DC Wrongful Death Damages

DC wrongful death damages can be difficult to calculate. Physical bills, which are medical bills and funeral bills, are an important way damages are calculated.

The other element of damages is the economic damage which is the loss of income, and the loss of income is determined by two factors: how long the person would be expected to live and how much money they are making. For example, if someone is expected to work another 15 years and they are going to make $50,000, then that will be $750,000, but it is reduced to present value. The other thing is the economic value of the services provided by the person to their dependent.

If a person has young children and they provide guidance, the value must be economic to receive damages. Thus, a person cannot recover for grieve or sorrow but they can recover for the value of the loss of guidance. It can be a confusing process, so contact a professional DC wrongful death attorney for more information.

Who Can File for Damages

The statute allows the spouse, the children, and the parents or the siblings to file for recovering damages during a DC wrongful death case. If the person allows a representative in their will, then that representative can also file. The most common types of damages are funeral bills, medical bills, loss of income, and loss of value of services.

Role of Economic Damages in DC Wrongful Death Action

The role of economic damages is that usually the highest measure of damage. A person is entitled to recover for the economic loss suffered as the result of the wrongful death which means that the medical bills, the funeral bills, the lost wages, the present value and the future lost wages as well as the value of the services that were provided by the individual.

Recoverable Damages

The following is a list of recoverable damages in different areas of damage.

  • Grief: There is no value to grief under the DC wrongful death statute
  • Loss of love and affection: There is no value to loss of love and affection. The value would be considered the economic value of the loss of service instead. Guidance to minor children, for example, would be recoverable
  • Loss of companionship: The recoverable damage comes from the economic value of the service provider.
  • Loss of society: If there is economic value of a loss of society, a person can recover damages, but they cannot for emotional loss, unfortunately.

How an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

The best way to calculate DC wrongful death damages is to have an expert calculate the economic value of the services provided by an individual which helps increase the value of a case. For example, a person can get damages under the statute that shows that a decedent took care of their children on their day-off, prepared meals, took their children to the doctor, to sporting events, performed home repair, grocery shopping, and other activities. A person cannot quantify that with mathematical precision, but there is a value to that and an experienced lawyer knows how to draw that evidence.