What Is the Average Settlement or Payout for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The unexpected death of a loved one can be devastating for the surviving family. At The Larsen Firm, we help injured families get their lives back on track with a wrongful death lawsuit.

When searching for the average settlement amount for wrongful death, it is important to know what a wrongful death lawsuit is and what you can recover. Never accept a settlement without understanding the value of your losses.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When a person dies because of another’s intentional, reckless, or negligent behavior, the law enables the surviving family to sue for losing their loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit may be available after a car accident, defective product, or medical malpractice causes a fatality. A wrongful death lawsuit might be an option if your loved one died and someone else is at fault. 

What Is a Wrongful Death Settlement?

In many cases where a person is liable for the wrongful death of another, they will file a claim with their insurance company to cover the damages. In car accidents and cases where the defendant is a business, insurance companies often try to avoid responsibility and pressure you to accept an early settlement. You deserve to receive compensation for the full value of your losses. A wrongful death attorney can help you evaluate your options.

What Types of Damages Might You Receive in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Payout?

The amount of money that will reasonably compensate the surviving family for the death of their loved one is called “damages.” The type of damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit is limited by statute. Under California law, close family members may recover economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party. Economic damages include funeral and burial expenses, plus the loss of:

  • Financial support contributed by the lost family member;
  • Gifts or benefits the lost family member would have given the family; or
  • The reasonable value of household services the family member provided.

You can show the amount of these damages by calculating your economic losses from receipts and pay stubs. On the other hand, it is more difficult to quantify non-economic damages, which include:

  • Loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support;
  • If the lost family member was a spouse, the loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations;
  • If the lost family member was a parent, the loss of their training and guidance.

Most notably, damages for pain and suffering, such as the family’s grief, are not recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced wrongful death attorney is your best resource to determine which of your losses may be recoverable as damages.

How Are Wrongful Death Damages Calculated in California?

When calculating a wrongful death award, a jury will assign a value to your losses by examining the evidence. As mentioned above, you can prove your economic damages through physical evidence like receipts or pay stubs. The jury will also consider the deceased’s age, income, and relationship to the plaintiffs. The loss of a young parent’s future financial contributions will be more than that of a single, older adult with no children. Further, an award might be higher if the surviving family was financially dependent on the lost family member.

What Is the Highest Wrongful Death Payout?

In our 40 years in practice, we have recovered billions of dollars for our clients. We have secured favorable results for clients in wrongful death cases ranging from $500,000 to $11.7 million. Because the court has the discretion to determine a just amount of damages in every case, it is not very helpful to know an average payout for wrongful death. Each case has different circumstances, and each family is different. If you’re wondering what you might receive in a wrongful death award, add up the amounts of your damages as listed above. If you have questions, an attorney at The Larsen Firm is here to walk you through your options.

The Larsen Firm Can Help If You’re Wondering, What Is the Average Settlement or Payout for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? 

The Larsen Firm has a history of winning for our clients. You deserve financial recovery after the loss of a loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit is one way the surviving family can hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. We know that a financial award will never make up for the loss of your loved one, but it can put you on the path to recovery. Paying off funeral expenses and being able to afford household finances and care can go a long way to getting your life back on track. If you’re ready to find out whether a wrongful death suit can help you, contact The Larsen Firm today.

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