The death of a loved one is a difficult event to cope with, no matter a person’s age. When a family member is taken away far too soon, this tragedy can cause many questions regarding why it happened, how it happened and who is responsible. Thus, following a fatal accident, family members of the deceased should take the time to explore their options, as there may be legal recourses available.
When an adult is wrongfully killed in an accident, assessing the damages suffered by surviving loved ones can be fairly straightforward. This amount is usually based on their age, quality of life, future earnings and loss of companionship. However, when a young child or an elderly person is tragically killed in a fatal accident, it can be more challenging to assess the damages.
When a child is lost in a fatal accident, the monetary recovery is based solely on the financial losses caused by the accident. This is determined by their age, life expectancy, state of health, earning potential, the relationship of the decedent seeking pecuniary loss and the health and age of the person seeking this loss. Much of this is speculation and, the younger the child is, the harder it is to make an assessment of the financial losses.
Additionally, when an elderly loved one is killed in an accident, there is limited financial recovery in these matters as well. This is often due to the fact that they are likely past retirement age and no longer have significant earning potential. Also, they are less likely to have children that require care and nurturing. This can often lead to the undervaluing of the losses suffered in these matters.
A wrongful death action could be very helpful for surviving family members. Nonetheless, it can become a complex process to navigate and move forward. Therefore, it is important to become knowledgeable of one’s options, as the ability to recover damages is based on the circumstances surrounding the fatal incident. A legal professional can help guide one through the process, as it is already an emotional and challenging time.