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Settlement Amount in a Wrongful Death Case

How Settlement are Determined in Wrongful Death Cases?

There are multiple factors which affect a wrongful death settlement. A case can be worth anywhere from thousands of dollars to millions. Most fall somewhere in between.

It’s difficult to assign a value to a wrongful death case because every wrongful death case is different. Compensation for a claim or lawsuit is influenced by the circumstances surrounding the case.

Wrongful death attorneys consider numerous facts when recommending a settlement. Read this article to get an understanding of those facts. Also, keep in mind that the quality of your legal representation will be the primary factor influencing your settlement. Attorneys who specialize in wrongful death cases and have a successful case history are more likely to net you an optimal settlement than those who have little experience handling such cases.

The Decedent’s Age and Income

Lost income is one of the primary damages in a wrongful death settlement. If a victim was providing financial support for a family prior to his or her death, the income that family will lose is critical to a wrongful death calculation.

Wrongful death lawyers consult with actuaries and economists to calculate the value of the lost income that the victim would have contributed to the family over the course of his or her life. Two factors are important to that calculation: the victim’s age along with his or her occupation and income. Generally, the younger and better paid the decedent was, the higher the settlement will be. For instance, the settlement for the wrongful death of a 35-year-old surgeon is likely to be higher than the settlement for a senior citizen who retired after a lifetime of working as a custodian.

California State Law

Unlike some other states, California does not impose a limit (or “cap”) on the non-economic damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death case. While surviving family members cannot recover damages for the grief they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s death, they may pursue compensation for the loss of companionship, emotional support, and guidance that the decedent would’ve provided were he or she still alive.


There are other, more intangible factors that can influence the value of a wrongful death case. Are the witnesses likeable? How strong is the evidence? Was the victim partially at fault for the accident that caused his or her death? If so, what is his or her percentage of fault? Only an experienced wrongful death lawyer can provide the answers to these questions and ensure that your claim retains a strong foundation.

We Treat Clients like Family

If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by another party, please don’t hesitate to contact Wilshire Law Firm for legal assistance. Our compassionate and hardworking legal team always puts clients first. We will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable and secure, and fight aggressively to get you the compensation and justice you deserve. To learn more about your rights and options in a FREE consultation, call us today at (800) 522-7274.

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