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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Wrongful Death > Does The Victim’s Age Affect The Amount Of Damages In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Does The Victim’s Age Affect The Amount Of Damages In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?


In a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s family sues the person who caused the accident for economic and noneconomic damages.  The noneconomic damages are for the plaintiffs’ loss of a family member and the victim’s suffering because of the accident before he or she died.  The economic damages are for funeral expenses and for the medical bills related to the victim’s final illness or injury.  You can also seek economic damages for the income your family lost if the victim was employed at the time of his or her death; the more years the victim would have worked until retirement if he or she had lived, the greater the amount of lost income damages you can request.  Therefore, the victim’s age matters in wrongful death lawsuits, although not in the same way as it does when calculating life insurance premiums.  To find out more, contact a Columbia wrongful death lawyer.

A Traffic Fatality Is an Untimely Death, Even for Seniors

When Joyce Murdock Porter’s family and friends gathered for her memorial, they were likely grateful that, at age 90, she lived such a long life, but the fact remains that her death was preventable.  On the last day of her life, May 5, 2023, Porter was healthy enough to drive.  She had just gotten into her Honda Civic, a car that had lasted her more than 20 years, and was pulling out of a private driveway onto U.S. 25, when a Dodge Ram Pickup truck struck her.  She died of her injuries later that day at Self-Regional Healthcare.  News reports did not indicate that her family intends to file a lawsuit, but they certainly have the right to sue, if they choose to do so.

In wrongful death lawsuits where the victim was elderly, defendants sometimes argue that the victim was going to die anyway.  These arguments are sometimes compelling in medical malpractice cases.  If the victim was 70 years old and had diabetes and stage IV cancer, the plaintiffs have a harder time proving that the victim’s adverse reaction to treatment was due to a medical error instead of to the victim’s pre-existing health conditions and already very fragile state of health.  In wrongful death cases involving traffic accidents, however, matters tend to be more clear-cut.  A collision at high speed can kill anyone, regardless of age or health.  In wrongful death lawsuits, it is easy to show that the victim’s death was a direct result of the collision.  Whether you can recover damages depends on how clearly you can prove that the defendant’s actions were the direct cause of the accident, such as if the defendant was speeding or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Let Us Help You Today

The personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you have lost a family member as a result of a preventable traffic accident.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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