Defective products, criminal activity and car crashes are all examples of preventable situations that may have tragic outcomes. In Texas, the surviving family members of someone who dies through the wrongful acts or negligence of another party can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
That lawsuit can help the family recover certain financial losses. The state also allows families to seek certain non-economic damages. Let’s look at a few of those.
Loss of support
While technically the loss of support involves a quantifiable financial value, what the family loses is deeply personal. Even a person who doesn’t have a job outside the home might help around the house with everything from child care to vehicle maintenance. Family members can place a financial value on those household losses and seek that value in their wrongful death claim.
Loss of consortium and mental anguish
The surviving family members can seek compensation for the loss of loving companionship they suffer separately from the practical support that they lose when someone dies. Family members can also claim their mental anguish or grief over the unexpected loss. This kind of claim can be beneficial if family members require counseling or other support to process their grief.
Most of the amount sought in a wrongful death claim will relate to specific economic or non-economic losses suffered because of the death. However, in cases involving gross negligence or willful misconduct, the courts may impose an additional financial penalty on the responsible party. Exemplary damages don’t directly connect to a loss but are instead a means of penalizing the party who caused the death.
Understanding the kinds of damages available in a wrongful death claim can help you see the value in pursuing civil justice.