This is an extremely complicated task. These calculations include not only income and benefits earned outside the home, but also the value of the services and car provided in house, such as child care, cooking, laundry, maintenance, shopping, house cleaning, medical care, education and transportation (just to name a few).
It is common for the parties to use expert witnesses, such as actuaries and economists. These people give their opinions on the proper amount of damages.
The damages available in wrongful death lawsuits, again, vary. This depends on state laws.
Many states limit the amount and type of damages – especially in medical malpractice claims.
Non-economic damages are also huge. Even though they are not tangible, these damages actually have more value than economic damages.
- loss of consortium from a deceased spouse
- loss of the care, protection, guidance, advice, training, and nurturing from the deceased
- damages for the survivors' mental anguish or pain and suffering
- loss of love, society, and companionship from the deceased
To better understand legal terms that are difficult to comprehend, order your own free copy of "Wrongful Death in Washington State," written by Seattle wrongful death attorney Christopher M. Davis at Davis Law Group.