Is a wrongful death claim worthwhile if an at-home spouse dies?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2021 | Wrongful Death |

When someone in your immediate family dies, the consequences could last a lifetime. When you consider the impact of that loss, looking into a wrongful death claim can minimize the financial consequences, at least.

Colorado law gives you the option of seeking compensation for economic losses based on what the deceased person would have likely provided to their dependents and also non-economic losses, like emotional suffering due to a tragic loss.

For many families, economic losses related to future income are among the biggest contributors to the final value of a wrongful death claim. If someone doesn’t earn an income because they are a stay-at-home spouse or parent, does that mean it is not worth pursuing a wrongful death claim?

Economic losses are not just about direct financial contributions

Members of your family don’t only contribute to everyone’s quality of life through their earning potential. Their unpaid household contributions are also invaluable. A stay-at-home spouse contributes a much larger amount to the household’s standard of living than many people realize.

If you had to outsource childcare, cleaning, grocery shopping and other domestic responsibilities, it would cost your family tens of thousands of dollars a year to pay a professional for those jobs. An estimate based on research and service prices in 2019 found that a stay-at-home spouse paid a fair market rate for their work should receive about $178,000 for their labor.

In other words, the labor your loved one would have provided has a real economic value, even if they didn’t earn any income for the household.

Wrongful death claims are about more than money

For many families, the economic value of their claim isn’t the biggest concern after the tragic loss of a loved one. What they really want is not compensation but a sense of justice.

Especially when a tragic loss did not result in the criminal prosecution of the responsible party, a civil suit may be your family’s best option for holding someone accountable for their irresponsible or illegal behavior. Learning about what kind of claim you can make in a wrongful death scenario will help your family seek justice and a sense of closure after a family tragedy.