Dealing with and understanding the death of a loved one is difficult no matter what the situation. When their death is from an injury or illness caused by another, that process can be even harder.
A lot goes into figuring out the amount of damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death case. It can be a complex calculation and fighting for the right amount can become a lengthy process.
Here is what you need to know about measuring wrongful death damages in Minnesota.
Medical and funeral expenses
Perhaps the simplest types of damages to calculate in a wrongful death case are those related to your loved one's medical care and funeral expenses. While you may be looking at bills from a lot of different places, these are amounts that are already calculated that will be added to the total amount in damages.
Loss of companionship and contribution damages
In Minnesota, wrongful death damages are available for family members who have suffered a pecuniary loss. A significant part of calculating that loss is by looking at all the ways your loved one contributed to your life together.
Losing a loved one can make a catastrophic impact on your life. Not only were they a companion, they were a support that was there for many of the details of your life. And that support can be tough to put a number on.
When it is time to try to put an amount on all those losses, there can be a lot of factors, including:
Past financial contributions. It will be important to look at how much your loved one earned and added to paying for your daily life together.
Life expectancy at the time of death. You know better than most that life can be unpredictable. This is a calculation of what a reasonable expectation would have been for your loved one had the illness or injury not happened.
Occupation. Was your loved one at the beginning of his or her career? Was he or she getting close to retirement? These are just some of the questions that will help determine what was a reasonable expectation for your loved one's future.
Companionship. Your loved one was there for you in more ways than just financial. There was guidance, comfort and companionship along the way. Your loved one also might have supported you by helping with other tasks in your life. These are all contributions to consider when calculating wrongful death damages.