A Personal Injury Lawyer Towson MD Residents Trust Explains Pecuniary Losses in Wrongful Death Suits
The main way courts determine how much should be awarded in damages in a Maryland wrongful death case are pecuniary injuries or financial injuries. As a personal injury lawyer can explain, pecuniary injuries are financial losses suffered by living relatives or persons following the death of the decedent.
Financial losses obtained by family members or close friends that resulted from the wrongful death of a loved one may include a loss of services, support, loss of inheritance, or medical and funeral expenses. Damages awarded are meant to be fair compensation for any financial losses that resulted from the decedent’s death.
Those that paid for any medical expenses that were a direct result of the wrongful injuries that eventually resulted in death may be able to recover these expenses due to pecuniary losses. If one paid for the funeral expenses of the decedent, whose death was the direct result of negligence of another party (wrongful death), then those persons may have a claim to pecuniary loss as well.
Damages that are awarded to any persons claiming pecuniary injuries also includes interest from the date the decedent passed away. Your Maryland personal injury lawyer will present and the courts will take all of these pecuniary injuries into consideration before awarding final damages.
How Maryland Courts Determine Pecuniary Losses
Determining the damages awarded after pecuniary loss may be more complicated than one might think; there are many variables that are taken into the court’s consideration following the wrongful death of a person. Damages are mainly awarded by the court’s determination of the circumstances of the decedent when he or she passed away. Some circumstances of the decedent that may be taken into consideration are:
- Life expectancy and overall health
- Age of the decedent
- Ability to maintain a job and yearly income
- Expected earning capacity
- Potential future earnings
- Earnings at the time of death
Other things that may be taken into consideration in the court’s decision to award damages for pecuniary loss may be the circumstances of the dependants and distributees. For example, if a parent was killed, then the children, or dependents of the decedent, may receive a loss of guidance from the parent and a loss of income. The actual pecuniary loss and the damages that should be awarded may be difficult and complicated for the court to determine, as pecuniary loss strictly refers to financial loss.
The Jury’s Decision to Award Damages
In a wrongful death case, the jury hears the evidence presented by your personal injury lawyer and determines the amount of damages that should be awarded. However, the courts are the final say on the damages awarded and may reduce or increase the award for various reasons.
The Maryland court may award more if the decedent was currently unemployed, but had worked previously and had substantial average earnings. In this case, the plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer must show evidence of the average earnings of the decedent. Otherwise, a new trial may be conducted, which may result in a longer financial recovery period for the plaintiff.
The court may reduce the award the jury granted if the decedent had a low income, but was young and had children. The jury’s decision is often times more emotionally inclined than that of the court, and although it may seem harsh to reduce the awards in this circumstance, there must be proof of the actual pecuniary losses for a just compensation to be awarded. If you would like more information about wrongful death lawsuits, contact a personal injury lawyer Towson MD clients recommend.