When you lose a loved one, it’s difficult to determine how much you should expect from a settlement.
It’s impossible to put a true price on a life, yet so many places tell you to expect a certain settlement amount based on other cases.
However, even if you know the average wrongful death settlement in California, it doesn’t necessarily apply to your situation. Here’s everything you need to know about settlements and how they’re calculated.
How Much Is a CA Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth?
The value of a wrongful death settlement in a California lawsuit depends on the unique circumstances of the case. If you find a website claiming to know the average wrongful death settlement in California, it’s probably just a guess.
Generally, many settlements remain confidential, which means that the amount isn’t published. This means that the averages you see online are only based on public settlements, which can be misleading.
Potential Damages for Wrongful Death Settlements in California
The average wrongful death settlement in California typically includes two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Each type plays a significant role in the overall settlement, but they refer to different losses.
Economic damages are the direct financial losses that the family incurs due to the death of their loved one.
When it comes to wrongful death, there are several losses that fit under this category, including but not limited to:
- Funeral or burial costs;
- Loss of financial support from the decedent;
- Loss of gifts or benefits from the decedent; and
- The value of lost household assistance from the decedent.
Compared to routine personal injury cases, these losses might be a bit more difficult to calculate because you are projecting amounts of financial and other support into the future.
For example, if your loved one helped by fixing household appliances, you may not know what that service is worth on a yearly basis. An attorney can help you quantify such losses.
Non-economic damages, unlike the previous type, refer to intangible losses. In other words, these losses don’t have a direct financial impact, but they may take an emotional or mental toll on survivors.
These damages may include:
- Loss of love, companionship, and care;
- Loss of consortium or intimacy (for spouses), and
- Loss of parental guidance (for children).
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
There are a few different ways to receive a wrongful death settlement. The most popular options are lump sum payments or structured settlements.
Each option has its pros and cons depending on the situation. With a lump sum, the insurance company pays the entire settlement upfront in the form of a check.
With structured settlements, the insurance company pays your settlement over time. This may be in several increments over the course of a few weeks, months, or years.
While this option helps address your long-term needs, keep in mind that you can’t change the terms of a structured settlement agreement after it’s finalized.
Have More Questions About Wrongful Death? We’re Here to Help
If you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, you don’t have to go through it alone. At Weinberg Law Offices, we always put our clients first and advocate for their wellbeing.
Disclaimer: This content should not be construed as legal advice.