What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The premature death of a family member pricks our sense of justice, especially when that death has been caused by a negligent individual. These incidents, known in legal terms as “wrongful death” cases, always seem even unfair, more so than deaths precipitated by disease, because they are usually avoidable. The justice of the law in San Antonio can counter such an unjust loss. If your family member was killed unnecessarily, the San Antonio wrongful death lawyers at Carabin & Shaw are here to exact justice.
To understand wrongful death cases, we must first clarify what damages can be claimed in a Texas wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, “damages” refers to the tangibles and intangibles survivors lost during their period of mourning. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit might include:
- Losses of household income
- Loss of service, support, advice, maintenance that was previously provided by the deceased
- Mental distress
- Loss of comfort, camaraderie, companionship and love
- Loss of inheritance, including what the deceased would have saved and left had they lived to normal life expectancy
Once the lawsuit has been settled, “compensatory damages,” also known as pecuniary injuries, are paid to the family to make up for their monetary losses. For example, if the family saw a professional counselor, the defendant must match the cost of therapy. The San Antonio lawyers of Carabin & Shaw want to guarantee that your finances are stabilized and your peace of mind is restored.
There is much more to be said about what damages can be claimed in a Texas wrongful death lawsuit. These reparations are not limited to compensatory damages. Some wrongful death lawsuits in Texas allow for the recovery of “exemplary claims,” also known as “punitive damages.” Like compensatory damages, punitive damages are incurred when the death results from another person’s misconduct or negligence.
But unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages do not merely cover the amount of money the family spent following their loved one’s death. Instead, they require that the defendant pay additional reparations to the family. The point of punitive damages is to make an example out of the defendant. So they, theoretically, deter others from committing the defendant’s mistake or one like it.
Punitive damages are controversial. Proponents of punitive damages argue that they make our country safer. Critics contend that they are cruel and superfluous, having no place in the legal corpus that governs a civilized society. The San Antonio lawyers of Carabin & Shaw believe in improving society and seeing that aggrieved families get everything they deserve. What you deserve exceeds any amount of money. Your loved one’s life is immeasurable and irreplaceable. Trust our expert attorneys to ensure that justice is served.
Survival claims are another, less controversial type of damage. Survival claims pertain to the deceased family member. They cover medical and funeral expenses, and they compensate for the pain the decedent suffered between the relevant incident and the time of death. You might think of the survival claims as the minimum penalty.
One of the surviving family members has to make the wrongful death claim, no matter what kind it is. No one else can do it. So for justice to be served, it is incumbent on the family to take action. The San Antonio lawyers at Carabin & Shaw know that taking this step is scary. But we will take it with you and stay at your side, helping you understand what damages can be claimed in a Texas wrongful death lawsuit.
Carabin & Shaw knows wrongful death cases are tricky. So if you have any questions about them, please call us at 800-862-1260, or visit us at our San Antonio offices. Your initial consultation is free of charge.