A Washington wrongful death attorney reviews how expert witnesses such as economists or actuaries calculate damages in wrongful death lawsuits.

The Worth of a Life: Calculating Wrongful Death Damages

Andrew Kim
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Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Wrongful Death and Catastrofic Injuries Attorney

Anyone who has lost a loved one understands that it is utterly impossible to replace that person—and utterly impossible to make the person’s absence any less painful through compensation. However, collecting damages through a Washington wrongful death claim can help your family survive that financial hardship created through your loss and make certain that the negligent party takes responsibility for the incident. But how can we possibly calculate the monetary worth of a lost life?


The use of expert witnesses


To accurately calculate wrongful death damages, attorneys often ask for assistance from someone with the knowledge and ability to understand the economic losses of a family member, such as an economist or an actuary. These experts will ask the following questions when calculating damages:

  • What would the family’s life be like financially had the person survived?
  • What did the death of the family member cost the family monetarily?
  • What money will no longer be earned by the lost family member?
  • What benefits will the family no longer enjoy because of the loss of the family member?
  • What services did the family member provide that must now be provided by someone else?


These experts will take these issues to add together losses before the trial, as well as projected future losses—while also including factors such as interest, inflation, taxes, personal maintenance, and probable wage growth. Losses often include medical expenses before the person’s death, burial expenses, loss of future wages, loss of fringe benefits, and loss of household services. You may also ask for the negligent party to cover court fees and other costs.


Washington wrongful death attorney


When filing a wrongful death case in Washington State, it is vital that you correctly calculate the damages that you are seeking so that you receive a fair settlement and do not find yourself financially strapped in the future because of your loved one’s loss. At the Andrew Kim Law Firm, we will make certain that your wrongful death case is calculated correctly and that you fight for a just amount. To learn more about your case, including possible compensation, schedule a free Seattle wrongful death attorney consultation today by calling 800.636.3676.