When calculating damages in a wrongful death case, often working adults are used as the common basis for calculations. Determining projected income, life contribution and other family losses are considerably easier to determine when some of these pieces of information are already known, or easy to project. For children and elderly people, these calculations can be significantly more difficult to determine for a number of reasons.
If you lost a child or elderly family member and are considering filing a wrongful death suit, contact our firm to discuss possible case outcomes and damages calculations for your situation.
Calculating Wrongful Death Damages For An Elderly Person
The most challenging aspect of calculating damages after the wrongful death of an elderly person is determining his or her projected age. When calculating monetary loss for a working adult, his or her salary, projected advancement and even retirement contributions to an average age can be calculated, but an elderly person's life expectancy is more difficult to determine. Your family's loss is no less than great, and the law is designed to provide you and your family with restitution after your loss.
Your loss of companionship is always difficult to equate with monetary damages, but the loss of monetary contributions can be a bit easier to determine. If your loved one had a surviving spouse who was dependent upon his or her loved one's pension, and this pension plan does not have survivorship benefits, damages can be claimed to alleviate this loss of income. The courts do try to account for guidance, companionship and affection lost, as well as any pain or suffering the decedent may have experienced, but in the cases of elderly people, age is included as a determining factor for many of these calculations.
Calculating Wrongful Death Damages For A Child
When a minor (under 18) child dies, typically the only family members who can seek damages in a wrongful death suit are the mother, legal or acknowledged father, and adoptive parents. If you care for a child but he or she is not considered legally to be your child, it is typically extremely difficult to claim any wrongful death damages.
Typically wrongful death damages for children are simply calculated based on your loss of companionship, and in Illinois this also extends to viable unborn children and stillbirth children. However, if the child was an adult, or was contributing monetarily to the home, these circumstances are also considered by the court. However, If your adult child was married, this may make matters more difficult for the parents to receive damages.
The best way to judge the possible damages for your wrongful death case after losing an elderly family member or child is to consult an attorney. Our wrongful death lawyers have experience handling complex cases, and can help talk through the process and possibilities for your family. Call 312-445-9034 or 888-837-3275 toll free today to schedule a free consultation.