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How to Calculate the Value of a Wrongful Death Case?

If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of an individual or company, you and your family will likely be left facing not only severe emotional pain but also numerous financial burdens.


When our lawyers are helping to comfort a family during their time of loss, one of the most common questions we must answer is how much the wrongful death case is worth. However, calculating accurate compensation in a wrongful death case can be difficult, as numerous factors must be considered and no two cases are alike.


For help assessing the compensation you may be entitled to under the law, call Sneed|Mitchell at (713) 800-6676 for a free case evaluation with one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers.





How Is Case Value Determined?


Placing a monetary value on a deceased’s life won’t do much in the way of helping loved ones grieve, as surviving family members often rightly feel that their loved one’s life was invaluable. In fact, accurately measuring the value of a human life in dollars and cents is an impossible proposition. It will require hiring economists and other financial professionals. Even then, there is no perfect way to determine adequate compensation.

However, the practical reality of wrongful death lawsuits requires us to value lives in terms of dollars and cents. If we tell the court that the deceased’s life was priceless, the nature of court judgments would require them to award zero dollars. To avoid this unfair result, we do our best to determine the value of the lost life according to both economic and non-economic factors.


Economic Damages


Economic factors typically include things like:

  • The deceased’s age at the time of death

  • The deceased’s health prior to the accident

  • The deceased’s future earning capacity and his or her income at the time of death

  • The amount and type of education or other specialized training acquired by the deceased

  • The medical bills incurred for the deceased because of the accident

  • Funeral expensesFuture benefits lost, such as pension and insurance.

Non-economic Damages


The factors determining non-economic damages may include:

  • The subjective value of the life as perceived by the judge or jury

  • The identity of the responsible party

  • Any loss of love, companionship, comfort, affection, support, or protection suffered by family or loved ones of the deceased

Other Factors


Ultimately, the compensation awarded cannot be based on simple guesswork; it must be supported by evidence. The above factors we use to determine the correct value of the deceased’s life are necessarily flexible. This flexibility comes from the unique character traits of the deceased and the circumstances under which they lived and died.


Do I Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?


In addition to the above factors, many states have specific statutes that govern how wrongful death cases are valued. It’s important to consult an experienced and knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer to help you navigate the specifics of the statutes and to ensure that your claim is valued fairly.


The truth of the matter is that no amount of money can adequately compensate a person or family for the loss of a loved one. However, the wrongful death attorneys at Sneed|Mitchell are dedicated to protecting your legal rights, ensuring justice is served, and providing some level of comfort to you and your family.


Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help


At Sneed|Mitchell, our nationwide wrongful death attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible to make your claim and to pursue maximum compensation for damages. We also operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your case.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, call Sneed|Mitchell at (713) 800-6676 to receive a free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate wrongful death lawyers.


Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.