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Valuation by human capital and Pittsburgh wrongful death suits

Wrongful death suits are the direct result of an unexpected death of a loved one and the negligence of another. Much of the time the living family members are seeking to prove a responsible party and seek financial compensation for the loss of their loved one. These are all understandable goals for those who have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another. But, how is the compensation often calculated and why could it pose a hurdle for the young or the elderly?

Many times, a wrongful death suit filed by a Pittsburgh family will seek restitution due to the loss of life their loved one suffered because of the responsible party. This could happen in a automobile accident, medical error or other incident where a third party caused harm resulting in death. A wrongful death suit can be sought in order to put responsibility on the negligent party and to seek monetary restitution for the loss. This is why families of loved ones who have passed seek to file these type of claims.

However, there has been legislation that suggests (with some success) that the monetary awards in wrongful death suits are misinterpreted in cases involving the young and the elderly. This is because wrongful death suits often seek damages that are directly related to the loss of wages and monetary value the deceased person would have accumulated if not for their untimely death. This is called valuation of human capital and is not necessarily a way to calculate a person's value after their untimely death. For example, a child would technically be more of an expense than an asset in their early years of life and a retired person technically no longer brings in paychecks due to their work status.

A person is more than their working value dollar valuation brought to both country and family. A person has traits that make them valuable in and of themselves. This is why human capital valuation is not always the best way to measure a person's value in a wrongful death suits. There are other ways to determine a person's value after their unexpected death.

Source: cornell.edu, "Victim Compensation and Wrongful Death Damages," Accessed August 17, 2015

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