When a wrongful death attorney estimates a wrongful death settlement award, the attorney takes multiple factors into consideration, such as age of the deceased, income at time of death/earning capacity, medical/funeral expenses and circumstances of the deceased’s spouse, children or other dependents. When a judge or jury hands down an award settlement for a wrongful death claim, the amount is not subjective but based on evidence provided by the attorney. A wrongful death settlement award can range from several thousand dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars.
How are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
Individuals or entities losing a wrongful death lawsuit may remit a settlement through their liability insurance provider. When no insurance is available, the responsible party must pay the settlement themselves. Payment schedules may be established for defendants who were found guilty of reckless or negligent behavior resulting in a person’s death if they do not have liability insurance coverage.
Do You Have to Pay Taxes on a Wrongful Death Award?
Generally, wrongful death settlements are non-taxable as long as the payments are considered “compensatory”. Alternately, any punitive damages awarded to family members of the deceased may be subject to IRS tax regulations. Compensatory payments are monies covering pain, suffering and loss of consortium experienced by the deceased’s relatives. Punitive damages indicate a judge or jury determined the individual responsible for another person’s death acted egregriously in causing the death. For example, punitive and compensatory damages may be awarded if someone died in an auto accident because the at-fault driver was drunk and driving at an excessively high speed without any regard to the welfare of others.
Do You Need a Wrongful Dealth Attorney?
Call the Decker Law Office today to schedule a consultation appointment about filing a wrongful death lawsuit. We can help maximize your award by providing professional, experienced representation in court.