Chanfrau & Chanfrau

How Damages in Wrongful Death Cases Address Loss of Income

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on March 15, 2017

A statue of lady justice in an officeThe Daytona Beach attorneys of Chanfrau & Chanfrau fight for their clients and their loved ones. We know just how stressful the litigation process can be, which is why we work diligently and closely with those who come to our office.

When pursuing a wrongful death case against a negligent party, damages are sought as a legal monetary award. Sometimes damages will cover the lost future earning of the deceased loved one. Let's consider how this works and why this is such an important part of wrongful death lawsuits.

Understanding Compensatory Damages

There are two kinds of damages that are sought in civil cases: Compensatory damages and punitive damages.

  • Punitive Damages - Punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party in a case for the egregiousness of their actions.

  • Compensatory Damages - Compensatory damages are intended to cover material losses related to an accident or injury that occurred.

With regard to lost future earnings, these are covered by compensatory damages.

Why Lost Wages and Income Matter

After the loss of a loved one, the emotional strain can be immense. The financial burdens of funerary costs and any emergency services prior to death can be astronomical. Yet these losses do not take into account earning lost in the future.

If your loved one was a breadwinner in the household and/or had a promising career ahead of them, their death means other major hardships to deal with in the years ahead. The loss of an income means greater difficulties paying rent or a mortgage, raising a child, paying tuition, and so forth. Rather than sharing these challenges with someone you love, the loss of that loved one means another set of struggles you will have to contend with on your own.

Compensatory damages will calculate future earnings into the amount sought. This covers the challenges ahead as well as those present in the here and now.

Calculating Lost Future Earnings

Calculating future earnings is relatively straightforward. An estimate can be made based on annual wages, pay stubs, and potential career trajectory. By noting the average income in certain occupations for certain types of labor, a fair amount can be determine as part of the awarded damages.

Other Matters Covered by Compensatory Damages

Other matters that are covered by compensatory damages include medical bills, damage to property, diminished earning capacity, the need for psychological counseling and therapy, and so on. These costs can be considerable, and immediate needs may wind up costing more given the nature of the struggles you face and the emotional toil you're going through.

How Our Lawyers Can Help

Wrongful death cases can be emotionally demanding. The last thing you may feel like doing is filing paperwork and trying to navigate the complexities of Florida law. By working with an experienced wrongful death attorney, these pressure are taken off your shoulders. You and your loved ones can focus on grieving and moving forward while your lawyer offers sound advice throughout the legal process. We are here to help you in your time of legal need.

Discuss Wrongful Death Cases with Our Attorneys

For more information about damages in wrongful death cases and how our legal team can help you, be sure to contact our team of attorneys today. The lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau will work with you in your time of legal need.

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