In the aftermath of a wrongful death incident, surviving family members might have questions regarding their rights when it comes to filing a wrongful death claim in Texas. The Lone Star State makes specific provisions in the legal code that detail what defines a wrongful death claim while outlining potential categories of damage awards.
Any death is tragic and immediate but being the victim of a wrongful death incident leaves surviving family members staggering in their wake. The loss of a loved one can never be overcome, but the financial needs of that family cannot be forgotten. This is particularly true if the wrongful death victim was the primary income provider.
Let us turn to the categories of potential wrongful death claims, and the awards that the average claim might pay out in a Texas courtroom. Let’s first look at what constitutes a wrongful death claim in Texas before exploring the categories of payments and their weight in determining a final wrongful death judgement.
Types of Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Broadly speaking, there are two types of damage claims awarded in Texas courts for wrongful death claims: standard and exemplary damages.
The former seeks to obtain economic redress for the loss of a loved one owing to another’s negligence. The latter, exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages, seeks to punish the offending party with a large cash judgement.
When levying punitive damages, the court is acting in the evidence of gross negligence on the part of the defendant and seeks to deter the at-fault party from continuing such behavior in the future. When assessing damages in either event, the court takes a number of facts into considerations when ordering a legal judgement.
Let’s look at the mitigating factors that come into play when a judge looks at the amount of compensation that they might award in wrongful death cases in Texas.
Mitigating Factors in Assessing Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims
When assessing the factors that would go into a tabulation of a wrongful death claim, the court looks at both economic and non-economic factors when arriving at a wrongful death compensation package. Every case is unique, but the court might award damages based on the following:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of inheritance
- Value of lost services of the deceased
- Loss of companionship, love, and support
- Loss of income and future earning capacity
There is no way to compensate for the loss of a loved one. That being said however, surviving family members need financial support as well as emotional support as they attempt to recover from the loss of a loved one. Wrongful death claims are an attempt to redress this loss.
Successfully prosecuting a wrongful death claim in the face of legal challenges posed by insurance companies can be challenging but having qualified legal counsel in your corner can help you navigate those challenges.
Advantages of a Top-Notch Legal Team on Your Side
Successfully mounting a wrongful death claim takes a team of skilled litigators, savvy investigators, as well as firm knowledge of the law. Indeed, ruthless respects tenacious, so marshalling a tenacious defense against insurance company delays is one of the keys to a successful wrongful death claim.
Whether the wrongful death results from medical malpractice, an auto accident, workplace injury, or an 18-wheeler accident, the defending party will be at great pains to limit any judgement if not eliminate a payout entirely. Insurance companies are notorious for low-ball claims.
Before you can win a wrongful death claim in court, you need to find the evidence that the other party was negligent. Having a top-notch legal team by your side affords you the resources you need to plead your case in court and back it up with evidence.
From filing deadlines to determine who has legal standing to file a claim to assembling the evidence that negligence was the underlying cause of your loved one’s death, the team here at Terry Bryant has the expertise to help you with all aspects of your potential wrongful death claim in Texas.
Call Houston Attorney Terry Bryant for Legal Representation
If you and your family were victimized by negligence leading to the death of a loved one, you have legal rights designed to help you financially with a wrongful death lawsuit. Considering that the other party’s insurance company will do everything they can to limit or eliminate paying any claims, you need seasoned legal counsel sitting beside you at the plaintiff’s table.
Houston-based attorney Terry Bryant has the experience, legal skills, and team to get the job done when it comes time to explore your options regarding the filing of a successful wrongful death claim in Texas. Call today and schedule an appointment to discuss your case because you are entitled to compensation if another’s negligence led to your loved one’s demise.