The Effect of Age and Marital Status on Wrongful Death Claims
It can be a very unpleasant task to place a value on a wrongful death claim. However, if the deceased’s family members are to get the settlement they deserve, an Orange County personal injury attorney must be familiar with the factors that influence the amount that insurance companies are willing to pay out.
One such factor is the deceased’s life expectancy before his death. In general, younger victims who would have had many years in the workforce in their future tend to result in larger settlements. This lost income represents a clear financial loss to the survivors.
This consideration can be complicated if the deceased died before developing significant work skills and settling into a career. Without a clear earning level at the time of death, the amount of income that the surviving family members have lost becomes harder to project. The insurance adjuster is likely to make a very conservative estimate as to what the deceased would have earned over his lifetime and it will be up to the Orange County personal injury attorney to fight for a fairer estimate.
Another factor is the marital status of the deceased. Specifically, most states only allow the spouse of the deceased to make a wrongful death claim. If there is any ambiguity as to the deceased marital status, (such as when more than one person claims to be the deceased’s spouse) the negotiation process is likely to be significantly delayed as each of the claims are evaluated.
The death of a loved one is traumatic enough. Don’t deal with the insurance companies by yourself. Call today for an appointment with an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney.