Collin County Wrongful Death Damages
No monetary settlement or civil verdict can replace the life of a loved one, so the idea of seeking civil compensation for a wrongful death may seem insufficient. However, the purpose of a wrongful death claim is not to replace a lost life, but rather to ensure the future financial stability of surviving family members who suffered tangible and intangible losses as a result of their loved one’s passing.
Depending on the circumstances, Collin County wrongful death damages may cover both economic and non-economic forms of harm suffered by qualifying beneficiaries, and potentially punitive damages as well meant expressly to punish the defendant. During a private consultation, an experienced local lawyer could answer any questions you have about recoverable damages in your situation and help you get started on your claim.
Compensatory Damages Following Wrongful Death
Generally, the claimant in a personal injury claim would be the person who suffered harm as a proximate result of the defendant’s reckless or careless behavior. Therefore, the compensation they would seek through a settlement demand or lawsuit would stem from accident-related damages like medical bills and missed work income. Since the claimant in a wrongful death case is the surviving spouse, children, and/or parents of the decedent, recovery centers around the losses they experienced in the aftermath of, and sometimes immediately prior to, their loved one’s death.
This often includes economic damages which may include lost household income, loss of inheritance from the decedent, funeral and burial or cremation costs, and any of the decedent’s medical bills that the claim beneficiary paid out of pocket. Certain expenses for medical treatment like counseling and therapy may also be folded into a wrongful death settlement demand in Collin County. Non-economic demands may include loss of companionship, loss of consortium for a spouse, loss of guidance for a child, loss of assistance with household tasks, and other forms of mental and emotional distress.
If the personal representative of the Estate of the deceased wishes to recover compensation for damages a deceased individual personally suffered between their accident and their eventual death may do so through a separate claim called a survival action. A well-practiced attorney could explain in further detail how these types of cases work and help determine whether a wrongful death claim or survival action is better under the circumstances.
When are Punitive Damages Available in Wrongful Death Claims?
As the term suggests, punitive damages in civil litigation are meant to punish a defendant rather than compensate specific losses experienced by the claimant. However, just because an accident resulted in someone’s untimely passing does not automatically mean that punitive damages, also known as “exemplary” damages, will be available.
Generally, courts in Texas only award punitive damages in situations involving gross negligence or willfully malicious conduct. Furthermore, only the spouse, children and surviving parents of deceased individuals may seek exemplary damages in a local wrongful death claim.
A Collin County Attorney Could Help Maximize Damages for Wrongful Death
The sudden loss of a loved one due to another’s reckless actions is always devastating, and the resulting financial burdens can be overwhelming. In addition, recovering comprehensively for all these damages through a wrongful death claim can be difficult without legal representation. Fortunately, our seasoned attorneys are available to help.
By working with a qualified legal professional, you could have a much easier time with the process of pursuing wrongful death damages in Collin County. Call today to set up your initial consultation for free.