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How do you calculate lost income in a wrongful death lawsuit?

by | Dec 21, 2021 | Personal Injury

Losing a loved one leads to both practical and personal losses. Your family will likely never be the same, and you will need months, if not years, to grieve. The practical concerns that begin cropping up when someone dies won’t give you space to properly mourn. You will likely feel the financial pressure of your family’s reduced income right away.

Wrongful death lawsuits let surviving family members recover some of those losses. Filing a claim requires that you first quantify the financial impact of your loved one’s death. You typically need to quantify those losses to make a successful wrongful death claim in civil court. You can also claim medical expenses and funeral costs.

It might also be possible to seek reimbursement for income that your loved one will not earn now because of their death. How do you quantify future income that your loved one may have earned?

Look at their current income and their career trajectory

You don’t just want to multiply someone’s current income by the number of years before they can retire. Although that does give you a rough estimate of what they could have earned, it is likely to be far too low.

You also have to think about other factors, like cost-of-living wage increases or possible future promotions. There is also the financial value of benefits to consider, which could easily add five figures to someone’s income every year. The claim that you make will be about not just your loved one’s current income. Your claim is also about their potential income and what they could have done to support your family if they hadn’t lost their life in a tragic situation.

Being realistic as you quantify the financial impact of your loss can help you seek appropriate compensation if you pursue a wrongful death claim.