Calculating the Value of a Life in the State of California
In a wrongful death case, California courts are charged with a serious duty. The value of the loss needs to be calculated to compensate a grieving family adequately. While the loss of a loved one in a tragic accident cannot be calculated with any formula, there are several things that go into determining the amount of compensation a family will receive. We’re going to look at the four primary losses that make up wrongful death compensation.
What Financial Elements Comprise a Wrongful Death Case?
When compensation is determined, all amounts are calculated at present values and not estimations of future market values. Here are four losses that are calculated:
- Expenses connected with the funeral and burial.
- The individual’s contribution to household income. This includes all the money the individual would have made during the rest of his or her life in support of the family. It also includes retirement plans, investments, and any other form of income.
- If the individual would have made monetary gifts to certain family members, this is also calculated. For example, if a parent had been setting aside savings for a child’s college tuition, this amount is included.
- The services the family member provided to the household at no charge must also be calculated. For example, if a grown son took care of his mother’s yard every weekend, the cost of ongoing lawn service would have to be compensated for.
Additional Elements in Compensation Calculation
Of course, many elements of a loss are more emotional than financial. As a result, compensation may be provided in the following areas:
- Loss of love, companionship, protection, etc.
- Loss of sexual relations for the decedent’s partner
- Loss of guidance and training for those being raised by the decedent
Obviously, these elements cannot be calculated in the same way as financial losses. As a result, evidence needs to be presented showing the decedent to be loving. This may include testimony from family members, photos, videos, and so on to show that the individual was present in the lives of those seeking compensation.
If You Have Lost a Loved One
If you believe you may have a wrongful death case on your hands, contact Petrov Law Firm right away by dialing 619-344-0360. Our empathetic attorneys will help you to receive the full compensation you deserve for your tragic loss.