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Can a Surviving Spouse Recover Lost Earnings With a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Compensation for Loss of Future Net Accumulation

One of the general categories of compensation available to family members in a wrongful death lawsuit is loss of future net accumulation. This allows a surviving spouse to recover lost earnings that his or her spouse would have earned had the wrongful death not occurred.

This category of wrongful death compensation may also allow a surviving child to recover lost earnings that would have been passed on to the child in the form of a gift or inheritance, if it can be shown that the gift or bequest would have been reasonably likely.

Future net accumulation includes more than lost earnings. The specific types of income or assets that may be included in a calculation of future net accumulation may differ from state to state, but as a general matter the calculation includes all income and assets that the deceased person was reasonably likely to accumulate during a natural life span:

  • Future earnings, including reasonably likely promotions
  • The future value of 401(k) accounts and other retirement funds already established
  • The future value of stock portfolios
  • The future value of any real property or other assets
  • To calculate the full extent of future net accumulation requires professional assistance from economic experts, such as certified financial planners, forensic economists and independent insurance adjusters.

Money Cannot Undo the Past — But It Can Stabilize the Future

If you have lost a family member to a fatal accident caused by another person’s wrongdoing, it is important to work with a wrongful death trial lawyer who has access to top-ranking professionals in these fields. It is also important to work with an attorney who understands that your family’s loss cannot be represented by cold financial facts. Your family has suffered the tragic loss of an irreplaceable individual. A financial settlement or jury award cannot turn back the clock or compensate you for your loss — and at Greenberg Stone and Urbano we never pretend that it can.

Financial compensation can, however, help your family achieve a measure of financial stability during an uncertain time. A wrongful death settlement can also help your family grieve by providing some measure of justice. In some cases, a wrongful death settlement can also be used to establish a memorial to the person you have lost — in the form of a scholarship fund, a memorial park or garden, or a charitable foundation committed to funding projects held dear by your deceased loved one.

Get More Information About Wrongful Death Claims

Additional information regarding wrongful death lawsuits for surviving relatives can be found on the other pages of this FAQ section:

If you have legal questions about your specific circumstances after a death in the family, we encourage you to schedule a complimentary consultation with our nationwide wrongful death law firm.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano represents families across the country in wrongful death claims. An AV-rated* law firm founded by two attorneys with decades of legal experience, Greenberg & Stone provides strategic legal representation along with a deeply compassionate approach and personalized attention. Our wrongful death lawyers receive assistance in every case from our nationwide network of associate law firms. This helps us establish a strong local presence across the country.

Find out how our approach can work for your family — regardless of where you live and where the incident occurred. Call toll free (888) 893-9846. Your family does not have to face the future alone.

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