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How wrongful death compensation is calculated in personal injury

How much money can a family recover from a wrongful death claim? Measuring the value of a human life is ethically challenging, but it is absolutely necessary in today's personal injury legal system. In general, courts use a measure known as "valuation by human capital" to determine the appropriate amount of compensation. This is also known as the pecuniary loss rule.

When the courts work to determine the value of a human life in a wrongful death case, they employ a calculation that attempts to predict the amount of money that the victim could have provided for his or her family. Information that is integrated into the calculation can include income at the time of death and general predictions for life expectancy. Although some states include additional factors such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship and other civil elements, the majority of wrongful death claims focus on the objective, economic loss that the family will suffer because of the victim's death.

What factors can contribute to recovering damages in a wrongful death case? Victims in these personal injury cases can pursue claims against vehicle operators, property owners, boaters and a variety of other defendants in connection with a wrongful death. Even product manufacturers can be held accountable for a wrongful death that resultede from the use of their items.

Victims whose family members have died because of someone else's negligence deserve financial compensation to make up for the sudden loss of income and contribution. Whether your loved one died in a motor vehicle accident, a bike crash or even a slip and fall, you could be entitled to financial compensation. A qualified attorney can help you learn more about your legal rights.

Source: Cornell University Law School Social Science and Law, "Victim Compensation and Wrongful Death Damages," Jonathan White and Jeff Hobday, accessed March 17, 2017

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