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What Is The Average Wrongful Death Lawsuit Case Worth?

Losing a loved one is a devastating experience, and dealing with the aftermath can be equally difficult.

These civil suits are often the only way families find justice after their loved one has died due to someone else's negligence or recklessness.

The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers law firm understand the devastating impact losing a loved one can have on your life, which is why we are dedicated to helping you seek the maximum settlement for your wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact our Chicago wrongful death attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for a free legal consultation. Use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our wrongful death lawyer remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

What Types of Financial Damages Can You Sue For in an Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits

There are a variety of types of wrongful death settlement amounts. However, monetary damages awarded from a wrongful death lawsuit will typically include:

  • The victim's financial support value would have contributed to their family, including medical, educational, and funeral expenses. Lawyers measure the value as either current support for dependents who were financially dependent on the victim at the time of their death or future support for those who were economically dependent on the deceased only at the time of their anticipated retirement.
  • Financial or economic losses include property, inheritance, trust income, interest in family businesses, etc. The deceased would have provided for family members had they not died due to another's negligence.
  • Loss of the victim's companionship and emotional support for their family. Lawyers measure its value by calculating the deceased's life expectancy to determine how long it would have taken them to reach financial independence, then seek a wrongful death settlement for that length of time.
  • The household services value that the victim would have performed and their loss in the value of household services provided by other family members after their death

Losses Due to Wrongful Deaths

In addition to the types of wrongful death lawsuits outlined above, wrongful death victims and their families may also be entitled to an average settlement for:

Losses associated with mental anguish

It is difficult to quantify an average wrongful death settlement but can include the emotional distress experienced by the victim's family after losing a loved one.

Pain and Suffering Experienced by the Decedent before their Death.

Measuring someone’s pain and suffering can be challenging. However, some courts have awarded damages based on the victim's life expectancy and how long their pain and suffering may have lasted.

Losses Caused by a "Loss of Consortium" Between the Deceased and their Family Members.

In situations where a parent dies and puts the family’s future in jeopardy, this means that parents may be able to seek compensation for the lost benefits of having a child in their lives and funeral costs.

Losses Caused by Damages Associated with the Decedent's Estate.

If the deceased owned real estate property at their death, those ownership rights will typically pass to the decedent's estate. If this occurs, the heirs to that property may seek compensation for their loss of ownership rights.

Calculating your Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to calculating a wrongful death lawsuit worth. As a result, plaintiffs often seek noneconomic damages, punitive damages, and economic damages in these types of lawsuits.

Average Compensation for a Wrongful Death Case

The average wrongful death cases settle for various, based on their uniqueness. In most wrongful death cases, however, the potential settlement awarded falls within a range of $500,000 to $1,000,000. This amount can be multiplied if numerous plaintiffs are involved in the lawsuit.

Some studies have shown that the average value of a wrongful death claim is about $650,000. However, it is essential to remember that this number may be skewed by a wrongful death lawsuit that received a large compensation or verdict.

Some wrongful death civil suits are worth over $1,000,000. The average wrongful death settlement is more than $650,000, including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and financial losses.

Statistically, many wrongful death cases settle for far more.

Consider the case of wrongful death due to medical malpractice or commercial truck driver negligence; the average settlement for cases like that can range more than $700,000.

Contact us for a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to help determine damages for your wrongful death lawsuit.

You need a passionate lawyer experienced in personal injury cases; even under unique circumstances, we will send a personal representative at no legal cost to you to discuss your legal rights. There are no legal fees until we recover full and fair compensation for you.

Our law firm understands the pain, suffering, and grief families experience for years after losing their loved ones. Our wrongful death attorney will work with you to obtain the maximum compensation your surviving family members are due after your decedent’s pain and death.

Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case: What You Need to Know

The legal concept of negligence involves an individual's failure to act (or the act itself) in a way that violates the standards of conduct of society.

When someone's negligence results in the wrongful death of another person, survivors are entitled to pursue compensation.

What is Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

To prove negligence, one must show that another person created an unreasonable risk of harm to the plaintiff and that this unreasonable risk of injury caused the plaintiff's damages. In a wrongful death case, a defendant must have created a high degree of risk that resulted in the decedent's death.

