ILLUSTRATIVE DAMAGES DIRECT EXAMINATION IN A DEATH CASE

ILLUSTRATIVE DAMAGES DIRECT EXAMINATION IN A DEATH CASE

Dealing with damages in death cases is challenging. There is often aN unspoken feeling on the part of jurors that money won’t bring a deceased back or there is something greedy about asking for money for a dead person. Trying to paint the picture of who the deceased was and reimbursing in money can be difficult. The following is more of an outline of ideas than an outline to question from. It is intended for a close family friend, not the spouse or parent of a deceased. For those cases, it is necessary to add a great deal more about the roles of those involved and impact of the death. This is a rough illustration of some thoughts to consider in preparing for the direct examination of a witness in a death case.

DIRECT EXAMFAMILY DEATH ACTION

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IDENTIFICATION OF WITNESS

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1.        Name & address

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2. Marital: wife & children

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3.Employment:

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(1)present work

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KNOWLEDGE ABOUT FAMILY

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1.Explain how acquainted with family

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2.Length of time known them and extent of contact with them

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DESCRIPTION OF FAMILY

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1.Deceased

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(1)Employment

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a.Work at time of death

b.Nature of employment

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(2)Special Interests or Activities

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a.Membership in civic groups, organizations

b.Hobbies or spare time activities

c.Any honors or awards

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(3)General Health

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a.Describe general health
b.Activities, sports and other physical abilities

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FACTS OF INJURY/DEATH

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1.       Witness to injury or death? (cover facts)

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2.How did you learn of the accident/death

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3.Describe & feelings

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4.What did you do – explain

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ELEMENTS OF DAMAGE

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2.Economic loss

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        (1) benefits:

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                (a) Money, goods & services:

            (b) Money spent on self – thrift & saving

           ( c) Presents or gifts to family

   (d) Income & earnings

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3.Non-economic loss

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               (1)Widow’s Loss:

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    a.  Support

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    b.  Love, affection & care

      (a)  kindness, helpfulness

      (b)  character

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    c.  Services

      (a)  household work: shopping etc

      (b)  additional expense

      (d)  plumbing, electrical etc repair

      (e)  gardening & lawn

      (d)  Responsible for bill payments

      (e)   driving children  

      (f)     unusual skills

      (d)  Impact on consortium:

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“The right of one spouse to the company, cooperation and the aid of the other in the matrimonial relationship. it includes love, affection, care services, companionship (including sexual companionship) as well as assistance from one spouse to the other”

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d.Loss of activities:
(a)      fishing, hiking, sports, trips, vacations

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e. Love & affection

(a) dreams for future: what plans?

(b) fear of future,. helplessness

f. Special difficult dates

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        a.  birthdays

        b.  mothers/father’s day

        c.  anniversary

        d.  thanksgiving

        e.  Christmas

        f.  New years

        g.  Valentines day

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            H. Special difficult events

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        a.  wedding

        b.  graduation

        c.  children’s sports

        d.  children’s accomplishments

        e.  family dinners

        f.  family reunions

        g.  family vacations

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(2)children’s loss:

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a.Loving support

b.love & care: closeness

c.guidance, training and instruction

d.  help with homework, activities

                     e.  Safety & protection

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CONCLUSION

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1.What kind of a person was he?

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  a.  fun loving/affable

  b.  goal oriented

  c.  sense of humor

  d.  gregarious

  e.  self confident

  f.  intellectually challenging

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2.What have you observed the family misses the most about having him gone?

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3.what has been the most difficult thing for widow (and children) cope with?    

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4.what is the most significant thing you know of regarding the effect of this tragedy on them?

One thought on “ILLUSTRATIVE DAMAGES DIRECT EXAMINATION IN A DEATH CASE

  1. Thanks, very helpful. Looks like the numbering might be off in “Elements of Damages” and “c” is missing after “additional expense.” Not trying to be picky but thought this observation might be helpful.

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