Wrongful Death Lawsuit and the Age and Marital Status of the Decedent

A qualified Fairfield County personal injury attorney can explain how age of the deceased Fairfield County personal injury attorneyand his or her marital status can affect the wrongful death lawsuit.

A Fairfield County Personal Injury Attorney Explains Why the Age of the Deceased Is Relevant
The decedent’s life expectancy is an important factor in determining the value of potential future earnings. If the decedent died at an early age, his or her remaining wage-earning period at death will be longer. The survivors and the insurers are often faced with the dilemma if the decedent died very young without having obtained much work skills and lacked earning level upon death. While older individuals have shorter life expectancy, their earning power his higher than the young. Not surprisingly, the carrier has a more conservative approach to this issue compared to plaintiffs.

A Fairfield County Personal Injury Lawyer Shows How Marital Status Impacts Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Under most circumstances, only a person legally married to the decedent can file a wrongful death claims. Exceptions allowed by certain jurisdictions include:

  • “Common law” spouses, who can recover losses if the individual and the decedent lived together and represented themselves as husbands and wives; and
  • Same-sex partners.

As a condition of settlement, the insurance company must ascertain whether the survivor was a legal spouse to the decedent. If their marriage status is uncertain, the carrier may compromise on the wrongful death case.

The insurance company will have challenge on their hands if multiple individuals claim to be surviving spouses, unless there is specific court ruling on the matter. In a case in which three women claimed to be the decedent’s widow, the carrier thought the evidence supported claimant #2’s position, but sought nominal settlement with the other claimants to avoid more legal actions. A court approved settlement was the other option.

If you require an experienced a Fairfield County personal injury attorney to handle your personal injury case, please call the law offices of Gary Mitchell today at 1-888-452-1846. The initial consultation is free.

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