How Lost Income Is Determined in a Wrongful Death Case

When a loved one dies, coping with their death emotionally can be extremely challenging. What’s more, if a loved one was a wage owner at the time of death, his or her death can also place a financial burden on surviving family members. In a wrongful death suit for damages, though, surviving family members can seek compensation for the lost income of the deceased. The following provides an overview of how lost income is determined.

Types of Income Recoverable

First, it is important to clarify what type of income is recoverable in a wrongful death suit. Most often, recoverable income includes all lost income from the point of injury or death (the moment when the deceased could not longer work – but this would be pursued as a survival action) as well as lost future income.

It may also incorporate certain benefits, as well as sick leave and vacation pay. As a note, net income may be defined as the gross personal income of the deceased minus any expenses that the dead would have likely incurred over the course of his or her life expectancy.

Formula for Calculating Lost Income Benefits

Courts may use slightly different methods to calculate lost income benefits that are owed to the surviving family member(s) of a deceased person in a wrongful death claim.

Most often though, the things that will be considered include the following listed below.

  • The deceased’s age at the time of death
  • The deceased’s gross income at the time of death
  •  The victim’s average life expectancy had wrongful death not occurred
  • The number of years the victim was expected to remain in the workforce
  • Any estimated increases in a wage that the victim would have obtained had death not resulted

Using the information above, the victim’s earning potential is multiplied by the number of years the victim was estimated to be in the workforce but not for death. In other words, the family members of a deceased person who was determined to make $60,000 per year and work for another 10 years may be entitled to $600,0000 in lost income benefits before the estimated personal expenses of the deceased have been subtracted.

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

Recovering lost income via a wrongful death suit can be incredibly important for a family. To ensure that you recover your full benefits amount, consult with a wrongful death attorney who is committed to represent you. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, you can rest easy knowing our personal injury and wrongful death lawyer is passionate about helping victims, just like you, get the damages they deserve. To schedule a free case consultation, call today at 215-642-2335.