How Much Is a Typical Wrongful Death Settlement?
Updated: Feb 24
Compensation is pursuable in the event of a loved one's death that occurred at the fault of another. When there is a breach of duty of care, resulting directly in death, loved ones and relatives can open a wrongful death case against the person at fault.
Part of this lawsuit involves a monetary settlement. The total payable amount is dependent on several impacting factors from before the incident, during, and the aftermath.
What Is the Average Settlement?
A typical wrongful death settlement in the USA is between $500,000 and $1,000,000- although it can be higher in some circumstances. The laws in each state may vary, as does the monetary value given to each case.
To qualify for compensation, a St Louis injury attorney must present sufficient evidence to confirm grounds for a claim. After causation and fault are determined, monetary compensation discussions begin.
Impacting Factors in a Wrongful Death Case
Although often awarded as one lump sum, the final settlement has multiple contributing elements adding to the overall amount. Remember, no two wrongful death lawsuits are the same. Such a sensitive case has many parts and considerations. Because of this, compensation is divided into the following sections.
Financial Costs Incurred by the Family
Losing a loved one unexpectedly is an unfathomably painful time, often made worse by financial obligations that fall to the relatives. Two of the primary financial expenses incurred after death are:
● Medical bills
● Funeral cost
If the deceased was hospitalized because of the incident, any medical bills are included in the lawsuit. All payments should be documented and presented as evidence during the proceedings.
Personal and Emotional Damages
Of course, money is not the only cost of losing a loved one. The emotional damages of wrongful death are severe and should be compensated. Pain and suffering comp is a predominant part of the final compensation.
In some circumstances, relatives can seek compensation for pain and suffering on behalf of the deceased. The claim works similarly to a personal injury lawsuit.
Future Support and Income Lost
It is not only the costs incurred surrounding the death that is claimable- the loss of future financial income and support is also part of a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased was the primary source of income for a family, their future salary can be included in the compensation.
The services the deceased would have been financially responsible for are all considered. Surviving dependents also weigh heavily on the final settlement, with remaining children usually resulting in a higher payout.
Age and Health of the Deceased
Regardless of circumstance, the general health of the deceased in the time before their death is taken into account. The purpose of this is to calculate how much future income and support is lost. Age applies in the same way.
There are cases when an extra step must be taken. Exemplary damages are applied as an additional punishment to the defendant when their actions are deemed excessively reckless or wrong. They go beyond usual compensation to ensure an example is made to deter future wrongdoing under similar circumstances. Often, criminal charges accompany a comp decision like this.
One of the common instances, when punitive/exemplary damages are included in a wrongful death settlement, is a road accident caused by a drunk driver. Because the defendant chose to recklessly endanger the lives of other road users without thought for safety or consequence, their actions warrant extra punishment. By imposing exemplary charges, courts hope to deter others from acting in the same way.
No amount of money could ever be enough to replace a lost loved one. However, pursuing compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit with St Louis wrongful death lawyers can help make the time following slightly easier. Financial relief for relatives in the wake of tragedy is some condolence and provides a sense of justice for the person whose life was lost.
Dependent on evidence and cause, a typical wrongful death case pays out between $500,000 and $1,000,000. Every lawsuit is different. Powell Law fights for every client in every case to get what is owed and help them begin the healing process.