Wrongful Death Compensation
Wrongful death claims can bring substantial compensation for the immediate family members left behind. Every wrongful death claim has a unique case value, and maximizing this case value is one of the central tasks of a wrongful death attorney.
Many factors come into play when identifying how much compensation should be awarded in a wrongful death claim. Some of the many factors taken into consideration regarding the deceased include:
- Age and expected remaining years of life
- Occupation and remaining years of work
- Income and benefits
- Contribution of money, property, and other assets
- Number of dependents
- Marital status
- Relationships with spouse, children, or parents
Each of these factors directly affects how wrongful death compensation is calculated.
For example, if the deceased had minor children and served as the family’s primary source of income, the amount of compensation would typically be greater than in a case involving an individual in retirement with no dependents and fewer expected years of life remaining.
Understood this way, compensation largely depends on proving the financial and emotional impact of the death on the immediate relatives left behind.
Types of Damages in an Illinois Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death compensation is typically broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are all costs and losses brought about by death. These can be proven in court using evidence like bills, receipts, paystubs, and tax returns.
Economic damages commonly provide compensation for items like:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Ambulance bills
- Medical care received before death
- Anticipated future wages and benefits
- Financial support provided by the deceased
In addition to compensation for these financial matters, a wrongful death claim can also provide economic damages, which compensate the family for the non-financial aspects of their loss.
Common examples of non-economic compensation in a wrongful death claim include:
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
The unexpected loss of a loved one deals an intense emotional blow to the family members left behind. Non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim are often awarded for significant amounts because of the pain and hardship the family experiences.