What Damages are Available in Wrongful Death Claims?

- Charles Argento

After losing a loved one in a tragic accident, money hardly feels like a worthy substitute for the family member or spouse that you’ll never see again. However, families who have lost someone in an accident are often left with overwhelming expenses accrued when the person who passed was in the final stages of their life. When the deceased person was the family’s primary wage earner, families are left in a perilously-unstable financial position. While nothing can bring back a beloved family member, many Texas families who have suffered a loss due to someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior have the right to seek damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. You can learn more below about the types of money damages that may be available after a loss. Speak with a seasoned Houston wrongful death attorney if you have additional questions.

Damages available in a Houston wrongful death case

When someone dies as the result of another person or corporation’s error or wrongful act, the spouse, children, or parents of the victim have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek compensation for their loss. Family members and the victim’s estate may seek the following types of damages in a claim filed after a wrongful death:

  • Lost earning capacity: This is compensation for the money that the victim would have earned during their lifetime for their family, had they not died.
  • Lost inheritance: This is compensation for the amount of money that the family members of the victim would have expected to receive as an inheritance from the victim, had the indivdiual survived and continued earning money.
  • Lost companionship and society: This is compensation for the lost support, comfort, and company that the deceased would have continued to provide to their spouse, family members, or children had they survived.
  • Survivor damages: The personal representative of the person who died may also seek the damages that the deceased person would have had a right to recover in a personal injury claim, had they not died. These could include damages for the victim’s pain and suffering before they died, as well as their medical expenses.
  • Exemplary Damages: When the death was caused by either gross negligence or a willful act or omission, the family may be entitled to exemplary damages. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for an especially careless or intentional act that resulted in the victim’s death, to deter similar wrongful conduct in others.

If you need help seeking money damages after losing a loved one in a Texas accident, contact the knowledgeable and dedicated Houston wrongful death lawyer Charles J. Argento for a no-cost, confidential consultation on your case, at 713-225-5050.