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How families calculate lost wages for wrongful death cases

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2024 | Personal Injury

When someone dies unexpectedly, their surviving family members face numerous significant challenges. They have to plan a memorial service and deal with the other practical needs generated by someone’s death. There could be probate matters to attend to, as well as a challenging process of reallocating household responsibilities among the survivors. Someone’s death usually also has financial implications for the household. The family has to cover burial costs, as well as the invoices for any end-of-life medical care the decedent received. The household may have to accept a lower standard of living due to the loss of a stream of income.

When someone dies, the loss of their income can create numerous financial challenges. Especially if they were the primary wage earner for the family, it may be difficult to maintain the same standard of living. In scenarios where people have the grounds to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit after a tragedy, lost future wages can be among the damages sought.

Income calculations are often complex

Some recoverable losses that people may include in a wrongful death lawsuit are easy to qualify. Someone’s medical care, for example, produces bills from hospitals with a specific amount due. Lost income can be more difficult to accurately value.

Contrary to what people might initially believe, calculating someone’s lost earning potential can be relatively challenging. Simply multiplying the years left until their retirement by their current salary could be insufficient. After all, most people continue to pursue advancement opportunities and seek raises based on their job performance throughout their careers.

Even if someone is not ambitious about developing their career, their employer may offer annual cost-of-living raises. There are also the benefits they secured or would secure in the future through their employment to consider. Employee benefit packages including paid leave, retirement benefits and insurance coverage can substantially increase the value of someone’s compensation package. Families have to consider not just someone’s current wages and benefits but what they could have likely been eligible for if they continued developing their career as they wished to do.

Having an accurate estimate of someone’s future wages can make it easier for families to pursue justice in an Oklahoma wrongful death lawsuit. Seeking legal guidance can be helpful in this regard.

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