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.
How are Medical Bills Paid if I am Injured in an Accident?
When unexpected accidents occur, the injuries you suffer can be severe. Even a seemingly minor incident can leave you requiring medical testing, treatment, medications, and ongoing physical therapy. The costs associated with your treatment can easily run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. In these situations, Austin personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle is here to help. He acts as a strong legal advocate on your side, so you can get the compensation you need to cover these debts.
The High Cost of Accidental Injuries
Even an otherwise minor accident, such as a fender bender or a slip, trip, or fall can leave you with injuries that require extensive medical care. Paying for the costs of diagnostic testing, treatment, and any ongoing care you require is a major concern among accident victims, and rightly so.
According to estimates by the National Safety Council (NSC), even a mild injury can result in costs of up to $20,000 or more, while more severe accidents can end up costing more than $90,000. This is an addition to other costs you suffer, such as lost wages, property damages, and out of pocket expenses. How do you pay for these costs? In general, most ‘accidents’ are the result of the reckless and negligent actions of other people, such as:
Motor vehicle accidents caused by speeding, distracted driving, or drivers under the influence;
Truck accidents caused by the actions of the driver or the trucking company involved;
Slips and falls due to wet floors or uneven sidewalks;
Injuries caused by defective or dangerous products.
In all of the above cases, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs and other damages either through an insurance claim or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Waiting to Resolve Your Claim
As big businesses, insurance companies are known for undervaluing or even denying claims. Even if they do approve a settlement, it may be less than what you are entitled to, or may not cover future medical expenses you are likely to suffer. Your best course of action may be filing a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible. Under the Texas Code, you have up to two years after your accident to file a lawsuit. While you are waiting for your case to resolve, your lawyer can notify your medical providers. In general, most are willing to defer payments on the amount owed until your claim is resolved.
Let Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen G. Nagle Assist You
When an accident leaves you suffering serious injuries that require ongoing medical care, you need someone on your side protecting you and defending your rights in a settlement. Call or contact Austin personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle online today and request a consultation to see how he can help you recover.
Travis County personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle advises taking photos in the aftermath of an accident as a way to protect your rights in a claim.
Accidents tend to happen suddenly and when you least expect them. While you may be injured and in shock in the aftermath, the actions you take during this time can impact your rights in a personal injury claim. If at all possible, taking photos at the accident or having a friend do it for you provides valuable evidence in your case.
Taking Photos at the Accident Scene
While commonly referred to as ‘accidents,’ personal injuries generally occur as the result of another’s reckless or negligent actions. Taking photos at the accident scene can help document important details about your case and can help to prove the injuries you suffered.
In the event of a car accident, use your smartphone to capture photos of the area surrounding the accident, any skid marks on the road, the damage to both the inside and exterior of your vehicle, your injuries, and the other car involved. I also recommend taking photos of the license plate, insurance card, driver’s license, and, with permission, the other driver. However, it is important to note that car crashes are not the only time you should pull out your camera. Use your phone, tablet, or other device to document the scene and your injuries in the following types of accidents as well:
Commercial vehicle accidents;
Collisions involving motorcycles or recreational vehicles;
Slip, trip, and fall;
In situations in which you are struck by or against an object;
Cases involving animal bites or attacks,
Injuries caused by defective products.
In any of these situations, it is important to capture photos that may provide clues as to how the accident happened, who may have been responsible, and how it resulted in your injuries.
How Accident Photos Impact Your Rights in a Claim
In the case of many different types of accidents resulting in personal injuries, you may be entitled to compensation through an insurance claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies operate the same as any other business, meaning their biggest concern is making a profit. If they can find a reason to deny, dispute, or otherwise undervalue your claim, they will.
While an insurance claims adjuster will be assigned to investigate your case, their time and resources are limited. Having your own photos taken immediately at the accident scene or soon after it occurred can help defend your rights in these claims.
Even if there is not a policy in place or your claim is denied, you may still be able to get compensation for your losses. Under Section 41.001 of the Texas Civil Remedies Code, you may be entitled to additional amounts in a personal injury lawsuit than you would otherwise be able to obtain through an insurer. In these cases, photos play a valuable role as evidence.
Contact Travis County Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen G. Nagle Today
When accidental injuries occur, Travis County personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle is here to help you get the compensation you need to recover. To request a consultation to discuss your case, contact his Travis County office today.