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How do I measure the value of a wrongful death case?

There’s no amount of money — and no amount of litigation — that will ever replace a loved one lost because of a negligent or unlawfully-acting party. However, Indiana courts do seek to compensate close family members financially in a successfully-navigated wrongful death action because, unfortunately, it’s the only way to approach some semblance of justice.

That said, measuring the value of a particular wrongful death case is not the most straightforward undertaking. Here are several key valuation factors that courts will look at:

  • Does the deceased have a surviving spouse, child or parent? Not all wrongful death losses are calculable. Some involve loss of affection, loss of marital benefits and more.
  • What was the individual’s role in the family? Did the deceased individual contribute to the family by performing various household and child care services? These services may have a value that can be calculated and claimed as damages.
  • The income and potential future income of the deceased: A deceased person who was employed at the time of death had a specific income that family members may have benefited from. In addition, it may be possible to predict the future income the individual may have been able to earn through the course of his or her career. By estimating current and future income, plaintiffs in a wrongful death suit can claim this lost family income as well as lost future inheritance.
  • The age and health condition of the deceased: Knowing the age and health condition of someone will be important for estimating the future income generating capacity of the person.

If you’re curious to know more about what you could claim in your potential wrongful death lawsuit, visit our website to learn more about wrongful death actions in Indiana.

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