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If you have lost a family member due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. 

A wrongful death claim is a special type of legal claim that allows you to recover damages related to the death of a loved one. There are a number of situations in which a wrongful death claim might arise. For example, you may be able to recover on a wrongful death claim due to the negligent actions of a: 

  • Driver, 
  • Doctor, 
  • Business, 
  • Caregiver, or
  • Manufacturer. 

So long as the death of your loved one was a result of the negligent party’s actions, you may have a valid legal claim. 

This can be extremely helpful in allowing you to recover from the death of your loved one. But how are wrongful death settlements paid out? 

This article will discuss this important question that many wrongful death claimants have. For more information on this question and wrongful death claims in general, contact the Johns Law Firm today. 

Who Pays the Wrongful Death Settlement Payment?

Wrongful death claims will vary from case to case. However, insurance providers are typically the party that is responsible for paying out a wrongful death settlement. 

It is important to note that although insurance providers will pay out claims on behalf of their insureds, their policies will often have a policy limit. Thus, depending on the extent and severity of the damages involved in your case, you may require more compensation than the insurance policy provides. 

Further, many insurers will attempt to pay out as little as possible to satisfy a claim. Accordingly, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney to discuss whether a settlement payment is fair and equitable under the circumstances.  

Are Wrongful Death Settlements Taxable?

According to the IRS, settlements for wrongful death claims are generally non-taxable. 

A wrongful death settlement is typically comprised of “compensatory damages.” The purpose of compensatory damages is to make a person whole or replace what was lost. Examples of compensatory damages in a wrongful death case include: 

  • Loss of the deceased’s expected earnings; 
  • Loss of inheritance;
  • Loss of pension plans or medical coverage; 
  • Mental anguish or pain and suffering; and 
  • Loss of care, protection, guidance, love, and companionship. 

Thus, it is important to look at the purpose of the damages. If the damages are meant to compensate the wrongful death claimant, it is likely that the damages are non-taxable. However, if the purpose of the damages is to punish the opposing party (punitive damages), the settlement may be taxable. 

How Long Does It Take to Settle Wrongful Death Claims?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. Again, because each case is different, the length of time it will take to settle will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. 

Some cases take only weeks or months to resolve. However, if your case involves complicated facts or a high amount of claimed damages, it may take much longer to reach a resolution. 

Contact Our Team Today

If you have questions about your potential wrongful death settlement, consider contacting an attorney today. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you assess your damages, negotiate a potential settlement, and determine how your claim will be paid out. 

At the Johns Law Firm, we want to help. Altogether, we are licensed in five states and have over 60 years of combined experience helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and see what we can do for you.

Author Photo

Jeremiah Johns

Jeremiah N. Johns is a trial attorney who represents clients in insurance, maritime, personal injury, and litigation matters. Raised on a family farm in Southeast Georgia, at an early age he gained an appreciation for hard work and ingenuity. These values form the bedrock of his practice.​ Jeremiah holds an LL.M. in Admiralty from Tulane Law School and a J.D. from Syracuse University, where he graduated with honors. He also graduated magna cum laude with bachelor degrees in political science and economics from Georgia State University.