What Damages can be Claimed in a Texas Wrongful Death Case?
When a loved one is lost due to the wrongful actions of another person, there is nothing that can be done to remedy the pain and despair that the loss causes. While nothing will bring back your loved one or truly right the wrong that has been suffered, filing a wrongful death claim for damages may yield financial compensation that helps your family move forward and support yourselves during such a difficult time. Attorney Stephen G. Nagle will advocate for your family in your pursuit of damages in a wrongful death claim, and do everything possible to maximize your compensation amount. Consider the following regarding the types of damages that may be sought in a wrongful death case:
Damages for Actual Economic Losses
The death of a loved one is often accompanied by various expenses and costs, including future economic costs, such as:
- Medical bills prior to death;
- Funeral and burial costs;
- Costs associated with the probate process; and
- The value of lost wages and loss of earning capacity of the decedent.
The estate and beneficiaries of the deceased person maintain the right to seek compensation for the full value of past and future economic losses suffered.
(Note that wrongful death actions and survival actions are distinct, but may be pursued simultaneously. Survival actions are intended to compensate the estate of the decedent for damages suffered prior to death, such as medical bills. Talk to an experienced attorney to learn more about the different claim types and damages available.)
Damages for Noneconomic and Emotional Losses
Perhaps the greatest losses suffered by a person who has experienced the death of a loved one are not economic in nature, but noneconomic and emotional. Recognizing this, Texas courts allow plaintiffs in a wrongful death suit to seek damages for noneconomic, emotional losses suffered too, including:
- Loss of support and services;
- Loss of household services;
- Loss of parental guidance and support;
- Loss of companionship and love; and
- Emotional suffering and mental anguish.
Section 71.009 of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code explains that in the event that the death of the decedent was caused by the willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant, punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, may be sought. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate family members, but are instead meant to punish the defendant for their egregious actions.
Work with a Skilled Texas Wrongful Death Attorney
Understanding your rights after losing a loved one can be complicated. Texas wrongful death attorney Stephen G. Nagle can assist you in navigating the legal system, understanding the difference between a survival action and a wrongful death claim, and recovering compensation for both economic and noneconomic losses suffered. For your free consultation, call Attorney Stephen G. Nagle directly or send him a message using the intake form found on his website.