What is the Average Wrongful Death Settlement?

  • Average Wrongful Death Settlement Amounts: The average wrongful death settlement varies widely and is largely influenced by specifics of each unique case. It can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars.
  • Factors influencing settlement: Settlement amounts are largely influenced by factors such as economic damages (financial losses due to the incident), non-economic damages (intangible losses like pain and suffering), punitive damages (court-ordered penalties to punish misconduct), and local negligence laws.
  • Handling a wrongful death settlement: Handling a wrongful death settlement wisely is vital for long-term benefit; this could include paying off expenses, consulting a financial advisor, investing in a trust, developing an estate plan and being aware of potential scams or fraud.
  • Why Choose Meirowitz & Wasserberg: The law firm Meirowitz & Wasserberg has successfully delivered over $360 million in settlements to clients for wrongful death cases. It is recommended to seek guidance from an experienced wrongful death lawyer to ensure a fair compensation, as the insurers of at-fault parties often try to settle for less.

After losing a loved one due to another’s carelessness, filing a lawsuit might not be your first thought. However, pursuing compensation to offset related costs through a lawsuit can be a viable avenue. The average wrongful death settlement varies from one case to the next, ranging from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. Our knowledgeable wrongful death lawyers at Meirowitz & Wasserberg can help you determine a fair amount based on the circumstances of your case. 

If you’ve lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit can be an option to help you hold them accountable and pursue compensation to offset related costs. However, these cases are often complex due to varying state laws, combative defendants, and unscrupulous insurance tactics designed to minimize payouts. This is where a skilled lawyer comes in. 

It is impossible to reduce life to a monetary value. That said, our experienced wrongful death lawyers at Meirowitz & Wasserberg can help you determine a fair and meaningful amount to pursue based on the circumstances of your case. Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation

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Average Wrongful Death Settlement Amounts

Wrongful death settlement averages are difficult to calculate. This is because settlements vary widely based on factors specific to each case, ranging widely from tens of thousands to multiple millions of dollars. Every case is unique due to varying circumstances, from the incident that caused the death to the losses suffered as a result. A skilled wrongful death lawyer can help you determine a fair amount based on factors specific to your case. 

Key Components of Wrongful Death Compensation

Numerous factors contribute to the amount of compensation surviving family members can pursue in a wrongful death claim, including:

Economic Damages

Economic damages cover the monetary impact of your loved one’s death. To calculate these damages, your lawyer will evaluate all financial losses resulting from your case, including medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of financial support. The combination of these amounts will determine the economic damages you may pursue. 

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages cover the more intangible aspects of your loss. Because of their subjective nature, non-economic damages can be difficult to calculate. However, they may include things like loss of consortium, pain and suffering of the decedent, and emotional anguish. 

In many cases, juries multiply your economic losses by a factor between 1.5 and 5 to determine a meaningful non-economic damage amount. So, the higher the monetary damages, the higher the non-economic damages. 

Punitive Damages

Many states allow punitive damages in cases involving deliberate or otherwise egregious misconduct. These damages, sometimes known as exemplary damages, vary in amount and are only awarded in cases wherein the plaintiff can provide clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s serious misconduct. 

Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages aren’t compensatory. Instead, courts use these damages to punish the defendant for their actions, which adds to the total amount the victim will receive. 

Local Laws

Negligence laws vary from state to state. For example, in states that follow contributory negligence laws, the amount you can recover in a wrongful death claim may drop if the courts determine the decedent was partially at fault for the accident causing their death.

For example, suppose a car accident occurs due to failure to yield, resulting in a tragic death. If the jurisdiction follows the doctrine of contributory negligence and finds the deceased to be 40 percent at fault for the accident, compensation available through a wrongful earth lawsuit would change accordingly. If the original claim value was $1 million, available compensation would drop to $600,000 due to the victim’s role in the accident.  

Financial Considerations and Settlement Management

Receiving settlement money after losing a loved one can relieve a significant financial burden. However, it’s essential to proceed wisely to ensure long-term benefits. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your settlement:

  • Pay off medical and funeral expenses – Before anything else, pay off any outstanding medical and funeral bills. These expenses can add up quickly and create a significant financial burden, so it’s essential to address them first. 
  • Talk to a finance professional – A financial advisor’s assistance can be a valuable resource to help you manage your settlement money and craft a long-term financial plan. They can recommend strategies and investments based on your current financial situation and long-term goals. 
  • Consider investing in a trust – A trust can provide long-term financial security by managing and distributing settlement funds over time. It may also offer tax benefits and protect the funds from creditors.
  • Develop a comprehensive estate plan – An estate plan can help ensure that your loved ones are cared for after you’re gone. It can also help you manage your settlement funds by outlining how they should be distributed and ensuring that your wishes are carried out.
  • Be cautious of scams and fraud – Unfortunately, some scammers and fraudsters prey on vulnerable individuals who have recently received a settlement. Be cautious of unsolicited investment opportunities, and always do your research before investing your funds.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Our compassionate team of attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg have handled numerous wrongful death cases. We understand the intricacies of these cases and the heartwrenching nature of losing a loved one. Our attorneys strive to provide empathetic assistance to guide our clients through these cases. 

Over the years, we have developed a deep understanding of how to handle wrongful death cases. We apply our extensive knowledge, ample resources, and tireless work ethic in every case, fighting to secure the best possible outcome for every client. We’ve secured over $360 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients.

Our track record of success speaks for itself. We are ready to help you fight to secure the compensation you and your family deserve. 

Talk to an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you’ve lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, seeking knowledgeable legal guidance is essential, as insurers of at-fault parties often attempt to settle for unfairly low amounts. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers at Meirowitz & Wasserberg are familiar with these tactics and can help you fight to receive full and fair compensation. 

Don’t hesitate to contact our team for professional advice and personalized guidance with your case. Contact us at (212) 897-1988 or fill out our online contact form to get started with a free consultation today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Most You Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

The maximum amount you can sue for in a wrongful death claim varies from state to state. Some states set caps on certain types of damages, such as non-economic damages, in wrongful death claims. Your lawyer can help determine the maximum amount you may pursue. 

What is the Burden of Proof for Wrongful Death?

As in other civil cases, plaintiffs in wrongful death cases must prove their claim by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant was more likely than not responsible for the death of their loved one. Our attorneys can help you gather the evidence necessary to meet this burden. 

Is the Money Received From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Taxable?

According to the IRS, economic and non-economic damages from a wrongful death lawsuit are non-taxable. However, punitive damages may be taxable depending on the state you live in. 

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for filing your case, varies from state to state. For example, the New York statute of limitations is just two years from the date of the death. This time constraint underscores the importance of seeking help from a skilled wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.