In a wrongful death claim, anticipated future income, potential inheritance lost, medical costs incurred by the family before the victim’s death, and funeral costs incurred are crucial in determining the pecuniary loss of a decedent. For starters, pecuniary loss refers to a loss of a financial, economic, or material nature. Non-economic losses or “intangible losses” like loss of companionship, pain, and suffering, are called non-pecuniary losses.
Calculating Pecuniary Loss
Anticipated Future Income
The amount of Pecuniary loss generally depends on the decedent’s estimated life expectancy. Life expectancy is compared with the decedent’s age at death (usually using actuarial tables), and the difference is the number of years of future loss. Estimating what the decedent would have earned and spent over that time and subtracting this from any income or expenses of surviving family members help calculate the loss in earnings and expenses.
In Las Vegas, determining the value of anticipated future income requires input from an economist, accountant, forensic actuary, and a personal injury lawyer. If the decedent was unemployed at the time of death, the income that he or she would have earned in a future career forms part of this calculation.
Potential Inheritance Lost
Suppose the decedent died intestate or without a will. In that case, the survivors of the deceased are entitled to the inheritance they’d get from the deceased, which is generally awarded in a probate court proceeding. The decedent’s estate is also eligible for compensation for its loss, and this value must ultimately include the cost of probating the estate.
Medical and Burial Costs Incurred by the Family
Family members regularly incur significant medical expenses on their decedent’s behalf. These costs include hospitalization and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) expenses, emergency room fees, nursing home care, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment like wheelchairs and walkers, and home health care devices.
Burial expenses awarded to families often include transportation of the body, funeral costs, including a casket and funeral services, and burial plot costs. Other burial costs include cemetery costs, motor vehicle permits, and obituary notices.
Getting Legal Support
A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer who knows the Nevada civil justice system can take a family member through the entire wrongful death claim process, protecting his or her rights. The attorney can employ aggressive negotiation methods to guarantee a full and reasonable outcome for the family member’s wrongful death claim or lawsuit.