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Wrongful death award may be modified

Unexpectedly losing a loved one can leave a surviving family utterly devastated. In addition to confronting the emotional toll such a loss can inflict, these individuals usually have to find a way to cover financial damages. With medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost wages playing a part, these losses can seem insurmountable, especially when a family is trying to grieve their loss.

Fortunately, these surviving families may be able to recover compensation for their losses if they are able to successfully impose liability and prove the extent of their damages. Yet, even those who are successful in accomplishing both of these feats can still face an uncertain outcome. One reason is because an award of compensation made by a jury may be modified by a judge. This modification may lessen an award if a judge feels that the award is not in line with the deceased individual's earnings at the time of death, or if the deceased individual was well-known for wasting money away.

So what does this mean for those individuals who are thinking about pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit? It means that they can't just leave these matters to the jury's discretion. Although some of these issues, particularly noneconomic damages, are subjective, competent evidence can be presented to show the full extent of one's damages. This requires meticulous attention to detail and knowing how to present facts in light of the law.

This is reason enough for these individuals to consider seeking a legal ally before moving forward with a wrongful death claim. In addition to proving damages, a competent attorney can gather evidence and witnesses in an attempt to prove liability, while at the same time utilizing the rules of evidence and the trial rules to further his or her client's position. By speaking to one of these lawyers, those thinking about pursuing a wrongful death action can obtain a better sense of the strength of their case and the legal options available to them.

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