The Young & Old in Wrongful Death Claims

In most cases throughout the US, no matter if it’s a legal situation, some type of emergency, a fire drill or a real-life evacuation – we all know how these things go, and women and children are known to be given special preference whenever possible. However, according to Mr. Joel Levine, the top wrongful death lawyer Queens has to offer, in conjunction with a number if different factors of the current scenario, it is believed that an individual can carry on a monetary value – when it comes to his or her earning capacity for the current period of time as well as the future. This number is often used to determine their value within a wrongful death claim – for instance, someone with an average salary of $250,000 is worth more than someone who had an average salary of only $45000. As per Mr. Levine, the to wrongful death lawyer Queens has to rely on, this is where such price-setting procedure in wrongful death actions, the death of a child or an elderly person may raise difficulties – how does one measure the future financial contributions of a child or of an elderly retired person? To accurately assess the lost financial value of a death, the courts follow certain guiding principles.

Loss of a Child

While this will undoubtedly be a terrible and insufferable loss for any parent, grandparent or guardian otherwise – they must go on and understand that there are lawful recourses that will help assist them in this and any other situation now. According to the top wrongful death lawyer Queens has to offer, things are quite different when an earning adult dies, the financial loss is relatively easy to assess, but even so, the wrongful death loss is not measured solely by financial earnings but also by the potential child rearing services, love, nurturing, and companionship elements of an adult relationship. For example, if a father dies in a car accident, his child may seek damages for not only the loss of the father’s income, but also the loss of the father’s care and guidance. The fact is that when it comes to children the current financial loss amount is usually quite small, and you need the help of the best personal injury lawyer NYC can offer, like Mr. Levine. The issue with children is that they have yet to really bring in much money – and are operating strictly based off future financial gains or losses. The losses due to the death of a child can be assessed using the following:

  • The age, sex, life expectancy, work expectancy, the state of overall health, as well as the habits if the child in questions.
  • The child’s earning potential.
  • The relationship of the decedent to those claiming a pecuniary (or financial) loss.
  • The health, age, and circumstances of those claiming pecuniary losses.

Understandably, a lot of these assessments are simple measurements and educated guesses – in fact, the younger a child is at the time of death, the harder it becomes to accurately speculate. For example, it is easier to speculate on the earning potential of an eighteen-year-old, high-performing student enrolled in a top university program, as opposed to speculating on the earning potential of that same child at the age of ten. The jury in such cases can count what the child would have contributed to the parents’ support, this estimation is based on actual mathematics and not simple guesswork. Juries often use work-life expectancy tables as a starting point for calculations. Rules against jury speculation don’t necessarily limit parents to small recoveries, but courts generally give relatively small damage awards for the deaths of children.

Pre-Birth or Fetus

In some states, there is some discrepancy on whether an individual may be able to file a wrongful death claim against an individual, as a result of an unborn fetus. According to Mr. Levine, the best personal injury lawyer NYC has to offer, many states require that a child be born alive for its death to qualify for a wrongful death action, and in those states, the death of a fetus is therefore not a valid justification for an action. In Illinois and other states, however, the death of an unborn fetus may be actionable, so long as the fetus was viable at the time of death. A qualified local attorney will be able to advise you on the laws of your state and whether, according to local law, you can sue for the wrongful death of an unborn fetus.

Loss of the Elderly

In the same way that the death of a child might not produce a large award of damages, the death of an elderly person also has limited recovery potential. Modest awards for the deaths of elderly people are due to several factors. First, it’s often assumed that someone past the age of retirement no longer has significant earning potential. Second, the children of elderly people are usually adults who no longer need significant guidance, support, or nurturing from their parents.The undervaluing of elderly persons in wrongful death actions is a controversial topic – some scholars argue that it’s the natural result of a system operating by a Valuation by Human Capital approach. Many often believe that they were not worth too much as they would have soon died anyway – which simply isn’t always the case. For more information about wrongful death claims, be sure to contact the Best Personal Injury Lawyer Queens has to offer, Mr. Joel Levine today.