Understanding Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit brought by the family or estate of a person who has died due to the wrongful actions or negligence of another party. This is a complex area of law, and the specifics vary by jurisdiction. Regarding wrongful death claims in Texas, the Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 71.001-71.012 governs who can bring these claims and what types of damages they may pursue. The surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased are typically the ones entitled to bring a wrongful death action. The law allows these surviving family members to recover legal damages for their loss.
What Damages Can I Recover a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Losing a loved one is one of the most devastating experiences anyone can face. When that loss is the result of another’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, the grief is often compounded by feelings of injustice. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This legal action seeks to provide monetary relief to help offset the financial impact and emotional toll the incident has caused. Most types of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit are categorized broadly into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are quantifiable costs that can be documented. Examples of economic losses include:
1. Funeral and Burial Costs: The costs associated with laying a loved one to rest can be substantial. A wrongful death claim can seek to recover these expenses.
2. Loss of household income, services, support, advice, and maintenance: The value of the financial benefits the deceased would have provided to their surviving family if they had lived a full life.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are intangible and more difficult to quantify. They aim to provide compensation for the emotional and mental suffering of a surviving family. Examples of non-economic damages include Loss of love, Companionship, Comfort, Society, and Mental Anguish: This provides compensation for the survivors’ emotional pain and suffering caused by the loss of the deceased’s love and companionship.
In some wrongful death cases, there might be a third category of damages available, known as exemplary or punitive damages. These damages are awarded not to compensate the family but to punish the wrongdoer for gross negligence or a willful act or omission and to deter similar conduct in the future.
How to Prove Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Proving damages in a wrongful death claim can be complex. It often requires detailed financial analysis to determine potential lifetime earnings and the monetary value of services, as well as medical expert testimony to ascertain the degree of suffering experienced. For non-economic damages, the testimony of family members, friends, and even psychological experts can be critical in demonstrating the emotional and psychological toll on the surviving family members.
As with all legal matters, it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney to understand all the nuances of a wrongful death claim. The specific facts of each case can greatly impact the types and amount of damages that may be recoverable.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
Lastly, it’s crucial to note that Texas has a statute of limitations on wrongful death claims, which means there is a limited time frame in which a lawsuit can be filed. Typically, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the deceased person’s death. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are limited and specific, so it’s crucial to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid missing the filing deadline.
How Can The Ammons Law Firm with Your Wrongful Death Claim?
At The Ammons Law Firm, we understand the emotional turmoil and financial strain that losing a loved one can impose on a family. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys in Houston are here to support you every step of the way. We are committed to achieving justice for our clients and will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.
Navigating the complexities of a wrongful death claim can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. We will take the time to understand your unique circumstances, determine which act – the Wrongful Death Act or Survival Act – applies to your situation, and strategize the best way to maximize your recovery.
The loss of a loved one is immeasurable, and no amount of financial compensation can truly make up for such a devastating loss. However, a wrongful death claim can provide the necessary resources to secure your family’s future and hold the responsible party accountable.
If you believe you may have a wrongful death claim, contact Ammons Law Firm today. We’re here to guide you through this challenging time and ensure your rights are protected.