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When a loved one dies, it is the non-economic damages that resonate with a jury. Jurors are asked to identify the loss to the plaintiff of the decedents love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society and moral support. The jury instruction (CACI 3921) states “no fixed standard exists for deciding the amount of non-economic damages. You must use your judgment to decide on a reasonable amount based on the evidence and your common sense.”
It is critical that the lawyer show a unique and special relationship between the plaintiff and the decedent. Unfortunately, many insurance companies and their lawyers don’t appreciate the specific, unique and meaningful relationships between the plaintiff and the decedent. They will simply determine that the relationship is “cookie-cutter” and just like all of their other wrongful death cases.
For example: in one of our wrongful death cases our client was a middle-aged man whose mother was tragically killed in an automobile accident. His mother was in her 80s and it was argued by the defense that she did not have a lot of years to live. Our client was her only child and we were able to argue that she was everything to him. We presented specific and detailed facts about their loving relationship and how they depended upon each other. We describe a loving and tender emotional connection beyond the typical holiday visits and phone calls that the defense assumed existed.
Based on the evidence, the case resolved for twice its original value and we were able to obtain a favorable outcome for our client. It is of utmost importance to not assume that an insurance company or its attorney will be fair and reasonable. It is necessary to provide detailed information, including photographs, video, letters and other documents to prove the exact relationship.
Do you have a similar story and need a lawyer on your side? Call Frank Penney Injury Lawyers at 888-873-6639 or get a Free Case Evaluation to see how we can help you.
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