Processing and coping with the loss of a loved one is incredibly challenging. This challenge may be more difficult if the passing is unexpected. While you may not be thinking about filing a wrongful death claim, insurance companies can start to pressure you into settlements. The Law Office of Todd W. Burris is here to help you receive the financial award you deserve after the wrongful death of your loved one. And while this may be news, life expectancy can play a big part in what you’re owed.
Why Calculate Life Expectancy?
In a wrongful death claim, life expectancy is used as a way to judge what losses a person’s death caused. These are called future damages. Future damages include estimates for any lost wages and lost pension or retirement.
Future damages are calculated and reduced to whatever their present value may be. The present value is the value of all the future damages in today’s dollars.
Typically, a spouse is entitled to the financial support their deceased spouse would have received. This will last until the deceased spouse’s life expectancy has passed, or the surviving spouse has died.
A child of a deceased parent may be entitled to gifts or benefits that they would have received during the course of the deceased’s normal life expectancy.
The loss of a child normally does not produce a large award of damages. Financial losses due to the death of a child are determined by the age, sex, life expectancy, work expectancy, state of health, and habits of a child. Many of these assessments are merely speculation, so the younger the child is, the harder it is to predict those amounts.
The wrongful death of an elderly person, as well, may not produce a large award of damages. Modest awards for the deaths of elderly people are given because it is assumed that someone past retirement age no longer has significant earning potential and they’re children are grown and no longer receive financial support from them.
How Life Expectancy is Calculated
When deciding a person’s life expectancy, certain factors may be considered. Those factors are:
- Average life expectancy
- Biological Sex
For example, according to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Vital Statistics Report, the average life expectancy of a 45-year-old female is 82.9 years, and the average life expectancy of a 45-year-old male is 79.1 years. This published information is evidence of how long a person is likely to live but it is not conclusive. Some people live longer, while others die sooner.
Calculating Life Expectancy for a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky
Kentucky courts recognize life expectancy tables as a way to prove how long someone would have lived, if not for a fatal accident.
While the tables are not part of the official statue of laws, they have been recognized and approved by the Court of Appeals. These figures are based on the 1959-1961 United States census.
Similar to the CDC’s report noted above, Kentucky’s like expectancy table takes into consideration biological sex and race.
No amount of money can replace the loss of a loved one; however, a wrongful death claim can provide a grieving family with compensation to ease economic burdens associated with a loved one’s death. If you have questions or concerns, contact our office today.