Philadelphia, PA personal injury lawyer Eric H. Weitz talks about the challenges of handling wrongful death cases.
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The interesting thing in handling cases across the country is to see the differences in the types of laws that exist when a close family member dies. Usually states have different statutes, something called survival statutes, something called wrongful death statutes. Almost universally, in most states, the legislature has not permitted jurors to consider the value of someone’s life, or what impact necessarily the death has had in terms of emotional loss.
So a lot of states tend to restrict the ability of families to recover under those circumstances and only get, for instance, if it was a father who stayed at home, the value of their advice and tutelage over time. Or how much the mother would have made while mom is going to work, and what her income stream would be. So when somebody dies it often becomes very challenging, depending upon what state you’re in figure out how to best allow the family to truly make up for the harms and losses that they have suffered.