How Does an Insurance Company Value Wrongful Death Claims?

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If you’ve lost a loved one due to an accident that was not their fault, a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer can help you determine whether you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim on their behalf. When someone dies due to the fault of another person or entity (like a car manufacturer or business), certain survivors may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In California, not everyone can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one, but you can get an idea of who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit here. A good next step is understanding how insurance companies evaluate these claims.

Who’s at Fault?
When evaluating a wrongful death claim in California, an insurance adjuster looks at whether their insured (the person or entity that caused your loved one’s death) bears any legal responsibility for the accident. Wrongful death claims might be filed after an auto accident, defective product death, fatal pharmaceutical injury, medical malpractice, or any number of instances in which the conduct of another person, business, or product caused the death. Adjusters will also look at whether the victim, your loved one, may have in any way contributed to the accident and whether the person at fault acted unreasonably or recklessly.

Factors Considered When Determining Financial Compensation
Insurance adjusters are tasked with doing what seems heartless and impossible: calculating the total value of your loved one’s life. When determining the financial loss associated with the victim’s death, they might consider:

  • Potential lost wages;
  • Medical bills incurred as a result of the accident;
  • Funeral and burial expenses; and
  • Loss of services and companionship sustained by loved ones.

This list is not exhaustive. You might be able to recover additional compensation in the firm of punitive damages, depending on the specifics of your loved one’s death. For more information, and to discuss other unique factors that may impact the valuation of a wrongful death claim for your situation, contact the experienced trial lawyers at BIKLAW today.

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