As you go through the different factors that will affect the outcome and value of your wrongful death case, you may get angry. You may not agree with the factors I have listed. You may also wonder why something entirely outside of your control is such a big factor in determining the value of your loved one’s life. I have been around people who have suffered the loss a family member that feel this way. My goal is to educate you about these factors that may influence your case so you can understand the process.
Eight factors to determine value
Here are eight factors that I use to determine the value of a wrongful death claim:
- The compensation allowed by Kentucky law. This includes the loss of power to labor and earn money, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, medical bills and punitive damages.
- Your likeability. This is the type of witness you will make and how you will relate to a jury.
- What type of life the decedent led and what their reputation was in the community.
- The amount of insurance the at-fault party has and/or the value of their assets. In the case of a corporation, you look at the funds available to pay the claim.
- The type of witness the at-fault party will make and what they were doing at the time of the accident that killed the decedent.
- The factors surrounding the death, i.e. was the at-fault driver drunk, driving distracted, etc.
- The county where the case is located.
- The reputation of the judge. I also look at a typical jury in that county.
These are just eight factors I use to determine value. These factors vary per case because everyone's situation is different. For example, who is on the other side, either the attorney or the insurance company also has an effect on the settlement value in some cases. While these factors can vary, it's important to know what your attorney uses to value a case so you can understand the process better.