Cover: Computing Economic Loss in Cases of Wrongful Death

Computing Economic Loss in Cases of Wrongful Death

Published 1988

by Elizabeth M. King, James P. Smith


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This report outlines a new method for computing economic loss in cases of wrongful death. The authors use the human capital (or lost economic output) approach because it dominates actual litigation. In this conceptual model, economic loss is the value of the decedent's lost future productivity, market and nonmarket. The methodology includes seven elements: (1) base-year incomes, (2) salary growth, (3) worklife discounts, (4) nonmarket loss, (5) personal consumption offset, (6) taxes, and (7) discount rates. The methodology can be applied in a wide range of tort cases besides wrongful death.

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