Auto Liability Death Claim

How much would decedent have earned? The earning capacity of the decedent and the amount earned, saved and contributed to his family in the past have a distinct bearing on the value of a death claim.

The insurance company must take into account the decedent’s health, ability, industry, energy and his prospects of advancement and chances of success. You cannot expect to collect the amount which the decedent would have earned during the remainder of his life without deducting his probable living expenses.

Relationship of deceased. Husband and father. The death of the breadwinner causes the greatest economic or pecuniary loss. His death is usually worth many times in settlement value the death of other members of the family.

Mother and wife. The death of a wife or mother may be a greater loss to a family than that of a husband or father. Yet normally it is difficult to prove the value of her services—the dollars and cents value of her worth to the family. Obviously if the wife contributes to the support of the family, the claim for her death would be increased substantially.

Child. In the case of a death of a minor child a parent is entitled to recover the present cash value of his or her prospective services. That’s a pretty harsh rule to tell a parent, but that is the law in most states. It may be hard to accept, but an injury to a child often has a higher settlement value than his death. In some states recovery is limited to the loss which the parent would anticipate during the child’s minority, while in others you may recover compensation for the loss of pecuniary benefits to be expected after the child attained the age of twenty-one years.

Where a claim is made for the death of an adult child the question is: to what extent was the parent dependent on the child? If the parent was not dependent on the adult child, there may be no provable loss.
Brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and others. They are classed as “collateral relatives.” Whether or not the survivors can obtain 

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