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Estimating wages can be a challenge in a wrongful death lawsuit

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | Wrongful Death

There are dual objectives in the average Virginia wrongful death claim. Obviously, there is a desire to recoup the financial losses incurred because of someone’s untimely passing. Additionally, there is a need for justice. The financial justice provided by making an individual or business compensate the estate of the deceased for the full financial impact of their untimely passing is often the only official form of closure available to grieving families.

In order to more thoroughly defray the expenses occurred by the surviving family members and to maximize the consequences for the party responsible for the tragedy, those pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia need to very carefully determine what the full financial impact that someone’s passing will be. Lost future wages are often a key component of wrongful death claims. How do families determine someone’s future wages?

Earning potential is about more than current wages

What someone may have brought home for the family may very well have increased as years passed if they had survived. They may have moved into management, completed a degree or otherwise developed their career.

Years of experience may lead to someone commanding far more in the final years of their career than they did in their youth. Families therefore have to look at the lifetime earnings of people in the same profession, not just the wages that someone earned prior to their passing.

Employment benefits are another important consideration, as coverage for healthcare and disability benefits, as well as paid time off, can all be worth thousands of dollars beyond someone’s base pay. Years of lost benefits can add up to thousands of dollars that the family could have received if someone continued their career.

Complicated claims often require professional support

Pursuing a wrongful death claim in Virginia means proving not just how the wrongful acts, negligence or defaults of the other party caused the family’s loss but also validating what the untimely death of one person cost the family.

Those who have the right support and guidance throughout the claims process will have a better chance of success and of maximizing what compensation the courts award. Calculating the true financial impact of losing a loved one is an important part of most Virginia wrongful death claims.