In a wrongful death case, lost wages are going to be a focal point. There will be the obvious medical costs, funeral costs and other types of financial issues that need to be addressed, but much of the proceedings may focus on what that individual was predicted to earn in the future. The family may try to seek compensation for these lost earnings.
This can be a complicated and sometimes problematic process. It’s important to know exactly what options you have, especially if you think that the number being provided isn’t accurate. But there are a lot of factors at play, and it is a lot more difficult to find a definitive total than it is with medical bills and other costs that have a clear paper trail.
How long would the person have worked?
For instance, it is very common for the party’s family to claim they had X amount of years left to work and that they would have made a certain amount of money over those years. But even if the family can show how much the person was earning every year, how do they actually know how long that person would have worked? What if they claim the person had no plans to ever retire, but they were already very near retirement age and realistically might have only worked for a few more years?
Would their wages have changed?
Another thing to consider is whether or not the person’s wages actually would have changed. Their family may try to claim that they would have advanced in their career and gotten raises and promotions, so they should be paid at an even higher rate than what they were earning when they passed away. But is that a realistic scenario, or is it more likely that they would have made exactly what they were earning for the foreseeable future?
Arriving at a total
These are just a few of the things you have to consider in a case like this, but you can see how complicated it can be to arrive at an accurate total. You must know about all of the defense options you have to ensure things are awarded properly.