Did someone you love suffer a death at the hands of a botched medical procedure?
Did your loved one suffer a death as a result of gross negligence, either from a company or an individual?
Really no matter how your loved one died, if someone was negligent, there’s a good chance it will fall under the legal claim of wrongful death.
But how much can you sue for wrongful death? Moreover, what are the average settlements for wrongful death suits?
Wrongful death is one of the more serious legal injury claims out there because, as the name suggests, whatever happened resulted in the death of an individual.
You’ll find the answer to these questions and many more throughout this article
How Much Can You Sue For Wrongful Death? A Look at the Facts
In a time immediately following the death of your loved one, you likely have very little wherewithal to deal with the various legal hurdles you’ll need to go through to initiate a claim.
In order to seek compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death, you should seek the assistance of a competent, seasoned wrongful death attorney such as the Custy Law Firm, LLC.
Having a quality trial attorney at your side during both negotiations and litigation will result in far better results for you. It can truly be the difference between a substantial settlement and getting nothing at all.
So, assuming you intend to get yourself a good lawyer to represent you and your loved one’s interests, we run back to the initial question — how much can you sue for wrongful death?
The answer is more complex than you would think.
You Could Sue For Whatever You Please
This is where that question becomes a little nonsensical. In the American legal system, you are free and apt to sue for whatever amount you want, and whatever relief you want.
This means that if you trip and fall because of a blade of grass on a private property, you can sue the owner of that property for a million dollars if you want to. You could even ask that you be given ten trampolines or fifty goats as compensation. Nothing prevents you from filing such claims and making such demands.
The question then becomes whether or not your claim is reasonable.
Your claim for wrongful death will be dependent on the exact nature of the decedent’s circumstances. For example, was their death caused by any kind of negligence of their own? Were they going through a high-risk surgery in the first place?
There are an endless number of factors that go into what your claim amount will be.
So, in the end, the truth of the matter is that you can claim as much in damages as you please. However, that means very little in terms of what you’ll actually get in the end.
Ultimately, hiring an experienced attorney to represent you will make all the difference. They will know which specific facts about your case matter and which ones don’t. More to the point, a good lawyer will have the tools and experience to know how much to sue for.
What Is A Life Worth?
This exact question is what a jury will have to grapple with, in the event your case even goes to trial, which isn’t likely. The truth is, most civil cases are settled before trial.
This is why it is all the more important to get a quality attorney right away. Most negotiations and posturing occurs well before any case gets underway. In many instances, a settlement agreement can be reached without even having to file with the court.
This saves on court costs for both sides, attorneys fees for both sides, and, most importantly, precious time. Sometimes litigating a case to the end can take many years, especially if the amount of damages claimed are high.
Going up against large corporations can often result in protracted litigation because they have well-staffed and funded legal departments.
On the other hand, those same large corporations with massive legal departments also have massive PR departments, and the interests can compete at times. The negative PR garnered from dragging out a case that makes the company look bad could cost them far more than any settlement amount you could ever get.
What Is The Average Wrongful Death Settlement Then?
With the question of how much you can sue for wrongful death out of the way, we then get into the question of what you may actually walk away with. This is what is known as your settlement amount if you settle before trial.
It’s called your award, or damages, when the amount is decided by a jury. Either way, it is the money that you get in the end as a result of the wrongful death.
So, how much will you typically get?
It may not surprise you to hear this, but this is directly related to the amount you sue for.
Most claim amounts are not the amount you will end up with in the end, so it stands to reason that whatever your minimum is that you’re willing to walk away with, you should claim for more than that.
But, what exactly will your average settlement be?
The reason you may find yourself lacking an answer is because there is no concrete answer. Your eventual settlement is going to be unique. Sure, there are estimates and ranges, but, at the end of the day, one wrongful death suit might be worth far more than others, and vice versa.
Each case is like a snowflake. Even though the same basic elements apply to each case, they’re all different. This is all the more reason why getting quality counsel to represent you is of paramount importance.
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The answer to the question: “How much can you sue for wrongful death?” largely hinges on the exact facts of your case.
If you have questions about other injuries and legal matters, feel free to browse the rest of our site for more legal articles.