Setting a price tag on a human life sounds horrible but that is essentially what a wrongful death case does. The value of a wrongful death case varies significantly from case to case. No two cases are identical even though the parties or the causes of death may be similar.
This is because the value of a wrongful death case is determined by specific factors. One of the most significant factors is the deceased person's earning potential, among other things.
Some of the complications in setting the price that a party that killed your loved one must pay are measuring the future earning capacity of someone who may not have been old enough to work ( a child), or was too old to work (an elderly person). This is because there is no exact measure of what the earning power of these types of people is.
On the other hand, determining the earning power of an adult who was working is a little easier to compute, but doesn't make the task easy since every human life is precious.
Courts and juries determine the value of a wrongful death case by:
- Manner in which the death occurred
- Pre-death pain and suffering
- Life expectancy
- Earning capacity
- loss of deceased person's income
- value of services the deceased person would have provided
- State of health
- Potential childrearing services, loss of love, loss of nurturing, and loss of companionship from a relationship