A man dies as a result of a medical error. The hospital admits liability but contests that the widow and her minor children have incurred damages as a result of the death. The advocate for the family is having difficulty convincing the hospital otherwise due to a lack of knowledge and the kind of insight and creativity that come with experience.
In calculating the damages for loss of life, things like substitute care for children (and the resulting fewer working hours for the widow) should have been taken into account. The (hypothetical) career path of the victim should also be considered when determining damages due to loss of income, and not only the status quo of the victim’s career at the time of death. The extent of the fixed and variable financial burdens on the family should be carefully considered and determined and should be judiciously divided between the widow and the children as well. Eventual costs for future university studies for the children should be considered, if current indications are present. Further, any life insurance benefits paid should not be automatically and in full deducted from the settlement amount. There may well be reason to use them for non-recoverable damages first.
Did you find the above information a bit difficult to follow? For the attorneys at Wildeboer AVS, it is part of their daily routine. We are there to make sure that the damages of both the widow and children are adequately and fairly compensated.