Wrongful Death Claims
In this article, New Hampshire wrongful death lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC explain how wrongful death cases are assessed and the role of the decedent’s age and marital status in the assessment.
Assessing the Damages
Normally, when insurance companies settle a wrongful death case, they consider two types of losses according to the wrongful death laws in effect in their states. First, they look at the economic impact that the death of the decedent will have on the family. Next, they look at the emotional trauma that the family will suffer due to the pain of losing a loved one.
Basis of the Claim
Essentially, a wrongful death claim is one in which a family member dies due to something someone else either did or failed to do. Someone acted in a way that caused the untimely death of the decedent and caused extreme suffering of both of the kinds mentioned above to those left behind. It is these damages for which a settlement is sought and the claim is made, not the harm done to the deceased.
Role of Gender
Gender can sometimes play a part in how loss of income is evaluated. Traditionally, the primary wage earner has been the male who provided the majority of the financial support for the family. However, this is no longer the case in many families. Combined with other factors such as the level of schooling, vocational instruction or experience, and the type of work in which the decedent was engaged, there may be a larger settlement allotted for the death of the primary supporting spouse than might be considered for a spouse remaining out of the work force.
With the possible exception of determining how to place a monetary value on grief and personal suffering, one of the more difficult questions to settle is the assessment of what the decedent might have earned in the years to come had he or she lived. Someone well-established in a profession might be closer to retirement than a younger person, but will probably have advanced through the career ladder to a higher paying position. A younger person, while he or she may have years of employment ahead, is less likely to be as advanced in his or her profession.
Claiming the Rights of a Spouse
In most states, a legal marriage must take place in order for spousal rights to apply. This has traditionally consisted of a legal union between man and woman, but this is changing. New Hampshire recognizes the legal marriage of same-sex partners and common-law living arrangements. To determine a spousal settlement, you and your New Hampshire wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC must show that you and the deceased were married. This can become quite complicated, however, in a case in which a decedent has had more than one spouse.
When You Lose Someone You Love
You will need a law firm that can effectively handle your case with a great degree of understanding, empathy and compassion. Contact the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, your New Hampshire wrongful death lawyers, by calling 603-624-7200 or Toll-Free (800) 984-3151.