Everyone hopes to lead long, happy, healthy lives, but many lives are cut short due to accidents, negligence, and other factors, leading to cases of wrongful death. Wrongful death is a legal term, applying whenever a person is killed because of the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else.
The surviving relatives and dependents of the deceased can work with a lawyer to seek justice for their lost relative, as well as compensation for their own pain and financial hardships associated with the wrongful death. This guide will provide answers to some commonly asked questions regarding wrongful death cases.
A wrongful death action is a type of legal action taken on behalf of the surviving heirs or relatives of someone who has died. The purpose of the action is usually for the relatives/heirs to receive compensation for the hardships they have endured because of the loss of their loved ones.
There are many possible causes of a wrongful death. Here are just some of the most common examples:
The average compensation amount paid out as a settlement for wrongful death cases ranges from half a million dollars to more than $1,000,000. The total value of the settlement will depend on many factors, such as the financial status of the deceased and the level of support they provided to surviving dependents, the age and health of the deceased, the needs of the surviving relatives, the damages suffered by surviving relatives and loved ones, burial costs, and more.
No, as with many aspects of the law in the United States, the laws regarding wrongful death can vary from state to state. There may, in fact, be numerous differences on the matter from one state to the next, so it’s important for those who wish to pursue a wrongful death action to contact a local lawyer and find out more about the laws in their state.
Even if someone was unemployed and had no salary, they may still have provided valuable services to the family, such as childcare and support. These kinds of contributions are regarded as “pecuniary losses” and will be quantified and taken into account during the process of a wrongful death action.
Not usually. Wrongful death damages are usually classified as compensation for physical injuries by the IRs, making them not subject to any kind of tax. However, there are certain cases in which income tax may apply, and estate tax may apply if the value of damages exceeds statutory exemptions. You can speak with your lawyer to find out more.
It depends. Some can be resolved in a matter of months, while others may continue for several years. Several factors have to be considered, such as the details of any insurance policies in play, the nature of the incident leading to the death, and questions of liability if the accused party refuses responsibility for the death.
Wrongful deaths can be very tragic and difficult for surviving relatives to deal with, but with the help of a lawyer, you can get some level of compensation and justice for the hurt you have endured.