Life Expectancy and Wrongful Death Claims
Tragically, many accidents result in the victim’s death. When that happens, the surviving spouse or family members may be entitled to lost income and other compensation that the victim would have received had they continued to live. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, calculating the value of your claim can be the most difficult aspect of your wrongful death case. This is one of the reasons why you should not pursue your claim without working with an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
How Life Expectancy is Calculated
Generally speaking, the spouse or surviving children are entitled to receive compensation to cover the financial and emotional support they would have received from the victim in the future. The following factors will be used to determine the life expectancy of the deceased:
- Age. In general, the older the victim, the fewer years they are expected to live. Younger victims with many years of employment left tend to result in larger compensation awards.
- Employment. The type of job held by the victim will also play a role. Some jobs are more dangerous than others. Office workers may be able to remain at work for longer than jobs that are physically demanding such as construction.
- Sex. On average, women live longer than men.
- Health. The victim’s health prior to the accident will also be a factor in determining life expectancy. Victims with chronic illnesses are expected to have shorter lives than victims who were in perfect health.
- Lifestyle, hobbies, and habits. These factors will also be used to determine life expectancy. People who engage in risky activities such as rock climbing will be considered to have lower life expectancies. This is also the case for smokers or people who have a sedentary lifestyle.
It is also important to note that any financial support will be determined in terms of today’s value. In other words, the law will not take into account factors such as cost of living increases, inflation, and other factors. As a result, it is critical that you recover as much compensation as you can because it is likely that it will not fully replace the support you would have received had your loved one been able to continue living.
Life Expectancy Tables
Another source of determining the victim’s life expectancy tables is to refer to the Social Security Administration’s life expectancy tables. These tables can be difficult to decipher and do not include all of the factors mentioned above. An experienced wrongful death attorney will know what evidence you need to establish a reasonable life expectancy so that you can maximize the value of your claim.
Contact Wrongful Death Lawyer Thomas E. Pyles if You Have Lost a Loved One
Ultimately, life expectancy is only one factor among many that will determine what compensation you may be entitled to seek. To discuss your case and the compensation you may be entitled to receive, contact us today by calling 301-705-5006 to schedule a free consultation.