Wrongful death lawsuits are claims for money damages against a defendant who caused the death of another person. These lawsuits can be filed against any person who causes a death through intentional actions or negligence. Those who might face wrongful death suits include drivers, medical professionals or manufacturers. While most wrongful death suits are settled outside of a trial, some do go to court. If you are considering a wrongful death lawsuit, then you may be unsure of how to calculate what you are owed. Likewise, you may be confused by whether or not you owe taxes. Here is what you need to know.
How to Calculate Compensation
To put a monetary value on your loved one’s life is difficult. After all, your reward will not take away your pain. However, there are some factors that you can consider to determine the compensation that you will receive. The factors that you have to consider include:
- How old your loved one was
- What your loved one’s earning capacity was
- What your loved one’s state of health was
- What the age of your loved one’s dependents are
- What medical bills and expenses occurred for your loved one
- What the funeral costs were
- What benefits you lost with your loved one
When it comes to compensatory damages, these are normally things that you can put a monetary value on. You can calculate medical bills, funeral costs, and lost wages. If you happen to receive punitive damages, on the other hand, these may be more difficult to determine.
How to Calculate Taxes
Most of the time, wrongful death settlements are non-taxable. This is because the payments are compensatory. Now, if you happen to receive punitive damages, on the other hand, then the IRS may tax these damages. In order to calculate what you will need to pay in taxes on punitive damages, you need to make sure that your award makes it clear which damages were compensatory and which damages were punitive.
Wrongful death lawsuits are an option for loved ones who lose someone due to the negligence or intentional act of another person or institution. If you are considering a wrongful death claim, your best option is to speak with a wrongful death lawyer in advance. He or she can advise you on the right steps to take and can even help you calculate the compensation that you deserve. For more information, set up a consultation with a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.