Proving negligence also involves demonstrating that this unreasonable risk of harm directly caused the decedent's unexpected death.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death action can be filed using three common legal theories, including:

  • The “At Fault Party” Committed an Act of Negligence
  • The “At Fault Party” Acts in a Way that Threatens or Harms the Decedent
  • The Defendant Intentionally Causes the Death of Another Person (This is Most Commonly Applicable to Criminal Wrongful Death Lawsuits)

Using these three different legal theories, you can hold any person or organization liable for the wrongful death of your loved one.

For instance, if the defendant were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they caused a car accident that resulted in their loved one's fatal injuries, they would be held liable under this theory.

The “At Fault Party” Committed an Act of Negligence

When the defendant commits a wrongful act of negligence, they fail to take one or more actions that a reasonable person would have taken, given the circumstances.

This failure causes the plaintiff's unreasonable risk of harm and damages, resulting in a wrongful death claim.

The “At Fault Party” Acts in a Way That Threatens or Harms the Decedent

The defendant is to have acted in a way that threatened or harmed the decedent. While this may sound straightforward, it can be difficult to apply under certain circumstances.

If your loved one was killed because of faulty medical equipment, for example, you might not know whether any person or organization could be held liable for the death.

The Defendant Intentionally Causes the Death of Another Person

Intentional torts are among the most serious, as they involve one person purposefully engaging in wrongful conduct against another. Depending on your state's laws, you may have to file a criminal claim before filing a civil lawsuit.

If you file a criminal claim and the defendant is convicted, jurors will decide your wrongful death claims in civil court. However, if they are acquitted of the crime or not previously charged, you may have to file a negligence per se claim for wrongful death.

Contact a personal injury attorney today to learn more about these claims and whether your loved one's situation qualifies for such a claim.

Factors that Can Reduce Wrongful Death Settlements Paid to Victims

A wrongful death claim is filed to allow the survivors of a deceased loved one to recover monetary damages from the party who caused their death.

You may be wondering how much is a wrongful death lawsuit worth; the amount that each person receives in these settlements depends on several different factors, and many variables can reduce your average settlement value or court award:

The Loved One’s Age

A younger person's life is worth more to their survivors than an older person's life in a wrongful death case. For example, a 35-year-old individual will always be more valuable than a 75-year older adult because their damages will last longer based on their life’s longevity.

The Decedent's Income

How much the victim could have earned had they survived is the single most significant factor determining your loved one's claim value and how much you would receive to resolve the claim.

The higher your loved one's income, the higher your final settlement will be. The reason for this is simple: a high-income earner can provide more financial support to their family than someone who made little or no money during their lifetime.

Whether the Decedent Was Married or Single at Time of Death

Surviving family members, including spouses, are entitled to the greatest share of a wrongful death settlement. Surviving children are entitled to the next highest amount, followed by the parents and others.

Whether Children Were Left Behind

If your loved one was married or had large sums of money at their disposal, you should discuss these factors with an experienced attorney who knows how they will affect your death settlement.

In many cases, these factors can reduce the total amount of money that you and your loved one's family receive from their death.

Whether Your Loved One Had Medical Expenses

If your loved one had medical expenses or unpaid medical bills and compensation at the time of death, this might affect the final settlement. Typically, their medical bills contribute to the percentage of negligence assigned to the defendant.

Whether You Need Money for Future Expenses

When your loved one dies, there are often expenses that you must pay to maintain various aspects of their life. If you were forced to sell assets or incur debt to pay for your loved one's funeral expenses and funeral home fees, this could affect the amount of money you receive in a settlement and ease the financial burden.

In some wrongful death settlements, the court may even order the defendant to pay for these future expenses under a special damage claim.

Hiring a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer for Wrongful Death Cases

Proving a wrongful death lawsuit involving your loved one’s death might be challenging without the right legal assistance. However, you can benefit from hiring an experienced injury attorney who specializes in wrongful death claims to help you with your case.

Wrongful death attorneys have expert knowledge on how an insurance company values wrongful death claim cases and can use this information to get you more compensation for your loved one's suffering and loss.

In addition, you don’t have to worry about court deadlines and insurance adjuster forms; we handle these for you.

Schedule a free consultation with our wrongful death attorneys today at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to handle your case on a contingency fee basis.

Our attorney understands the core principles of wrongful death cases. We're here to help you with a free case evaluation to get the successful wrongful death claims that you deserve for your civil case.

Contact our Chicago wrongful death lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.

All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa