Settling a Wrongful Death Case in Murphy
The compensation a person could receive when settling a wrongful death case in Murphy depends on a variety of factors related to the unjust passing. There is no average damages amount for such cases in Texas, and no caps on compensation, unless the passing was the result of medical malpractice.
To make the entire process easier on you and your family, you should consider working with an experienced attorney who has experience negotiating fair wrongful death settlements and could strive to get you the maximum damages amount. While settlements are typically less time-consuming, if the defense refuses to offer fair compensation, a dedicated lawyer could also represent your interests in trial.
Calculating a Fair Settlement for an Unjust Death
In Murphy, most wrongful death settlements start by calculating what the deceased loved one would have earned throughout their lifetime to compensate surviving family members for these lost earnings. Other factors that can impact the final damages award include the deceased’s age and health prior to their passing, as well as their habits and temperament. For example, if an older individual near retirement passed because of a workplace accident and had struggled with ill health for years, their projected employment trajectory and income would likely be lower than that of a younger person in excellent health.
If the loved one was retired at the time of their death, lost future earnings capacity may not be viable, but, in certain situations, it could still be possible. When a child is the victim, it is exceedingly difficult to calculate the lifetime earnings of a child who passed due to others’ negligence or intentional actions. There are economic models relying on the child’s natural talents, educational level as well as the educational level and occupations of the child’s parents, that can provide a viable economic model for lost earnings capacity of a child. An experienced wrongful death lawyer working with economists can sometimes design a lost earnings capacity model that will withstand court scrutiny.
In addition to the decease’s potential earnings being considered, the family should also provide evidence of personal and financial losses that accumulated due to their loved one’s passing. An experienced local attorney could help the family determine a fair settlement amount based off the economic and non-economic damages they suffered as a result of the wrongful death.
What Damages Could be Recovered in a Wrongful Passing Case?
Economic damages in unjust death cases refer to financial burdens surviving family members have dealt with and will deal with in the future related to the unexpected loss. Economic damages in wrongful death cases typically include:
- Emergency medical care costs
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of main income
- Loss inheritance
In addition to out-of-pocket expenses related to the loved one’s passing, there is the emotional and personal impact of suddenly losing a loved one. Known as non-economic damages, people who lost a loved one due to another’s negligence could seek compensation for:
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of support, advice, and care
It should be noted, while punitive damages can be awarded in a trial verdict, they are not common in settlements. Furthermore, if the wrongful death occurred due to medical malpractice, damage caps may apply, as per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.001. These caps are $250,000 per claimant, or $500,000 overall.
Discuss Settling a Wrongful Death Case with a Murphy Attorney
Before accepting a settlement offer from a defendant’s insurance adjuster, allow our team to assist you. Settling a wrongful death case in Murphy should be handled by an experienced local attorney who could ensure you are fairly compensated for the losses you have suffered. To get started, contact our office today and schedule a free case consultation.