When calculating Toledo wrongful death action damages, the argument an attorney may use is that a person’s life is priceless. It is a practiced unjust loss lawyer’s job to present to the jury different damage options. There is no magic formula to determine the correct calculation of non-economic damages.
How Can Attorneys Show the Value of a Lost One’s Life?
Typically, lawyers tell the story of the life and the impact of the deceased individual’s life on their family, and while telling the story show how important that was in creating happiness and long-term impact on the family members.
To come up with what a value of a case is, there is jury verdict report that attorneys can look at. For example, there are prior settlements that they have been involved with and all sorts of other reported cases.
The actual results for jury verdicts are numbers that are anywhere from astronomically high to exceeding low. There is no sure thing to either side in one of those cases. That is why a person needs to look at what county it is, who the defense counsel is, and how sympathetic their story is, potentially using a focus group to try to evaluate the value of the case.
Commonly Examined Factors in Wrongful Death Cases
Attorneys would look at how loved the individual was, how substantial was the relationship, what county the case is in, who the defense attorney is, who the judge is, what are the economic losses in the case, and how much insurance coverage is there. If there is a million dollars of insurance coverage and the defendant is non-collectible, getting a five million judgment that a person could never collect probably is not that valuable.
Realistically, attorneys could try to look at the case from every angle possible, determine what a realistic range of value is, and determine the best way to tell the story in positive fashion, maintaining as much credibility with the jury as possible.
How Loss of Future of Income is Calculated
Attorneys would look at prior tax returns, at the age of the individual, at their education, and at their potential for upward mobility. Oftentimes, they would get an analysis from a vocational expert to talk about if the person was 40-years-old at the time, for example, what their upward mobility would look like in the economy over the next 25 or 30 years. A person supplies all that information from the vocationalist and from the prior tax returns. An economist can then reduce the number to a present value of what the future economic loss would be for that individual.
An economist will do the actual calculating Toledo wrongful death action damages. To have the evidence admissible, the standard is that the expert witness would have to say to a reasonable degree of economic certainty, which is basically more likely than not, what the economic impact would be due to the loss of the specific individual. Attorneys often try to get economists or professors of economics to testify on behalf of the loved ones.
Defining Qualities of a Desirable Expert Witness
What can be learned is typically a person wants an expert witness who is not overplaying their hand, meaning they do not necessarily want the person who is going to come up with the largest number. What they want is the expert witness who is:
- Easy to understand and can communicate
- Likable and personable
- Able to come up with a number that is super credible
- Able to withstand cross-examination
Recovering Damages for the Loss of Companionship
Loss of companionship when calculating Toledo wrongful death action damages is quantifying the loss of a relationship. Typically, the only people that are wrongful death beneficiaries that can make a claim would be a blood relative, a son or daughter that through adoption, or a spouse. Attorneys want to have credibility, truthfulness; people that have the best heartfelt stories, are the best communicators, and are often understated versus overstated to provide that information to a jury and get the best result.