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Los Angeles, CA wrongful death case evaluator

How Much Is a Life Worth in California?


How Much Is a Life Worth in California?

Los Angeles, CA wrongful death case evaluator

Wrongful Death Values 101

A life can be worth 1 dollar to billions, depending on various facts and legal principles discussed below.
  • Wrongful death survivors will experience lost wages, lost companionship, and other circumstances.
  • How can people even 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?

So what’s a life worth in Los Angeles, California, as an accurate demand?

One of the most common questions at Ehline Law Firm is, “What 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 our wrongful death lawyers review the regular ranges, and how they impact the case’s reward.

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 the total cost of a life.

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

A Human Life Settlement

Many free articles online claim that people are worth millions of dollars. However, economists have discussed 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 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.

Trade-offs Consumers Must Know

Insurance companies and governments consider trade-offs when completing a cost-benefit analysis. If someone’s passing is due to air pollution left by large corporations, the family will not receive any money. 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 field 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 specific 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 be eligible 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 challenging to figure out how much capital one has lost or explain it to insurance companies. Nobody knows what kind of employment your loved one will undertake in the future or how much you will receive.

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 injury.

The estate may also file a survival action to recover medical expenses paid before death and the pain and suffering your family members 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 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 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. However, they are more challenging to assess because no bill or receipt defines their value. Instead, you and your friendly, charismatic, experienced attorney need to consider 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 primary house caretaker were to pass, then the family living there may be entitled to benefits to 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 must 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, so the city or the insurance company should 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 so that this information will be reviewed and added to the independent case.

Every week, a team member helps more people in different cities negotiate a wrongful death settlement. That is why they know how to create a budget that is in the family’s interests 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 contacting someone from the office to visit the website.

Overall, case management will be taken care of thoroughly, which is why you can finally have a breather. The economic 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 correct 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 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 are 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 you can trust that our legal advice 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.