When someone loses a family member because of the negligent actions of another person, they are not only losing companionship but potentially the income that the deceased would have used to provide for their family. The next of kin have the right to seek compensation for these losses. There are various damages someone could seek in a Chesterton wrongful death action, including those that are unavailable in other personal injury claims. An experienced wrongful death attorney could assist by compiling a list of damages to seek and arguing for them in court.
Damages are the compensation meant to replace that which was taken from someone following a negligent act. Juries award damages to the decedent’s family in the form of a dollar amount to make up for economic or non-economic losses. Economic damages in these situations may include compensation for any medical bills or lost wages the deceased incurred prior to their death. Additionally, in a wrongful death case specifically, non-economic damages may include the surviving family’s sorrow, grief, and loss of companionship. A local attorney could introduce powerful testimonial evidence from loved ones in court in order to show the scope of the loss, and justify the need for non-economic damages in a wrongful death case.
Only one individual can file a wrongful death claim in court. State law determines who has preference when more than one person qualifies to file a wrongful death case on behalf of their loved one. Simply because one person files the case does not mean that the other family members are uninvolved. Ultimately, the person who is responsible for filing the wrongful death case has an obligation to look out for the interests of all of the heirs.
In Chesterton wrongful death cases, the jury is entitled to award damages for the loss of future income. There are several factors that go into calculating these damages. Some of these factors include the age of the deceased, their education, as well as past salary history. For some individuals, future income may include their potential for future upward mobility.
Typically, lawyers on both sides hire expert witnesses to provide testimony as to loss of future earnings. Either a vocational expert or an economist could provide an opinion as to the value of lost future earnings.
The expert for the defendant, on the other hand, may use the same facts of the case to try to minimize the amount of future lost earning potential. In some cases, the two experts will reach varying conclusions based on the same set of facts. Ultimately, to the jury must weigh the two arguments and make a decision regarding the amount of total lost earnings the deceased’s family may be eligible to receive.
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you should not have to worry about addressing the sudden economic challenges. Fortunately, a caring and compassionate attorney could help you and your family pursue damages in an Chesterton wrongful death action that could help give you peace of mind in this difficult time. Call now to schedule a consultation.