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Victor C. Mitchener, Attorney

Joseph H. Downer, Attorney

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Damages when a wrongful death victim was a main income provider

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Wrongful Death

When deciding on wrongful death cases, courts consider several factors to determine the appropriate damages to award. A common factor they consider is whether the victim was a primary income provider for their household.

This consideration aims to evaluate the financial impact of the loss on the surviving family members since they are left without necessary financial support, likely affecting their ability to maintain their standard of living, pay bills and plan for the future.

Compensation courts can award

When families of wrongful death victims successfully make their claim, the courts usually award compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs and pain and suffering—all of which are generally applicable in most wrongful death cases.

However, if a claim proves that the deceased was a primary income provider for their household, the court may consider awarding additional types of damages, such as the following:

  • Loss of income: The victim’s surviving family may claim the loss of the victim’s future earnings, which would have supported the family if the incident had not happened. This may include not only the salary at the time of death but also any expected future raises, bonuses and benefits.
  • Loss of benefits: In some cases, the family may also lose out on the benefits the deceased provided during their lifetime, such as health insurance, pension plans and retirement income. Hence, the courts may consider this during their determination.

Ultimately, the courts will base what type of damages a family can recover on the unique facts and circumstances of each wrongful death case.

Securing stability for the victim’s family

The emotional and financial consequences of a loved one’s death last for years. Nevertheless, while no amount of compensation can ever replace the loss of a loved one, receiving damages to support a wrongful death victim’s surviving family can help them move forward and secure their financial future.