Matters Related to Wrongful Death Claims
A carrier looks at the earnings history and possible future revenues that would have been earned had the person not passed on. Wager earners with a clear history of salary increases and promotions in a legitimate industry do not usually present problems.
Proof in the form of testimony from superiors about factors that would likely have contributed to increased income is usually sufficient. With sporadic work histories, however, problems may be present. Trade unions could be called in to help overcome any questions. The unions may note hiring trends, frequency or work, and common earning potential. Vocational specialists are frequently called in to offer similar information for recent graduates without established careers.
Although not insignificant, funeral expenses are somewhat minor in comparison to a loss of earnings and other fiscal factors.
Loss of Consortium
Beyond loss of earnings, this element presents the largest single component for damages in a wrongful death case. Loss of consortium focuses on the establishment of the value of loss of companionship, affection, and the like.
Nationality of the Deceased
Resident alien cases are evaluated in the same way as citizens. With nonresident aliens, the matters become much more complicated. An insurance carrier will base all evaluations on wrongful death statutes of the alien’s country of residence and citizenship.
As would be the case in all other forms of injury, the carrier looks over the case on the basis of the projected losses of the survivors. The value is then discounted by the carrier based upon opinions regarding the liability against the insured parties.
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