As mentioned in my previous article, What Type of Damages Can Be Collected in an Orange County Wrongful Death Action, damages can be collected in a wrongful death case for a variety of losses, including funeral and burial costs, lost earnings, and loss of household services. In this article, I will focus on just one of these damages-lost earnings-and discuss how this value is appraised.
An appraisal of lost earnings potential includes a few different factors. The simplest (and usually the largest) is called “basic earnings.” This refers to the amount of money the deceased person would have been expected to earn if he or she had lived out the rest of his or her work life. “Incentive earnings” include stock options and bonuses. The value of incentive earnings is usually only a large percentage of overall earnings for business executives. Fringe benefits (also called “supplementary payments”) are also recoverable. These include employer-financed retirement plans, insurance, and health benefits.
An experienced Orange County wrongful death attorney will be able to help give you an idea about how much this will all amount too. Keep in mind, though, that once these values are calculated and adjusted for the life expectancy of the deceased person and for inflation, there will be a deduction for personal consumption-money the deceased person would have spent on him- or herself during his or her lifetime.
If you have lost a spouse, parent, or other family member and you believe you are eligible to file an action for wrongful death, please call Orange County wrongful death lawyer Samer Habbas at (888) 848-5084 to schedule a free case evaluation.