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What can a financial expert do in a wrongful death case?

Those who lose a loved one in a fatal car accident have a lot to contend with. Not only do they have to try to cope with the reality of not being able to see their loved one again, but they also have to find a way to deal with the economic ramifications of the situation. Funeral costs and medical expenses may be overwhelming, and surviving families might find themselves struggling with how to move forward in the face of tough financial burdens.

The good news is that these families may be able to recoup their losses by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the fatal car accident. The bad news is that the legal process, and determining economic damages, can be difficult. In fact, many times it is necessary to utilize financial experts to accurately determine how much a surviving family member may recover.

One aspect especially tricky to determine is lost wages. Here, one must try to project how much the deceased would have made had he or she lived, including income increases over time. Additionally, the court must consider how the deceased's maintenance expenses would have eaten into that income. Maintenance expenses are costs the deceased would have had to cover food, clothing, and other personal items.

A seemingly small mistake in lost wages calculations can have a huge effect on the total number. Therefore, those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one and are about to enter into a legal battle may want to work with a qualified attorney who knows how to work with and question financial experts. After all, these individuals could hold a surviving family's financial future in his or her hands.

Source: Tennessee Bar Association, "Calculating Economic Damages: In Plain English," David Pitts and Kevin Reopel, accessed on July 3, 2015

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