How Much Money Can I Get for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Los Angeles?
Surviving family members are often under serious financial pressures. When you lose a loved one in an accident, your entire life can be thrown into disarray. Putting aside the obvious emotional impact of such an incident, you also need to consider how you are going to continue feeding your family. Your loved one might have been the primary breadwinner, and you may be left with virtually nothing. With these financial pressures in mind, it should come as no surprise that many family members ask themselves how much money they might get from a wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles.
A wrongful death lawsuit can help you pay for a number of expenses. For example, your loved one might have received expensive medical treatments before their passing. Now that they are gone, you might be left holding the bill. If your loved one suffered serious injuries before their passing, these medical expenses might have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you fought hard to save your loved one’s life with the best medical treatment available, you might even be faced with millions of dollars in unpaid medical bills.
There are many other costs you might have incurred as a result of your loved one’s passing. Perhaps you gave your family member an honorable and dignified funeral that might have cost a great deal of money, for example. Expenses such as these can be even more difficult to handle if you were previously relying on your spouse’s income. The loss of a primary breadwinner can put tremendous strain on the entire family, and you might be wondering how you can possibly continue over the next few years without this steady stream of income that your deceased family member was providing.
Fortunately, all of these concerns can be addressed with a wrongful death lawsuit. If you team up with a qualified wrongful death attorney in Los Angeles, you can likely receive compensation for all of these expenses. With assistance from our legal professionals, you can show the court exactly what you need and fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
When trying to calculate how much a wrongful death lawsuit might be worth, the first thing you need to do is understand the difference between economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easy to quantify, and it is easy to determine how much these damages are worth. Here are some examples of economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Loss of future earnings
Generally speaking, establishing these damages is as simple as showing the court your receipts. The only exception is “loss of future earnings”, which can be a little more complex to establish since you are dealing with a financial loss that has not actually happened yet. Loss of future earnings refers to the income that your family would have enjoyed had your loved one survived. This is generally calculated by examining past paychecks and “projecting” payment patterns into the future.
Non-economic damages are handled quite differently. These are damages that are slightly abstract in nature due to their emotional or mental nature. Because of these abstract qualities, assigning a dollar amount to these losses is a bit of an inexact science. Here are some examples of non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
How Your Settlement Amount is Calculated
Your final settlement amount is usually calculated by using a standardized formula. First, your economic damages are added together. This is a relatively straightforward process, since these are clearly defined in terms of their dollar values. Next, the total of your economic damages is multiplied by something called a “general damages multiplier”. This is also sometimes referred to as a “pain and suffering multiplier”. Usually, this number is between 1 and 10.
This number increases depending on how severe your non-economic damages are. Because the court understands how traumatic and difficult losing a loved one can be, the general damages multiplier is usually quite high for wrongful death lawsuits. This means that your total settlement amount could be worth several times the value of your total economic damages.
Jury Trial vs. Insurance Settlement
Your total settlement amount might also vary based on the parties with whom you are dealing. If you choose to settle outside of court with an insurance company, you will need to negotiate with the insurer to determine a fair settlement amount. But if the case goes to trial, a jury and judge will ultimately be in control of your settlement amount. Whenever this happens, there is always a certain degree of uncertainty. A jury may award you much more than you expected, or they might award you much less.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Los Angeles area for a qualified, experienced wrongful death attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. We have helped numerous surviving family members pursue wrongful death claims after the loss of their loved ones. With our assistance, you can get the compensation you need to deal with a range of expenses that may have arisen due to your spouse’s passing.
If you are wondering how much money you might receive from your wrongful death lawsuit, the truth is that there is no easy answer. First of all, your total compensation depends on your unique situation. Secondly, your compensation depends on whether you work with a qualified, experienced attorney. When you team up with a legitimate legal professional, your chances of recovering the compensation you need rise dramatically. Reach out today, and we can schedule a consultation. During this initial consultation, we can go over your unique situation and determine the best strategy, allowing you to strive for the settlement you need to continue with your life. Book your consultation now.