It’s hard to accept the death of a loved one even if you know that it has been expected. But when a death happens suddenly as a result of another person’s negligence, it can be even harder to accept the loss.
It is the latter type of cases from which wrongful death lawsuits typically arise. But not every death from negligence may meet the wrongful death litigation criteria, which are:
- The person (decedent) has indeed died
- Another person’s intentional actions or negligence caused their death
- The survivors experience some monetary losses as a consequence of their loved one’s death
- A personal representative was appointed to represent the decedent’s estate
The largest financial recoveries in wrongful death cases occur when the decedent is a working wage-earner with a spouse and family to support. That’s because those cases can be based on the future earnings of the deceased loved one. If the decedent is an elderly person, they have likely retired and contribute little or nothing to their family’s support.
With young children, it is a little different, as the financial losses of a child’s life are typically negligible. Courts consider the age and gender of the children, their work and life expectancies, their overall health and their lifestyle and habits. They can also try to gauge their future earning potential, but this is very speculative in younger children. However, if an 18-year-old Harvard-bound high school senior who wants to become a doctor is killed in a collision, it can be easier to conclude that the decedent had a higher prospective earning potential that a 16-year-old beauty school dropout.
Working with a Terrebonne Parish personal injury attorney may help you receive a larger settlement or judgment than you would ever be offered by filing a claim on your own.