There is no easy answer for the average settlement for wrongful death, as each case will differ from the next and take into account a number of factors. Wrongful death settlements consider the deceased person’s loved ones and their needs due to the unexpected loss of companionship and support.
While settlements may range anywhere from $500,000 to several million dollars, these amounts are just examples. The best way to understand what settlement range you may see is to consult a wrongful death lawyer for help with calculating your damages.
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How a Wrongful Death Settlement is Calculated
In determining the settlement amount for a wrongful death case, the court will consider several factors, including the surviving loved ones and how they will be affected due to the loss.
Wrongful death settlements also help pay for expenses that have solid values, such as the medical expenses for the care your loved one received, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of benefits or wages/salary.
Typically, your case will reflect the damages you incurred due to losing your family member, and you will be offered a settlement amount based on this value.
Factors that may Affect the Settlement Amount
The following are just a few of the factors that may be weighed in deciding a settlement amount and the outcome of your case. Other factors may apply based on individual circumstances.
The Deceased Person’s Medical Expenses
If your loved one was taken to the hospital, rode in an ambulance, or received medical treatment, these expenses can be listed on a wrongful death case. Though no one wants to think about these expenses after losing a loved one, medical costs still fall on surviving family members and can quickly add up.
A wrongful death settlement can cover these expenses to relieve you of this burden.
The Deceased Person’s Age and Health at the Time of Death
It may be frustrating to learn that your loved one’s age and overall health at the time of their death may also be considered, but these factors often weigh in. This helps a court determine the likelihood of your loved one dying and how this likelihood should affect your settlement amount.
However, a wrongful death lawyer will work to show that the unexpected loss of your loved one and the lack of support and companionship you are experiencing outweigh these factors.
Funeral Expenses and Burial Costs
Not everyone has savings or life insurance to cover a funeral and the burial, which can mean thousands of dollars.
The wrongful death settlement will generally provide for these costs in addition to other damages.
Loss of Support Calculations
If you lost your spouse or your children lost their parent, you are likely experiencing not only loss of companionship but a loss of financial support.
When calculating a settlement for your wrongful death case, the amount should reflect the average monthly and yearly support you would have received if you had not lost your loved one. This calculation may also consider the future loss of support, especially for cases with minor children involved who lost a parent providing the highest source of income.
According to the Legal Information Institute (III), damages refer to monetary compensation paid to a wronged party.
After losing your family member, you may experience damages in addition to medical and funeral expenses, such as emotional anguish or anxiety and depression.
These damages do not have a value but must be calculated to reflect what you have been through due to your loss.
Consideration of Fault
You can only file an action for wrongful death if your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, default, a wrongful act, or a breach of contract, according to Florida Statutes §768.19.
If your loved one had any fault in their death, you may still have a wrongful death lawsuit, but your settlement amount may be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Are there Ways to Increase Your Settlement Amount?
There is no way to guarantee a settlement amount or increase the amount you receive. However, one way to help ensure you do everything in your power to reach a good outcome for your case is by working with one of our lawyers.
Our wrongful death lawyer will have experience in working with these types of cases and can guide you along the way, explain everything in a way you can understand, and provide legal support.
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Get Help with Calculating Your Wrongful Death Settlement Today
If you are wondering about the average settlement amount for wrongful death, you may benefit from working with one of our lawyers.
Call on the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for a free consultation for your case. We can fight for compensation on your behalf, and we are ready to work for you.