Determining Personal Consumption

When dealing with a personal injury or medical malpractice matter that results in a wrongful death, it is important to remove the personal consumption of the Decedent when calculating damages.  Indivisible expenses are not to be included as part of the Decedent’s personal consumption at all.

When calculating personal consumption, it is important to take into account the number of people living in the household (specifically the number of dependent children) as well as the income of the household.  The lower the income, the higher the personal consumption will be, for either men or women.  Likewise, the more dependent children a household has, the lower the personal consumption will be for the household adults.  For retired individuals, personal consumption usually is higher mainly due to increased medical expenses.

In addition, there are several other important components to factor in when coming up with a personal consumption percentage (for example, using the Decedent’s income as the determining factor or using the total household income).

It is important to use an economist that will assign appropriate personal consumption factors in any matters involving a wrongful death.