre-death pain and suffering, known as a survival claim
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of care, guidance, and nurturing
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of services the deceased likely would have provided
Factors Affecting the Settlement Amount
Even if you are aware of the average wrongful death claim amount, that does not mean your claim may entitle you to that figure, more than it or less than it. Many factors come into play during legal proceedings, such as the deceased person’s age, earning potential, medical bills, and insurance policy coverage. Sometimes, fault in the case can also impact the settlement figure.
Both juries and insurance companies even have to consider the deceased’s intent to provide for their loved ones if they had lived a long and full life. All of these factors can ultimately determine where a settlement figure sits on the scale.
Securing a Fair Wrongful Death Settlement Figure
Even if your loved one’s passing caused significant financial hardship, receiving a fair settlement figure can be based on the steps you take after their death. Fortunately, aligning yourself with an Orange County wrongful death attorney can put you in the best possible position to get the outcome you deserve.
You first must file your claim in the correct court before drafting a complaint that states the legal basis for your claim. Building a robust and evidence-based case is also essential, as is putting time and effort into negotiating a fair settlement. If both sides cannot come to an agreement, securing an appropriate wrongful death settlement figure can involve taking your case to trial.
While it can be helpful to know what the ‘average’ wrongful death claim figure is, it is not necessarily a figure that is reflective of your personal situation. For more accurate information, request a free consultation from a wrongful death attorney who can offer more customized advice.