Calculating Non-Economic Damages for Rock Hill Wrongful Death Cases

When the death of a loved one is caused by the negligent actions of another, our experienced legal team at Schiller & Hamilton could help you seek justice. With the help of a compassionate wrongful death lawyer, you may be eligible to recover compensation for both your economic and non-economic damages. A skilled lawyer could help with calculating non-economic damages for Rock Hill wrongful death cases. Speak to an attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.

Factors That Are Examined When Quantifying the Loss of a Loved One

There are several factors that are considered when determining the value of the wrongful death case. These could include:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Earnings
  • The person’s job
  • What they provided
  • How many beneficiaries or how many dependents the individual had at the time of their death
  • Their future earning capacity was at the time of their death
  • How long the individual survived from the time of the accident until the time of their death

Calculating Loss of Future Income

Factors that determine loss of future income include how much they were making at the time, their ability to have regular promotions, and have their pay continue to increase over time. Additionally, 401K earnings are included in those calculations and any other investment detail that would be available to that individual during their lifetime, which would more likely than not continue to grow. They do not calculate future earnings based on what somebody is earning today.

Essentially, how much the individual was making at the time of the death, how much longer they could continue to earn that money, and what their opportunity for regular promotions would be are the three main factors.

Who Does the Calculations for Loss of Income?

Typically, an economic expert would be hired to help calculate the loss of income. The tax returns of the deceased or any financial statements would be provided to the economic expert, and they would calculate that and prepare a report for the attorney to provide either at initial discovery or to take to a jury as an expert.

How Is the Loss of a Companion Calculated?

The main loss in a wrongful death case is support, financial, and emotional support for the individual. In a husband-and-wife situation, if the deceased spouse provided financial support, then that must be calculated. After a wage earner passes away, they calculate the financial support based on their income.

With a stay-at-home parent or stay-at-home spouse, one calculates the value of their services to the family. The courts must calculate the value of their services to the family, what it would cost to replace them with a full-time nanny, a full-time housekeeper, or all the things that the spouse would do in the home.

Expert Calculations

It is important for an expert to be involved in calculating the loss of companionship because verdicts cannot be based on speculation or surmised. Cases have to be calculated based on all of the factors available.

When putting numbers together for either an insurance company to consider or a jury to consider specific numbers for values and services or values of future earnings, an expert has to be used in order to be able to make that calculation admissible and also to avoid it being considered mere speculation.

How Are Damages Calculated for the Death of a Child?

If a child passed away, the calculation is the same as for a spouse. Based on the amount of support they are providing at the time of the death, whether in services or financial support, they may then calculate it based on the child’s age carried forward until the age of 18.

In some states, one can argue that parents support their children beyond the age of 18 by sending them to college. Sometimes, it is more difficult to be able to make that argument because it is speculative in nature that the child will be going off to college and that they would be supporting them throughout their college days, and so sometimes, those damages would be objected to and probably not be allowed to be included.

Retain the Services of a Wrongful Death Attorney

The death of a loved one could be devastating to a family. On top of the insurmountable grief, families are often left with crippling debt and medical expenses. Fortunately, a wrongful death attorney could help you hold the negligent party accountable in court and help you seek compensation for damages. Call today to learn about the nuances of calculating non-economic damages for Rock Hill wrongful death cases.