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How Much Is a Life Worth in California?

Torem & Associates

Could you place a value on your life or the life of a loved one? In a wrongful death claim, which is what a plaintiff is asking a jury to do. The family of the deceased person is asking a jury to award an amount to compensate the family for the loss of their loved one. In other words, to place a value on a person’s life.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims can arise from a variety of situations or events. A wrongful death is caused when another person or party commits a wrongful act that results in the death of another person. In some cases, such as an assault, the wrongful act may be intentional. In other cases, the wrongful act may be negligent, as in the case of a speeding driving.

Some of the events that can lead to a wrongful death claim include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents, including car, commercial truck, and motorcycle crashes
  • Defective products (product liability claims)
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slips and falls (premises liability claims)
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Dangerous drugs and defective medical devices
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Workplace accidents and injuries

If you believe the death of your loved one was caused by a wrongful act, call our law firm to speak with a California wrongful death attorney at no cost to you.

Calculating the Value of a Life

After proving that a person or party is responsible for the wrongful death of another person, we come back to calculating the value of a life. Is the value of a life equal to the money that a person would have earned over a lifetime? While financial contributions to the family can be a significant portion of the value of a wrongful death claim, it is not the only factor.

Intangible loss is also a factor in determining the value of a wrongful death claim. Calculating the economic loss involves hiring an expert to calculate the amount of money earned over a lifetime based on education, age, economic shifts, and employment. However, intangible loss is much more difficult to determine. Intangible loss includes all the missed live events such as graduations and weddings. It also includes the loss of love, support, companionship, and counsel. How do you place a value on these losses?

It can be very difficult for a jury to calculate the value of a wrongful death claim once the jury determines that the defendant is liable for the death. An experienced wrongful death lawyer understands how to present evidence and testimony in a manner that highlights the overwhelming loss the family has experienced because of the wrongful death of their loved one. The years that have been stolen from the family, the experiences missed, and the love they will miss because of the premature death of their loved one caused by the negligence of another person.

Call a Fresno Wrongful Death Attorney for More Information

If your loved one was taken from you because of the reckless or negligent acts of another party, we want to help. Call the California wrongful death lawyers of the Torem & Associates for a free consultation.

Call (888) 500-5000 or use the contact form on our website to request more information or schedule an appointment.


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