While many families take legal action following a wrongful death to obtain closure, others need the compensation that may come along with it to cover losses experienced as a result of the death. This makes it imperative to recognize what damages may be covered in this type of lawsuit.
Whether it is the family or the estate filing the claim on behalf of the deceased, the same damages may be available. There are also exemplary damages, which are only available in very specific situations. Here are some of the things you should know about the damages in a wrongful death claim.
Which Losses are Covered?
Damages in wrongful death claims can include the following losses:
- Lost Income: The losses can include all income the decedent would have earned had he or she not suffered the fatal injury. This calculates the earnings of the individual, as well as their age and expected growth.
- Lost Inheritance: This includes all that would have been saved and left to the surviving family members had the decedent lived out the normal life expectancy.
- Medical Expenses: This can include any medical expenses that may have been incurred from the date of the incident to the date of the passing.
- Pain and Suffering: This is designed to compensate the surviving family members for the mental anguish they’ve suffered, as well as loss of care, companionship, guidance, love, and more.
What are Exemplary Damages?
These are damages that only exist in very specific circumstances. Whereas some personal injury cases in other jurisdictions may allow for punitive damages, Texas laws count for exemplary damages in wrongful death cases when the wrongdoer acts in gross negligence, causing harm in an intentional manner.
The purpose of these damages is to punish the responsible party for his or her actions rather than to serve as compensation to the family. It’s a way of showing that this kind of willful act has consequences and will not be tolerated.
Our San Antonio wrongful death lawyers at the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover are ready to help you every step of the way to help you pursue the compensation you need and deserve.
Call our firm at 210-941-1515 today to discuss your rights.