We’ve talked about wrongful death lawsuits on this blog before, but usually in the context of a working adult being killed due to the negligence of another. While this is frequently the case for New Mexican families, sometimes wrongful death strikes the most vulnerable amongst us, namely children and the elderly. Even though these individuals may not be working and earning a wage at the time of their passing, their families may still be able to recover damages if they succeed on a wrongful death lawsuit.
Of course, putting a price on a human life is impossible. However, when that individual was working at the time of his or her death, then calculating financial damages can be relatively straightforward. The loss of these individuals can cause additional losses, too, though, such as a parent’s guidance. When a child dies as a result of negligence, his or her parents will be limited to recovering financial losses. This may include the child’s earning potential, medical expenses, and funeral costs.
Calculating these damages is challenging. How can one determine the earning potential of, say, a 10 year old? Since this is very difficult to do, parties to a wrongful death lawsuit are given a lot of leeway to present evidence that supports the extent of damages they believe have been suffered. While this battle can be highly contentious in the case of a child dying at the hands of negligence, it may not be in the case of an elderly individual. Why? Simply put, these individuals are often seen as being beyond their earning years, and they are often considered too old to provide guidance to their adult children. This often leads them to being undervalued in these cases. This, however, does not mean that one cannot make a strong case for significant damages.
Regardless of the situation surrounding a wrongful death, surviving family members are likely to face significant emotional and financial hardship. Although this can be challenging to overcome, they may be able to recover compensation for their damages. To learn more about how to build a strong wrongful death case, these families can speak to a skilled legal team experienced in this area of the law.