No amount of compensation of any kind can fill the void left by the death of a loved one. The loss impacts the remainder of the lives of everyone left behind. In cases where a family member was unjustly taken from this life, it can be beneficial to hold the negligent party legally accountable as a way to bring some sort of closure or resolution.
In general, it can be said that the potential for a wrongful death claim arises in a situation where an individual would have had a legitimate personal injury claim, but died as the result of the negligent party’s wrongful actions. It is common for negligent defendants and their insurance companies to avoid payment of a wrongful death claim as long as they possibly can. During this drawn-out time period, the victim’s family (plaintiffs) may be facing financial difficulties while in grief. During this legal process, they may need some financial assistance for living expenses, and this is where The Legal Funding Group can help. A reprieve could be waiting in the form of lawsuit funding that becomes a life preserver to keep them afloat while the case makes its way through the legal system.
How Much are Wrongful Death Suits Worth?
To prove that the accused party is liable for the wrongful death of the victim, plaintiffs (family members and the deceased’s estate) must meet the same burden of proof that would have been required from the victim if he or she had lived to pursue an injury lawsuit. It is easy to see that the varying factors in individual claims make it very difficult to estimate a value for each case. There is nothing simple about determining a dollar figure when someone has lost his or her life through injustice.
Some financial elements can be factored in to help ascertain a ballpark figure, though. Below are a few of the elements the court will consider when determining a settlement amount in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- The medical care costs the victim accumulated from injuries before dying
- The amount of pain and suffering the victim endured from the time of injury until death
- Loss of the deceased victim’s expected income
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- Value of all services the deceased victim would have provided
- Inheritance lost due to death
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of consortium (relationship with a spouse)
- Loss of nurturing, guidance and care deceased victim would have provided
Compensation in a wrongful death case stemming from a motor vehicle accident may also be different from a wrongful death case that stems from medical malpractice. For example, if it is clear that the other driver in an auto accident was at fault, then liability is easily established. In this case, the plaintiffs who filed the wrongful death lawsuit will likely get the entire insurance amount the policy specifies. Of course, depending on the number of eligible heirs, this amount could be divided.
However, in the case of medical malpractice, the mere fact that a person died is not enough to establish that there was negligence involved. It must be proven that a doctor or medical facility failed to follow proper standards of care and caused the person’s death. Medical experts are often called into cases to establish such issues. Additionally, in determining the compensation amount in a medical malpractice case, the court can also consider how much suffering the victim endured before death.
Let’s look at two separate scenarios here to contrast the differences that come into play. If an individual with a small chance of survival underwent a hospital surgical procedure and died shortly afterward, a court would not likely return a large verdict. However, take the case of a relatively healthy person who went in for a fairly routine surgery then required several more surgeries to correct a mistake made during the first one. If this patient died because of malpractice, this wrongful death case could result in a large settlement amount.
In some instances, a defective product is the cause of an individual’s death. The manufacturer of the defective product is most likely covered by product liability insurance. This coverage will help pay the amount of damages awarded by a court to the plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit.
When a legal funding company is determining how much financial assistance can be given to a plaintiff during the lengthy legal process, the lawsuit’s value is one of the most important factors considered. When there is a strong case, the company will find it much easier to qualify plaintiffs for advanced settlement funding.
How Long Does a Wrongful Death Case Take?
It is not possible to determine in advance an accurate time frame for a wrongful death lawsuit to be completed. Varying factors influence the timeframe of a lawsuit. Some of the factors include:
- Type of case
- Age of deceased victim
- Personal injury
- How long severe suffering lasted
- Product liability
- Location and/or venue
- Defendant’s insurance provider (some insurers always choose to go to trial)
Insurance companies have enough experience in wrongful death cases to know that a great many plaintiffs will reach a point of desperation where they will ask for a settlement at a smaller amount in order to be finished and be able to move forward.
Surviving Families Can Seek Immediate Help
Wrongful death lawsuits can benefit the remaining family members of the victim, especially if the deceased provided the majority of the household income. However, the long period of time from the date of the accident until the final settlement is awarded can throw the family into financial struggles. Hospital bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages can bankrupt a family while the legal process plods along.
It is not necessary to suffer financially any longer. Give us a call at The Legal Funding Group, 912-777-3997, or complete our online application for settlement funding to help get you through the remainder of the legal process. No financial history or credit score is required for approval.