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    How Much Is a Life Worth in California?

Los Angeles, CA wrongful death case evaluator

Wrongful Death Values 101

Can people put a value on how much a human life is worth? How many lives equal one? Is there an average price for killing or saving a person? When it comes to lives saved, should we prioritize others above ourselves? But what’s a life worth in Los Angeles, California, as an accurate demand?

One of the most common questions at Ehline Law Firm is the “average” or “normal” jury verdict or wrongful death settlement.

Since each death case is unique, there is no such thing as an average wrongful death settlement. However, let us go over the regular ranges in a wrongful death case and how they impact the case’s reward.

Wrongful death survivors will experience lost wages, lost companionship, and other circumstances.

A Dark but Important Question About Life:

There are many questions about wrongful death claims, but there are never enough answers. That is because everything varies depending on the circumstances. Luckily, Ehline Law Firm can help people learn about the dollar value they can receive when they put in a wrongful death claim.

What Is the Average Wrongful Death Settlement for a Life?

The math is full of variables. Analyzing why some cases are worth millions while others cost less than a million dollars could be a full-time job. One wrongful death lawsuit may go to trial, while others get settled before the start of a trial. There may be many unknown factors or obvious ones throughout a court case. This article will explain everything you must know about the price of human life in this business-oriented economy.

A wrongful death suit settlement varies depending on the wrongful act and the individual’s contribution to the life of the surviving spouse, children, or parents. The involvement of an insurance company also affects the amount that wrongful death cases settle for insofar as total cost of a life.

Below, our wrongful death lawyers will look at and explain some of the death claim elements that will affect the amount of compensation you may obtain in a wrongful death case.

A Human Life Settlement

In many free articles online, there are tons of people saying that people are worth millions of dollars. However, economists have talked about how the average dollar value of one person is a million dollars at UC Berkeley. That is more than enough to buy a new car.

However, what makes up this number, and can people receive this amount of money after taxes? With a large population, there is no way that every person will be compensated that amount of money when a wrongful death settlement is being spoken about.

Tradeoffs Consumers Must Know

There are trade-offs that insurance companies and governments will think about when completing a cost-benefit analysis. If someone’s passing is because of air pollution left by large corporations, then the family will not receive any money. This is because the company will see that not many people are dying from the air, so it does not need to pay any money.

However, another example would be if someone lost their life to a negligent doctor.

Two cases would come forward:

  1. a wrongful death case and
  2. a medical malpractice case.

Saving lives is what a doctor is supposed to do, but if the data shows that the average cost of keeping the doctor in the medical feel does not outweigh the costs of future lawsuits and the more Americans they would hurt, this would be a winning case.

Calculating How Much Money You Lost or Stand to Lose

It may seem strange to think of money when grieving the loss of a loved one. No amount of capital can make up for the loss of a child or spouse in a motorcycle accident, or on a dream cruise vacation, for example.

Nonetheless, California law permits surviving family members to get compensated for certain monetary reductions, such as: 

  • The value of any household services or transportation. Your wife, for example, may have cooked and done the laundry. Thus, you may need to employ another individual to complete these responsibilities after she passes away due to wrongful death action. You may have eligibility for reimbursement to cover these additional costs.
  • Financial compensation for the future. If you were financially reliant on your loved one, the decedent’s death would be a devastating global blow to your finances. You may have entitlement to damages equal to the amount of financial assistance you reasonably expected.
  • Funeral costs and burial expenses
  • You would have received the loss of benefits or gifts if your family member had survived.

It’s difficult to figure out how much capital one has lost or explain it to insurance companies. Nobody knows what kind of employment your loved one would’ve undertaken in the future or how much you would have received.

However, based on your loved one’s education, age, experience, and employment history, you may estimate the amount of financial help you would have gotten, including the shortages after being injured.

The estate may also file a survival action to recover medical expenses paid before death and the pain and suffering your family member experienced in their final days. But even if you can prove liability, fault, suffering, and financial losses over the decedent’s life span, you may still be forced to file a wrongful death lawsuit for putting your losses right.

Additionally, the decedent’s estate’s personal representative may need to file a probate court action and a survival action for any economic damages and pain and suffering of the dead person or other loved ones’ lives.

