Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Damages in Texas

What damages can be claimed and who can rightfully claim them?

A wrongful death claim is a type of lawsuit that can be filed to obtain compensation for any losses incurred due to the wrongful death of their family member. The death will have been caused by the reckless, negligent, even intentional actions of another person. When deciding if a wrongful death lawsuit is the appropriate course to take, one can decide if the event that caused the death had only resulted in injury, would a personal injury claim for damages been allowed. If so, then a wrongful death claim would be valid.

In Texas, only the “surviving statutory beneficiaries” can file a wrongful death claim. These include the parents, spouse, and children of the decedent. In some cases, the personal representative of the deceased may also file a claim.

Types of damages that can be recouped in a wrongful death claim depend on the relationship to the decedent.

The Surviving Parents

Parents can recoup for losses of both companionship and society of the child and also for the mental distress resulting from the death. If their child was a minor that did receive payment for services, parents can seek to recover the calculated value of those services until the child reached adult age minus the normal costs of raising the child such as education and maintenance while the child would have been considered a minor. If their child was an adult, parents can typically recover the value of any financial contributions that would have continued if the child still lived.

The Surviving Spouse

The spouse of the deceased is another who is entitled to damages for the loss of companionship and the mental distress caused by the death. The surviving spouse can also recover the financial contributions they would have probably received as well as compensation for the value of intangible services that were provided by the deceased.

The Surviving Children

Children of the deceased are also entitled to recovery of damages due to mental distress and loss of companionship. If the child is a minor, the reasonable sum the decedent would have provided for the maintenance of the child, and the value of any training and education that would have been provided can be recovered. If the child is an adult, any reasonable financial contributions that would have been made by the deceased can also be recovered.

Other Damages

In some cases, punitive damages, and inheritance lost may be awarded as well.

Given the complexity of the damages, and finding the reasonable value of some of the intangible losses suffered, it is very important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after a wrongful death has occurred. There are also statutes of limitation for how long one has to file a wrongful death claim, as well as other possible deadlines that must be met in order to recover all damages. Our wrongful death attorneys at Carabin Shaw are experts in making sure you get the compensation you are entitled. If the death of a loved one was the result of another’s recklessness or neglect, contact Carabin Shaw day or night, 7 days a week for a free consultation with no obligation.