Nothing can truly replace a lost loved one. From the shock of grief to the sudden financial difficulties that often accompany such a loss, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by a death in the family. This is especially true when you lose your relative due to someone else’s negligence.
If another party’s negligence led to your loved one’s death, you and your family may be entitled to significant compensation. However, wrongful death claims can be complicated, and it is important to have experienced legal counsel who can advise you how much your case is worth.
Ventura Law has been helping clients navigate their legal rights for over 60 years. Please call (203) 800-8000 today for a free confidential consultation. Our attorneys serve clients in Connecticut and New York and work for you.
Do I Need to Sue for Wrongful Death?
It is sometimes necessary to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party (or parties) to recover the full compensation you and your family deserve. However, this is not always the case.
Most personal injury claims are resolved out of court via settlement, often without having to file suit. This may happen with your wrongful death claim as well, in which case you will not have to file a lawsuit or go to trial.
However, it is important to confer with your attorney on all of your legal options. Your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf with the at-fault party’s insurance company, but the insurance carrier may refuse to offer fair compensation. In this case, you may need to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover the full value of damages.
Your attorney will advise you that taking a case to court always carries risk. It is crucial to weigh this risk against the importance of recovering the compensation you and your family members deserve for the loss of your loved one.
What Is the Average Value of a Wrongful Death Claim?
Settlements and verdicts in wrongful death claims vary widely. Many factors can affect how much you and your family may be able to recover, including:
- The age of your loved one at the time of his or her death
- Whether or not your loved one had a spouse and/or children
- Your loved one’s income and household contributions
- The specific losses your loved one’s estate and the surviving family members have sustained
- Whether or not your loved one was partly at fault for the accident that caused his or her death
Ultimately, your wrongful death claim is unique. Knowing how much others have recovered via settlement or at trial will have minimal relevance to the potential outcome of your case.
So, instead of asking about the average verdict or settlement in a wrongful death claim, it is more important to consult a lawyer on what compensation may be recoverable for you and your loved ones specifically. Reviewing the verdicts and settlements a law firm has achieved in wrongful death claims can also help you find an attorney with experience handling cases like yours.
Damages in Your Wrongful Death Claim
It is impossible to determine how much your wrongful death claim may be worth without knowing the facts of the case. If you suspect your loved one died due to the negligence of another, it is in your interest to contact a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
An attorney can evaluate your claim and advise you how much – and for what damages – you may be entitled to in compensation. Ultimately, the value of your case will depend on the losses you and your family have sustained due to the wrongful death of your loved one (among other factors).
You and your loved ones may be able to recover the following damages in a wrongful death claim:
- Expenses for funeral services and burial or cremation
- Loss of your loved one’s income and benefits
- Loss of inheritance
- Reasonable medical expenses from treatment your loved one received before death
- Loss of household services
- Loss of consortium
- Conscious pain and suffering prior to death (effectively pain and suffering damages to which your loved one would have been entitled had he or she survived)
Depending on the state in which your claim is tried, you may also be able to recover additional compensation by statute.
For example, Connecticut law allows the surviving family members of someone who is killed in a motor vehicle accident to be awarded double or treble damages in cases where the at-fault driver commits traffic violations such as:
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Improper passing
- Errors in using a one-way street or a rotary/roundabout
In New York, meanwhile, surviving family members may be awarded interest on damages in a wrongful death claim. By statute, interest is calculated at 9 percent per year, starting from the date of your loved one’s death.
Do You Have a Wrongful Death Claim?
It is natural to feel overwhelmed after the death of a loved one. The emotional and financial issues of such a loss make it difficult for you and your family to rebuild your lives.
Ventura Law can help if your loved one was killed due to someone else’s negligence. Our law firm has been serving clients throughout Connecticut and New York in wrongful death claims for more than 60 years.
Please call (203) 800-8000 today. Your initial consultation is free and 100% confidential.