Can You Recover Lost Earnings in a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

Surviving family members of the deceased may recover lost earnings in a wrongful death claim in New York. Determining how much survivors are eligible to recover can be challenging– as the defendant will likely do everything possible to minimize this amount.

Lost Earnings are Often Heavily Disputed in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In many wrongful death claims, the defendant is usually an insurance company. It has employees who specialize in minimizing the amount they will pay out in cases, so it is fair to expect a low number. This is why hiring a New York City wrongful death lawyer from Douglas and London can change everything for you and your family.

There are Three Types of Lost Earnings That May Be Available to You

To recover lost earnings, the deceased must have been earning income before the accident. Further, there are three types of lost earnings that the survivors may be eligible to claim:

  • Lost wages from the date of the accident until the date the victim died. Assuming that their income was regular and standard, such as a set amount of pay per year, then this should be relatively simple to prove. On the other hand, it can be more complicated if the deceased was self-employed, a seasonal employee, or earned a largely tip-based or commission-based income. In these situations, tax documents or an economist may help determine their average income.
  • Lost wages in the period between the victim’s death and the expected retirement age. Based on the victim’s age at the time of the accident, a wrongful death lawyer will calculate the number of working years left until retirement. At that point, qualified New York City personal injury lawyers will calculate the average annual income for the deceased and multiply it by the number of working years left.
  • Lost earning potential is often the most disputed and confusing of these three types because several factors need to be considered. A person who dies in their 20’s may have a lot more financial upside than a person who dies in their 60’s. Vocational experts and economists may be helpful for your personal injury lawyer to analyze what the deceased could have been expected to make in the future– taking into consideration different factors such as promotions, raises, inflation, and wage fluctuations based on the cost of living.

Are Any Other Similar Damages Recoverable in Wrongful Death Claims?

Yes, health insurance and retirement accounts may be recoverable. If the victim paid for your family’s health insurance, you might be eligible to receive financial compensation for this moving forward. Similarly, if the deceased had been contributing to a retirement account, then the survivors may be able to seek recovery for potential contributions to that fund.

Contact us at Douglas and London for a free consultation

If you would like to learn more about the possibility of recovering lost earnings in a wrongful death claim here in New York, call us today to schedule a free consultation– we are available 24/7. You can also get in touch with us via our contact form. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so there are never any upfront costs.