There are few things in life as painful as unexpectedly losing a loved one due to the negligent actions of another. You know that money cannot truly make up for your loss, but you also know that a monetary recovery can help alleviate the financial burden that you find yourself struggling with after the loss of your loved one, and can help to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. What kinds of compensation might you be able to recover after a successful wrongful death lawsuit?
Who can recover
Texas law limits the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to specific people and circumstances. You can only bring a lawsuit against the responsible party if you are the spouse, child, or parent of the deceased, and if the deceased would have been able to sue for their injuries if they had survived.
If you are successful in your lawsuit, the court will divide the recovery among everyone who had the right to recover for the wrongful death of your loved one.
The types of compensation that you can ask for
In your lawsuit, you can ask to be compensated for costs that you incurred as a result of your loved one’s death, such as medical bills and funeral expenses. If you depended upon your loved one for financial support, you could also recover for that lost support (which will be calculated based off of their wages and earning capacity).
You can also recover for less tangible but equally real losses that you suffered. For example, Texas allows you to recover for loss of companionship and mental anguish. The children of the deceased can recover for the loss of parental guidance, instruction, and comfort, as well as for the loss of a potential inheritance from their deceased parent.
If the death of your loved one was the result of gross negligence or a willful act by the defendant, then Texas law allows you to ask for exemplary damages in addition to the other damages that you recover from your suit.
There is no doubt that a lawsuit will add stress on top of your grieving process. However, with the opportunity to recover financially for your economic and emotional losses, it may be well worth the time and effort, so that you can focus on helping your family members to rebuild your lives after your tragic loss.