Calculating Damages in Virginia Beach Wrongful Death Cases
It is difficult to put a price on the grief you may feel upon losing a loved one. Calculating damages in Virginia Beach wrongful death cases is a difficult but necessary part of wrongful death cases. A compassionate wrongful death attorney could guide you through the process of figuring out what damages you can recover, while also fighting for justice for your loved one. Call the experienced Cooper Hurley personal injury lawyers to learn more.
Factors When Quantifying the Loss of a Loved One
It is difficult to quantify the value of any life, and it is always difficult to compare one life versus another. Is a five-year old’s life more valuable than a 25-year old’s life because one is older than the other?
The way to value damages in a wrongful death case is to speak with those who best knew the deceased such as the spouse, son, daughter, brother, sister, father, or mother and learn as much as possible about the deceased person. The attorney should hear from the family about what they lost specific to this particular individual who is unlike anyone else and should be valued in the same way their family members value them.
Putting a dollar figure on that is quite difficult and at times seems cold, but that is how the civil justice system deals with wrongful death. In having an open dialogue with family members of the deceased, attorneys can develop an idea as to what they can do to best help the family move forward.
Factors When Calculating Loss of Income
Loss of income encompasses specifics within the large class of damages available in wrongful death. Loss of future income is a particular damage that could be calculated based on data points. For example, the individual’s age is used to identify the number of working years they might have had if someone did not choose to act in a negligent way.
Experts can be an invaluable asset when calculating damages in Virginia Beach wrongful death cases. A vocational expert is knowledgeable about employment, employment growth, salary, and salary development. An expert may be brought in to evaluate the deceased person’s job and their potential growth in that job. They project what the person’s future earnings would have been over the rest of their working life had they not passed.
Calculating Loss of Companionship
Loss of companionship is specific to each individual statutory beneficiary. When a family loses a loved one, each member of the family has a unique and special relationship with that person. The deceased may be someone’s husband or wife, and they had a spousal relationship. They might have sons and daughters who lost a parent. Or, a surviving parent may have lost a son or daughter. There is a companion relationship based on how the two people within the family are situated.
The loss of the relationship is recoverable as damage in a wrongful death case and it is extremely difficult to put a dollar figure on. What is the loss of a father figure worth? What is the loss of a daughter worth? That father-daughter or mother-son relationship is the loss of companionship and is a damage. Through open dialogue and communication, the a wrongful death lawyer does their best to help the client identify how much that damage is worth to them.
The Value of a Virginia Beach Wrongful Death Attorney
Putting a dollar figure on things that do not have a monetary figure is difficult. It is easy seek compensation for a hospital bill of one hundred dollars because it is documented. Non-economic damages are more difficult to determine because the losses cannot easily be quantified in dollars and cents. The only way an attorney understands someone’s pain, suffering, and grief to identify a monetary value for their loss is through communication with the family.
A wrongful death attorney cannot understand every way that the loss of a loved one interferes with the quality of life of the surviving family members. An attorney may get an idea from the family about the value of their loss. It is not an attorney’s role to tell you how to feel about grief and your pain and sorrow. Their job is to listen and do their best to put together a plan to recover a fair compensation for what your family has experienced. One of the Cooper Hurley personal injury lawyers with experience calculating damages in Virginia Beach wrongful death cases, could help you pursue damages.