The average settlement for a wrongful death depends widely on the facts. However, our firm tends to evaluate the wrongful death cases as above seven figures. This means most wrongful death cases are worth at least $1 million in value.
There is no cap on California wrongful death cases. However, alleging that the death of someone is worth a certain amount of money in a lawsuit does not do much. There are two groups of people that will possibly decide the value of the wrongful death case.
- A jury: If the insurance company defending the lawsuit does not offer an amount in settlement, or if the amount offered in settlement is too low, a jury will give a verdict that states the value of the wrongful death case.
- An insurance adjuster: If the insurance company offers enough money prior to the case going to a trial by jury, a victim’s family can be compensated in this manner. This will have the insurance company’s valuing the loss.
Because there is no cap, it will be one of these two factors to determine the value of the wrongful death case.
One clarification is that when lawsuits allege a certain amount of money in the beginning, that number does not have much significance. When lawsuits allege damages for $5 million or $50 million, generally it is a figure put in the complaint designed to make headlines. This is not a number that has much weight in determining the value of the case.