Q: How should the proceeds from a wrongful death settlement be fairly divided between, spouse, minor child and parents?
It should be divided based on the loss each victim endured. The mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, parental care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance or education which the surviving has experienced or probably will experience in the future plus any economic losses.
How do you calculate that number and split up a settlement based on that? It is really hard. And your lawyer cannot choose among her clients and suggest a split. The family either has to have separate lawyers or come to a mutual agreement on how it should be split.
Mark Oakley agrees with this answer
A: The family needs to come to a mutual agreement among themselves, or likely everyone is heading to separate lawyers and a court trial on damages. If the child or children of the decedent are minors, it gets more complicated because a legal guardian needs to be appointed and the court has to approve the division. The lawyer for the family claimants, if representing all in the claim for purposes of recovery, cannot ethically get involved in determining how to split up the money and apportion it among the competing claims.
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