4 Factors That Could Affect Your Wrongful Death Judgment

When pursuing a wrongful death claim, it's important to understand the many factors that could affect any potential settlement you may receive. By acknowledging these factors and the impact they can have on your claim, you and your attorney can work towards improving the ultimate outcome of your case and successfully recover related damages and losses.

The Number of Claimants Involved

Many wrongful death cases don't involve just one claimant. If the deceased has a surviving spouse, children, and other dependents, then the amount of recoverable damages and losses may increase due to each person having their own individual claims for the loss of the deceased.

The Defendant's Insurance Coverage

In most cases, the amount of money that can be reliably collected as part of a judgment is usually limited to the amount of insurance coverage carried by the defendant. For example, if the defendant has an insurance policy with a $100,000 limit and the jury delivers a judgment of $250,000 against the defendant, then only that $100,000 can be reliably collected. Meanwhile, the remaining $150,000 must be collected by going after the defendant's personal assets - a process that could take several years and additional attorney fees to pursue.

The Jury's Perception of the Deceased and Claimants

Although juries are supposed to be impartial, each juror may still have his or her own biases and prejudices that could affect the value of your judgment. Jury perception can be an important factor in the outcome of a wrongful death case. If the jury sees the deceased and survivors as people they can relate to and hold in high esteem, those factors can increase the likelihood of the jury awarding a higher verdict. On the other hand, claimants whom the jury sees as unlikeable, untrustworthy or purely in search of monetary gain rather than justice may drive to jury to find in favor of the defendant, instead.

Keep in mind that jury perception also works both ways. If the defendant is a person or entity that is seen in a mostly negative light, then such perception could play to your advantage.

Case Venue and Jurisdiction

The value of yourwrongful death judgment could depend on where your claim is heard. Claims heard in a rural county by a jury composed of rural residents may be judged differently compared to urban or suburban juries in heavily populated counties. The amount of time it takes to fully evaluate a case and render judgment can also vary, which could prompt you or your loved ones to consider settlement instead of a jury verdict.

About Me

What Everyone Should Know Before Hiring An Accident Attorney

My name is Diane, and when I was hurt in an automobile accident, I was hesitant to contact an attorney because I thought it would be too expensive. Before completely ruling out getting an attorney, I decided to research accident and personal injury attorneys to find out exactly what they do and what I could expect if I decided to have one represent me in my case. I was very impressed by what I found out, and I also discovered that the payment arrangement for many accident attorneys are based on a contingency fee. With this knowledge, I was able to hire an attorney, and I didn't have to worry about the expense. If you've had any type of accident or injury that was caused by another person, you should read the information in my blog. I've made this information available so that others will know what to do.