Damages in Texas City Wrongful Death Cases

The grief from losing a loved one is a heavy burden to bear. The struggle is made all the more difficult by the overwhelming logistics and administrative tasks that you must complete when a family member passes away. When the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or intent, getting justice may seem like an impossible mission.

It can be hard to think about money after the wrongful death of a loved one, but the fact remains that your family needs financial support in the aftermath of the loss. An experienced wrongful death attorney will work hard to secure the maximum available damages in Texas City wrongful death cases.

Compensatory Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

The most common type of damages in a wrongful death action are compensatory damages, defined in Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.001(8) as the actual economic and noneconomic costs resulting from the injury that the defendant caused.

Economic damages are concrete and easily quantifiable. They include costs such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost wages/lost earning capacity

In addition, future damages may account for costs that are anticipated to accrue after the wrongful death trial ends, like future lost wages that the decedent would have been providing to their family if not for the fatal injury caused by the defendant.

Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are a bit more subjective to determine. These are amounts awarded to plaintiffs for intangible losses, such as mental anguish and loss of companionship.

Texas generally does not place a cap on compensatory damages in a wrongful death case, so an attorney in Texas City can get their clients the total compensation owed, regardless of the amount.

Exemplary Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

Under Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.009, a wrongful death can qualify for exemplary damages for fatal injuries that were caused intentionally or with gross negligence. Exemplary damages, sometimes referred to as “punitive damages,” are additional amounts of money that go above the compensatory damages in a wrongful death action. They function as a penalty against the defendants to create additional accountability for their actions and to deter malicious or reckless behavior.

Many wrongful death cases arise from a defendant’s act of negligence, but exemplary damages are not applicable to every wrongful death action in Texas City. An action may be deemed negligent only if the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased—either personally or because they owed a duty of care to society at large—but breached that duty and caused injury as a result. In essence, these are acts of unacceptable carelessness.

Gross negligence, however, is much more specific and has a higher burden of proof. Per Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 41.001(11), gross negligence involves actions that pose a significant, probable danger to other people’s safety. An act is grossly negligent when the defendant is aware of the risks they are creating but proceeds anyway with total indifference to others’ wellbeing.

Consult Our Firm To Learn About Damages Available in Texas City Wrongful Death Cases

After the wrongful death of a loved one, the administrative tasks you need to handle will quickly pile up and are made all the more complicated by the emotional toll the loss takes on you. An experienced lawyer can take the lead in these matters and help bereaved family members get the maximum amount of damages in Texas City wrongful death cases. Contact us now, and let us pursue justice on your behalf.

Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC

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