The average wrongful death settlement is $75,250,000. Although total amounts will vary between cases , average wrongful death settlements usually ranged from $500,000 to $150,000,000 for the US in 2019.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
“Wrongful death” is a type of claim, that can be brought upon when an entity or person wrongfully causes someone’s death. This allows a lawsuit to be filed, although the person who was harmed is no longer alive to file the case. Each state has its individual wrongful death statute, the specifics of the laws vary differently from state to state.
The unforeseen loss of a loved one can be devastating, and in a lot of ways, a loss like this could never be determined monetarily. Nevertheless, specific areas of the law enable families of someone who has been negligently or wrongfully killed to reclaim the equivalent of the “value” of that person’s life. There are a lot of details that go into the calculation of settlements for these types of lawsuits.
Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death case is a lawsuit filed by the surviving family members of a person who has died as the result of the negligence of another person, medical malpractice, accident, injury, or intentional homicide. It is not unusual for families of manslaughter or homicide victims to bring wrongful death lawsuits, that takes place in civil court separate from criminal justice proceedings.
It can be reasonably difficult, and relatively uncomfortable, to determine the economic worth of a lost loved one. On the other hand, many surviving family members and spouses and are left financially helpless after an unexpected death. Many find themselves entirely responsible for funeral costs, medical bills, and in some cases the responsibility of supporting children with the lack of a partner. As a result, some decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit pursuing monetary recovery.
Amount of Recovery in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
It can be tremendously challenging to place a monetary value on human life. For this reason, the amount of recovery for a wrongful death lawsuit includes the balancing of many factors and will likely change depending on the conditions of the case. Applicable factors include the victim’s health and age at the time of death. One other key factor is earning potential, especially if the victim was supporting a spouse or small children. The amount of a settlement will depend on the nature of the accident or injury that caused the death, and if the victim sustained significant medical bills or endured extended suffering before death. Plaintiffs in wrongful death suits can seek to recover economic damages, including like:
- The deceased’s lost income
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Medical bills sustained prior to death
Some types of damages are not closely related to economic issues, and as a result, can be more abstract. Some states also place a ceiling on the amount of possible monetary recovery for these “non-economic” damages, including:
- The family’s loss of love, care and, companionship
- The loss of enjoyment of sexual intimacy between spouses
- The deceased’s pain and suffering before to death
Awarded Wrongful Settlements
There have been some wrongful death settlements and jury awards in the media that reflect how much these settlements can be worth. Some examples include:
A $150 million jury awarded for a 13-year-old girl who saw the death of her entire family in a car accident
Michael Brown’s family, killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, settled their wrongful death lawsuit versus the city for $1.5 million
A $950,000 settlement in San Jose, California, to the parents of a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after being bullied
A Massachusetts jury granted $32.3 million to the family of a woman killed when a vehicle drove into the store where she was working
A $500,000 settlement between Hayward, California, and the family of a man shot by police
Average Wrongful Death Settlement Arizona
$2.75 million settlement: Lawsuit against a town in Arizona for the negligence of one of their drivers resulting in brain damage to a young boy. 2002.
$1.9 million judgment: Medical malpractice where a 60-year-old man was administered an overdose of drugs while at an Arizona hospital. 2009.
Confidential settlement: Against the State of Arizona for a driver injured when his semi-truck went over the side a freeway ramp due to the side walls designed to be too short. 2006.
$2,000,000 settlement: Short-circuit during the install of a mobile CT unit burned hospital employee. 2001.
Wrongful Death Settlements
If you have lost a loved one due to an accident, injury, or crime, you might have a case for a wrongful death lawsuit. Like most other types of lawsuits, wrongful death cases will have statutes of limitations specific to your state, so it’s important to act quickly. Talk with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney today and learn more about your legal rights when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits.
Talk With One Of Our Wrongful Death Lawyers In Mesa, Arizona Today
Our personal injury attorneys will ensure you have the finest comprehensive representation. If you need legal help with wrongful death case, speak with our knowledgable wrongful death attorneys in Mesa today.