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Losing a loved one is devastating. The last thing you want to worry about is your financial situation. However, you may need to pay for bills, funeral expenses, and accumulated medical expenses. Your family member might have been the primary breadwinner, and after processing the shock of loss, you may need to assume that role. When someone else’s negligence was the cause of your loved one’s passing, you have every right to hold them legally and financially accountable.
While no amount of money can undo someone’s reckless or careless mistake, a fair and prompt settlement can begin to set things right for your family. Every case is different. The best way to know what your case might be worth is to talk to a seasoned wrongful death attorney at Solution Now Law Firm. An attorney well-versed in San Jose wrongful death settlements could walk you through your options and help you pursue the compensation your family deserves.
After a fatal accident, surviving family members can pursue compensation for their losses. A spouse or legal partner is the first party who can seek damages, followed by children. Plaintiffs may be able to seek compensation for the following losses:
Generally, the plaintiff’s attorney will negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company for a fair settlement. Insurance companies are notorious for extending low offers, hoping the decedent’s family will need the money as soon as possible and accept. However, an experienced attorney could build a strong case on the plaintiff’s behalf and negotiate with insurance companies to achieve a fair settlement value. In some cases, a San Jose attorney can reject the wrongful death settlement proposal and take a case to court, where a jury will make a final decision.
There are various ways wrongful death settlements can be structured, and a seasoned legal team could help families in San Jose work toward a settlement that suits their needs. Most settlements are paid as lump sums, which are one-time payments that can be helpful if the family has immediate costs to attend to or has accumulated any form of debt through their loss. Structured settlements are payments made over a specified time. The structure of these settlements is intended to mimic how the decedent would have contributed to household earnings. Once a structured settlement is agreed to, the terms cannot be altered. As such, both lump-sum and structured settlements should consider a family’s present and anticipated needs.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not typically tax the value of wrongful death or personal injury settlements that are considered compensatory. However, if a plaintiff is awarded additional punitive damages, these may be subject to tax requirements.
You may be tempted to accept an insurance company’s first settlement to move past this difficult time as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, accepting an early offer may mean accepting less than you and your family deserve. San Jose wrongful death settlements are complex legal processes that may be overwhelming to manage alone.
A loved one is worth more than any settlement, but we believe families deserve the right to financial stability as they move forward. Our attorneys at Solution Now Law Firm are skilled negotiators and will fight to get you the compensation your family needs. Call today to learn more.