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What is pecuniary loss?

 

A: Is the financial loss to a family as a result of a person suffering injury or death.

What does that mean in real terms? It means if someone is permanently injured, and can no longer go to work and earn a living, then they have lost the ability to support their family financially. This can be very significant if they were earning a steady living and if their family depended upon them for their livelihood and daily expenses.

In a death case, we always look to see if there is a financial loss to the family as a result of that loved ones death. The financial impact to surviving family is often devastating. Significant problems arise when the person who died is young and was not working or was elderly and also was not working. In order to fully evaluate a potential pecuniary loss claim there are many factors that have to be investigated.

  1. Was the person employed?
  2. Did they have a part-time or full-time job?
  3. Did they receive a W-2 form or 1099 form?
  4. Did they receive any fringe benefits such as a pension or profit sharing plan?
  5. What was his or her highest level of education?
  6.  What was the highest level of schooling that their spouse achieved and their children?
  7. Did the person who died receive any awards for the work they were doing?
  8. How were they supporting the family?
  9. After all the daily expenses were paid, what did they do with the money that was left over, if any?
  10. What gifts do they provide to family members, children, grandchildren and others?
  11. Did this person give to charity?
  12. Did they file income taxes?
Questions like these and many more are part of what an experienced attorney needs to know in order to evaluate a possible pecuniary loss claim within a medical malpractice, accident or wrongful death lawsuit.