The outcome of a wrongful death claim can vary significantly in each state. In some states, there are caps on the total amount of damages that can be recovered for wrongful death, while in others there are caps on non-economic damages specifically, or no damages caps whatsoever. It’s essential to the outcome of your case to know your state’s wrongful death laws and find out whether there is a cap on wrongful death claims.
What is a Damages Cap?
A damages cap is a law in place, primarily for personal injury cases, that limits the number of damages that can be recovered with a wrongful death claim. The purpose of a damages cap is to limit the number of invalid wrongful death claims that are made so victims that are injured and suffering can obtain compensation and to manage the expense of awarding damages for the millions of injury claims that are made every year. Examples of states where there is a cap on wrongful death claims include:
- Missouri – in the State of Missouri, there is a cap on medical malpractice claims, but not personal injury or product liability claims
- Colorado – there is a cap on the total compensation that victims can recover for all personal injury claims
- Michigan – in Michigan, there isn’t a cap on personal injury cases, but there is a cap on non-economic damages for product liability and medical malpractice claims
- Virginia – there is a total cap on medical malpractice damages, but there isn’t a cap on other injury cases
- Arizona – in the State of Arizona there isn’t damages cap whatsoever on any type of case
It’s often challenging to understand a state’s wrongful death laws, but an experienced lawyer can provide information on your state’s wrongful death laws, whether there is a cap on wrongful death claims, and recover compensation for your family member’s wrongful death as quickly as possible.
Is There Ever An Exception to the Cap on Wrongful Death Claims?
If a state has a damages cap in place, chances are good that a lawyer won’t be able to negotiate for a settlement that surpasses this amount. In situations that involve what is deemed as “gross negligence,” a damages cap might not apply in some states, but this isn’t cut-and-dry for all states in the U.S. In most states, damage caps are permanent and ineligible for negotiation.
When a wrongful death claim is submitted, it’s often accompanied by a demand letter that states what damages the victim’s surviving family members are seeking and supporting evidence from the accident. Once a wrongful death claim is submitted against a negligent party, an experienced lawyer can negotiate with the other party’s insurance company to recover an acceptable settlement. It can often take months to negotiate a satisfactory settlement for a wrongful death claim, but with an experienced lawyer on your side, the process is streamlined, and the odds of recovering an acceptable settlement for your wrongful death claim significantly increases.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Wrongful Death Case Today
If you are interested in filing a wrongful death claim for an immediate family member’s untimely death, hiring a wrongful death lawyer to represent your case is a must. Wrongful death claims are complex and require substantial legal knowledge to recover the highest possible settlement.
An experienced lawyer can create a compelling claim for your case, determine whether a cap on wrongful death claims will affect the settlement you could be entitled to, and negotiate for the maximum amount of damages for your wrongful death claim. If you are ready to find out more about your state’s wrongful death laws and whether there is a cap on wrongful death claims in your state, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation with our experienced lawyers.