Wrongful Death Damages and Loss of Benefits
The untimely loss of a loved one can leave families grief-stricken and struggling financially to make ends meet. While a wrongful death claim can in no way replace the love and companionship the deceased once provided, it can help to ease the family’s financial burden. At Gary A. Zucker & Associates in Brooklyn, NY, our attorneys can provide the strong, yet compassionate legal representation to recover wrongful death damages and loss of benefits.
In a wrongful death claim, surviving family members or beneficiaries are typically entitled to compensation for damages and loss of benefits. Beneficiaries usually include spouses, children, or parents, depending on the deceased’s age and role within the family.
In general, damages in a wrongful death claim include compensation for any medical expenses as well as funeral expenses, which may include the costs of burial or cremation, a tombstone, and more. In addition, damages also include the deceased’s lost wages. Calculating a loss of wages can be incredibly complex, which is why we consult with financial experts to assist in this matter.
To determine damages for lost wages, we must look at the deceased’s earning capacity. This includes not only what he or she was making at the time, but also the potential to earn more based on education, career, and other factors. We must also look at the deceased’s life expectancy. In general, we can expect a person who eats healthy and exercises regularly to live longer than a non-active smoker, for example. All these factors are considered when calculating loss of income.
Depending on the surviving family members, this income may be divided between several parties. If, for example, a man is wrongfully killed and he leaves behind a wife and two children, that lost income must be divided appropriately between those three beneficiaries. We must factor in the level of support he provided each beneficiary, and for minor children, we must look at how much longer he would have supported them financially.
Loss of Benefits
Surviving family members suffer losses far greater than the financial damages above. One of the primary benefits lost are the services and support the deceased provided. In the same family of four in the above example, in addition to the financial support, the deceased may have also provided other services, such as lawn care and home repairs. Now, the spouse is left to either perform all those services, or pay to have someone else to do it, furthering the financial burden.
The children may have also lost the guidance a parent can provide. Perhaps the parent helped with homework or acted as their little league coach. All these benefits must be taken into consideration and compensated for following the wrongful death of a loved one. At Gary A. Zucker & Associates, we understand that no amount of financial compensation can make up for the losses you have suffered, but we will ensure you are fairly compensated anyway.
Meet with an Attorney
If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions, contact our law firm to schedule a consultation.