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What damages can you recover in wrongful death cases?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Wrongful Death |

The emotional turmoil following the loss of a loved one in a fatal road accident is an experience that no amount of money can ever truly compensate for. However, knowing the potential damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can help surviving family members make informed decisions. If you have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death, what types of damages can you recover in Texas?

Economic damages

Economic damages are tangible losses resulting from the wrongful death. These calculable damages include:

  • Medical expenses: This covers all medical bills incurred from the time of the accident until the victim’s death.
  • Funeral and burial costs: These are reasonable expenses for the funeral and burial or cremation.
  • Lost income: This is the expected income the deceased would have earned if they had lived. It includes wages, benefits and pension.

Another type of economic damage is the loss of inheritance. This refers to the value of the inheritance the deceased would likely have left to their heirs if they had lived.

Noneconomic damages

On the other hand, noneconomic damages are more difficult to quantify because they are intangible. These subjective losses include:

  • Loss of companionship: This pertains to the emotional pain and suffering of surviving family members due to the loss of the deceased’s companionship, love and comfort.
  • Mental anguish: This refers to anxiety, grief and despair, which are examples of emotional pain and suffering that family members can experience.

Additionally, the deceased’s spouse can seek damages for loss of consortium. This means the deprivation of the benefits of a marital relationship, including affection and sexual relations.

Exemplary damages

The court awards exemplary damages when the defendant’s conduct was grossly intentional or negligent. These serve to punish the defendant and prevent similar behavior in the future.

Aiming for financial relief and justice

Pursuing a wrongful death claim may be an overwhelming ordeal. With legal support, you may understand the potential damages and navigate the process while aiming to gain some measure of financial relief and justice.