Losing a loved one is painful enough on its own. But if someone else’s negligence caused their death, the financial and emotional toll on those left behind can be devastating. When fatal accidents or medical malpractice lead to wrongful death, monetary compensation can help the surviving family members cover expenses, make up for lost income, and hold the at-fault parties accountable.
If you have lost a spouse, child, parent, or other close family member due to another’s negligence, you may be considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit. You should know what to expect through the process. A Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer can help you through the steps.
Factors that Determine Wrongful Death Settlements
Several important factors impact settlement amounts in wrongful death cases. The main factors involve proving liability and calculating the scope of damages. Your attorney will focus on the following areas:
- Liability and Damages Caused – Clear evidence must prove the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused the death. Stronger liability evidence warrants higher damages.
- Income and Future Earning Potential of the Deceased– Higher earning victims result in larger claims for lost financial support. Young decedents have more lost future income.
- Medical and Funeral Expenses – Funeral costs, ambulance fees, and hospital bills are included. Higher medical care expenses increase the claim value.
- Pain and Suffering of the Deceased – Compensation for any pain, fear, or suffering the victim experienced between injury and death.
- Loss of Companionship and Guidance – Difficult to assign a dollar value, but accounts for losing advice, care, and shared experiences the deceased would have provided to the family member or spouse.
Your attorney will thoroughly examine each factor to build the strongest case. They will demand maximum compensation through settlement negotiations or trial. Do not agree to less than your case is worth.
We will work tirelessly to help you recover the compensation you need to move forward with your life
Typical Settlement Scenarios
While every wrongful death case is unique, looking at general settlement scenarios helps put into perspective what it could look like for you. The circumstances of your specific case will impact where your compensation amount falls within these ranges. Discuss your particular situation with your attorney to see your case’s potential.
- Minor Children Losing One Parent – The surviving parent can collect compensation or for each minor child. The amount is factored with the child’s lost parental support and guidance during upbringing.
- Adult Children Losing One Parent – Adult children may recover financial and emotional support.
- Loss of Both Parents or Sole Caretaker – Cases involving minors losing both parents or a single parent losing their only child can lead to higher settlements when factoring in foster care and new guardian costs.
- Spousal Support and Companionship – For the loss of a spouse, the settlement will depend on income, shared assets, and years of companionship expected.
- Pain and Suffering of Decedent – When there is evidence of significant pain, fear, and suffering between the time of injury and death, more compensation may be awarded.
A wrongful death attorney can assess the likely settlement value. This is based on the unique circumstances and damages in your case. Always go after the maximum compensation possible.
We will treat you with the respect and compassion you deserve.
Steps to Take for the Best Settlement
To receive fair compensation, it is critical that you and your attorney take the right steps in developing and negotiating your wrongful death claim. Your actions can directly impact the settlement value. Here are important things to keep in mind:
- Gather evidence proving liability, damages, and costs to establish the full scope of the claim
- Contact experts to calculate lifetime earning potential, companionship losses, and other complex valuations
- Present evidence of pain and suffering experienced by the deceased when applicable
- Determine all liable parties and pursue the maximum insurance coverage available
- Negotiate firmly and settle only when all settlement options are explored
- Consider structured settlements that provide long-term financial security
- Be prepared to go to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached
Following these guidelines will allow you the strongest ability to recover maximum compensation through settlement or trial. Do not take shortcuts or guesswork with your claim. Always follow your lawyer’s advice to get the best outcome.
When the Insurer Tries to Give You an Unfair Amount
It is common for insurance companies to make lowball offers or deny valid wrongful death claims. They will minimize losses and liability to pay as little as possible. It is beneficial that you know what to expect for the compensation process.
A lawyer can advocate for you and challenge low offers. Insurers often start extremely low to try and get the negotiations in their favor. You should counteroffer them with a demand for full policy limits when faced with a low offer.
If you receive a formal unfair offer, have your attorney send a letter showing the deficiencies and providing documentation to support a higher demand. Your lawyer can point out applicable case law that the insurer ignored in making their offer. Never settle simply to avoid trial, and be ready to take the case to court if the insurer continues unreasonable offers after being presented with evidence warranting higher compensation.
You are not just a case number – you are our top priority.
Proving Damages to Get Higher Compensation
Successfully evidencing losses is critical to maximizing compensation in a wrongful death case. Work closely with your attorney to gather all documentation that establishes the scope of financial damages. This includes medical costs, funeral expenses, lost current and future income, and other monetary losses stemming from the death.
Provide your lawyer with evidence that speaks to the emotional damages and loss of companionship and guidance caused by the death. This can include heartfelt statements from family, photos, and videos showing your connections, and accounts of how your life has changed. Cooperate fully with experts your attorney retains to analyze employment records, medical history, family circumstances, and other materials necessary to accurately calculate earnings potential, assign value to relationships, and determine non-economic damages.
The assessments significantly impact your claim’s worth. Thoroughly evidencing every area of loss, no matter how hard to quantify, is essential for your lawyer to demand maximum compensation for your wrongful death case. The evidence must show everything you are claiming.
Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer to Increase Compensation
The average wrongful death settlement amounts can vary substantially based on the victim, facts, and responsible parties involved. However, an attorney can guide you through the steps to potentially recover what you lost. To improve your chances of receiving maximum compensation, you should start on your case right away.
You can let the lawyer handle the negotiations and supply all of the proof while you focus on grieving. Contact us for a free consultation. We are eager to help you get started
We believe that our experience, dedication, and personalized approach set us apart from the rest.