The complications of wrongful death actions, pt. 2

Wrongful death actions are complicated. You are barred from collecting certain damages or suing for particular harms. All of these restrictions amount to a unique style of litigation for which most people are not prepared. As discussed in a prior article, these issues make litigating wrongful death actions for children and young people much harder than established adults. This article will address those complications as they apply to the elderly and retired.

It does not seem right that the loss of a grandparent results in lower damages than the death of a middle-aged adult. Unfortunately, the rules that weigh these various factors often mean that the lives of the elderly and retired result in less recoverable damages. As discussed before, the courts essentially try to measure the total potential economic output of a life. The court considers work potential and the ability to bear and care for children.

For most elderly litigants, economic potential is nearly exhausted. Many of them may be retired and therefore no longer producing income. Many are near or passed the ability to bear children. So, as measured by these factors, wrongful death actions on behalf of a retired person do not garner the same amount of damages.

Moreover, because wrongful death actions do not allow litigants to recover emotional or other similar damages, families cannot collect damages for these harms.

If your grandparent or parent was in a fatal accident, then you may want to speak with a lawyer. Wrongful death actions are far more complicated than a run of the mill personal injury lawsuit. You will need an experienced attorney that can not only navigate the legal rules, but also the inevitable high-emotion exchanges.

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T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
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