Wrongful Death Damages for Lost Financial Support
Dec 31, 2019 - Wrongful Death
The loss of a loved one in an accident can be extremely damaging, and in a multitude of different ways. Besides the emotional harm caused by the death, family members and other dependents may struggle due to the loss of significant financial support once provided by the deceased.
For example, in the wake of an accident that causes the death of your spouse, you may lose access to significant financial resources (i.e., their salary) that was used to cover a range of expenses, such as food and rent.
In Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, wrongful death plaintiffs have a right to sue and recover against the liable defendant (whose negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct caused the death at-issue) for damages that they suffer as direct result of their loved one’s death. This may include damages that account for the loss of financial support. Damages available to the wrongful death plaintiff can vary quite significantly from case-to-case, depending on the nature of the relationship between the plaintiff and the deceased. Let our Stroudsburg wrongful death lawyer help you with your case.
Understanding the Loss of Financial Support
Calculating the loss of financial support may seem straightforward, but the plaintiff must introduce evidence of consistent support over a specific period of time in order to secure damages for financial support. “One-off” payments or gifts may not be sufficient to prove financial support.
For example, if your uncle gave you two major and unexpected gifts of $10,000 (over a 12 year period), then you would likely not be able to prove that it was a consistent pattern of behavior that justifies the receipt of financial support damages. On the other hand, if your uncle gave you $10,000 yearly to help you with rent and medical expenses, then that would almost certainly be proof of financial support sufficient to justify the receipt of such damages.
Financial support damages can be difficult to argue, as the defendant can utilize a variety of tactics in order to minimize the damage claim.
Suppose, for example, that your spouse dies in an accident. Your spouse’s salary formed the bulk of their financial support contribution to you and your children. In arguing for the loss of financial support, it makes sense to account for the fact that your spouse would likely increase their salary over the years, due to promotions and raises. The defendant may attempt to argue, however, that your spouse was not a competitive employee, and as such, that there would not have been an increase in salary.
Contact a Stroudsburg Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by the fault of another person or entity in Pennsylvania, then you may not only be overwhelmed by the trauma of their death but may also be feeling the squeeze financially due to the loss of their financial support. It’s important that you get in contact with a qualified lawyer who can advocate persuasively on your behalf.