Losing a loved one is never easy. When a death is caused by negligence, it can make the grieving process more complicated as you navigate legal concerns. Although no amount of money can replace the person you lost, getting the compensation you deserve can help ease financial burdens. One factor that influences wrongful death cases is the life expectancy of the deceased individual. This article covers some of the basics that affect life expectancy in the context of wrongful death cases, but this varies based on the individual case and it’s important to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney for more information.

Why Does Life Expectancy Matter In A Wrongful Death Case?

Damages in a wrongful death case include costs that have already been incurred, such as medical bills for treatment the deceased individual received or funeral expenses. It can also include future costs, such as wages the deceased individual would have earned or retirement benefits they would have accrued. These calculations require an estimate of life expectancy.

What Factors Influence Life Expectancy?

No one can accurately determine someone’s life expectancy with 100% certainty and after a wrongful death, there’s no way to know for sure how many years were taken from the deceased individual. However, actuarial data is used to estimate life expectancy in these cases. There are a variety of factors that can interact to affect this estimate, and the experts involved in any given case will need to closely consider all the elements that could influence the final calculation.

Some examples include:


Age plays a large role in life expectancy calculations for wrongful death cases. All else being equal, someone who passed away at 30 would be expected to have more years of lost wages than someone who passed away at 60.

Biological Sex

Life expectancies differ between men and women. On average, women live five years longer than men.

Health History

The health of the deceased individual affects their calculated life expectancy. Someone with no known health issues would typically be expected to live longer compared to someone with documented medical concerns. The impact of specific health conditions depends on a variety of factors.


The choices a person makes on a day-to-day basis can impact their life expectancy. One of the most common habits that can affect this calculation is smoking, which reduces life expectancy. Certain hobbies with known risks can also lead to a shorter projected life expectancy. Examples include rock climbing, wakeboarding, or mountain biking.


Certain jobs come with increased risks that can affect life expectancy calculations. In general, those with office jobs are expected to live longer than those with construction jobs or who perform other types of risky manual labor.

Get Support From A Personal Injury Attorney

After losing a loved one, you are likely overwhelmed. Let us help you by managing the legal aspects of your case. We will work hard to get you the money you deserve so you can focus on grieving.

If you lost a loved one due to negligence, contact Grabb & Durando today for a free consultation.

Hire an Experienced Attorney

Having a lawyer on your side during the post-arrest process, especially for the initial appearance and arraignment, is crucial. At Grabb & Durando, we are available 24/7 to assist you if you are being arrested.
Contact our law firm today for a free initial consultation after an arrest.