A top-notch personal injury lawyer from our firm can explain everything about your potential recovery step by step, including any risks. Don’t leave money damage on the table by having regrets over what you would have earned for the decedent’s life after a motorcycle accident, other motor vehicle accident, or tragedy. Always seek legal advice before signing anything or cashing a settlement check.

Intangible Losses in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

California wrongful death legislation recognizes the emotional grief that family members experience after a loved one’s tragic death.

As a result, you may file wrongful death lawsuits for several emotional losses, such as loss of affection, loss of guidance, loss of moral support, loss of companionship, loss of attention, and loss of intimacy.

These are genuine losses. They are, however, more difficult to assess because no bill or receipt defines their value. Instead, you and your friendly and charismatic, experienced attorney need to think about how to prove these intangible damages.

How Much Compensation Could Someone Receive?

Compared to many other normal circumstances, money that would be received after a loved one has passed away is never an easy conversation, but it needs to be done. The team understands that no amount of money could be received to help the pain go away.

However, California law does say that children and the remaining family should receive some pay for their struggles:

  • If the main house caretaker were to pass, then the family living there may be entitled to benefits that will help them complete chores around the house.
  • Another reason would be someone’s income. If the person who passed provides money for housing, food, and other financial responsibilities, these expenses would need to be considered. The family would be entitled to those future wages or the quarter they pay out of pocket.
  • Any funeral and burial costs that happened would be another figure that could be added to a settlement. The course of a funeral can affect many people because they are expensive. However, this is not fair to the grieving family, which is why the city or the insurance company would ensure that these services are taken care of.
  • If any medical expenses are to be paid, this would be added to the prices. In a country like the USA, hospital bills and other medical needs tend to be expensive, leaving families in crippling debt for the next year or more. However, they don’t deserve this, which is why this information will be reviewed and added to the independent case.

Every week, a team member helps more people in different cities put a wrongful death settlement together. That is why they know how to create a budget that is in the interests of the family that was left behind.

Things That Cannot Be Put in a Cost-Benefit Analysis

It doesn’t take a law professor to determine how much money could help with losing a loved one in California. It takes a lot of facts, documents, and evidence for a judge, jury, and insurance company to study. That is why a child or a partner can review the case and discuss any emotional distress they believe they should be compensated for.

Some emotional distress that would fall under this category would be:

  • Loss of mutual support
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of guidance
  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of attention
  • Loss of intimacy.

When a wrongful death settlement needs to be made, everyone should seek the right advice from the team that will look after them every time. They do not need to spend money on someone help who will not put their best interest first.

The team at Ehline Law Firm will not rest until their clients are happy with the result because they understand the finances that need to be looked at for the case. Also, with decades of combined experience, there is no risk when going to the website to get in contact with someone from the office.

Overall, case management will be taken care of thoroughly, which is why you can finally have a breather. The economics side of everything can be daunting. Still, the team will ensure that everything, including inflation, has been considered and put into the estimates into the right categories.

Lastly, they will ensure that your voice is heard at all points because that is what matters. There is no point in spending hours on a case when the family does not know what is happening. Instead, every adult involved will know what to expect since the team will be open to calculating the cash value and help you weigh the risks versus benefits of proceeding to trial.


In California, Ehline Law Firm has established itself as the “go-to” firm for wrongful death settlements. We know what you need to show to win your wrongful death case, and we’re experts at hunting down the evidence you need.

An experienced wrongful death attorney from Ehline Law Firm in California has years of expertise negotiating advantageous settlements for our clients that adequately compensate them for potential economic losses and emotional pain after a fatal accident. It’s natural to feel unhappy, angry, and scared about the future after the death of a loved one.

A personal injury attorney from Ehline Law Firm takes over your wrongful death lawsuit and begins preparing a wrongful death claim against the defendants. This resource helps you spend more time with your family members dealing with anguish, grief, and lost bills after lost earnings solutions.

Schedule a Free Consultation with our Wrongful Death Attorneys Today

We value our attorney-client relationship, meaning that you can trust that the legal advice we give you regarding your wrongful death claim is in your best interests. Our Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer holds liable parties responsible.

Contact us at (213) 596-9642 to begin the process and speak to a wrongful death attorney. You can also use our convenient online contact us form any time of day, 24/7.

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633 W 5th Street #2890 Los Angeles, CA 90071 (213) 596-9642.
Animation of injury lawyer, Michael Ehline Animation of injury lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.