top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

How Is Death Compensation Calculated in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Losing a loved one is a profound and heart-wrenching experience. When that loss results from someone else's negligence, medical malpractice, or wrongful actions, the grief can make the survivors seek justice and compensation for the untimely death.

That's where wrongful death attorneys come into play. These professionals have the legal expertise to ensure the court accounts for all eligible damages. They have more information on what the pitbull laws in Texas are as well.

They can protect the rights of surviving family members. Lawyers can guide family members through the process. They can offer legal counsel and compassionate support during a trying time and answer questions such as How Are Wrongful Death Proceeds Divided in Texas?

The states across the US calculate wrongful death compensation in different ways. A reputable attorney can also help plaintiffs understand how the judge might financially reward them based on the case's specifics.

How Does the Court Calculate and Award Wrongful Death Compensation Damages?

How Does the Court Calculate and Award Wrongful Death Compensation Damages?

The court begins by evaluating all kinds of damages. It can include economic and non-economic losses.

Economic Damages (Special Damages)

Special or economic damages are the quantifiable financial losses the surviving family members incur after a loved one's death. These damages are a direct result of the unfortunate event. This category can encompass several key components:

Medical Expenses

This includes all the medical bills accrued due to the injuries or medical treatment associated with the wrongful act.

These expenses are typically recoverable in wrongful death claims, alleviating the financial burden on the family.

Funeral Expenses

The costs of laying a loved one to rest can be substantial. In a wrongful death lawsuit, these funeral expenses are economic damages. It ensures those responsible for the wrongful death bear the financial weight of their actions.

Lost Future Income

Perhaps the most significant component of economic damages is the lost future income of the deceased person. This calculation considers various factors, such as age, occupation, income level, and expected life expectancy.

It aims to determine the potential earnings that would have benefited the family if the wrongful death had not happened.

Non-economic Damages (General Damages)

Besides economic damages, wrongful death compensation may include general damages. These compensate for the intangible losses experienced by the surviving family members. Non-economic damages can encompass:

Pain and Suffering

Grief, anguish, and emotional distress can be immeasurable. Still, non-economic damages aim to provide some compensation for these intangible burdens.

Loss of Companionship

Losing a loved one's companionship, guidance, and emotional support can be traumatizing. Non-economic damages acknowledge this aspect of the loss.

Punitive Damages

Such damages may come into play when the wrongful death lawsuit involves gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

These damages serve a different purpose. They aim to punish the wrongdoer rather than compensate the family.

The wrongful death compensation calculated and awarded can vary widely. It shows the law does not tolerate such criminal actions.

Wrongful Actions That Lead to Untimely Death

Reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, and other negligent behaviors on the road can lead to fatal motor vehicle accidents.

On the other hand, medical professionals can also make errors in diagnosis, treatment, or surgery, causing patient deaths. This includes misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, medication errors, and more.

Negligence or safety violations in the workplace can lead to fatal accidents, such as falls, machinery accidents, or exposure to hazardous substances. Homicide and assault, intentional or due to a criminal act, can also lead to untimely deaths.

On top of that, the court can hold landlords who fail to maintain safe premises liable for deaths resulting from accidents on their property, such as slip and fall incidents.

What to Expect from a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas

A wrongful death claim is a complex process. Victims must have legal representation. Personal injury attorneys bring a wealth of experience and expertise to guide family members through the complexities and protect their rights.

Eligibility to File Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The first step is understanding who can file a wrongful death case in Texas. Typically, surviving family members, such as spouses, children, and parents, have the primary right to bring a wrongful death claim. The deceased person's estate representative can also initiate a lawsuit for the victim and beneficiaries.

Statute of Limitations

Generally, the statute of limitations in Texas for most wrongful death cases is two years from the deceased person's passing date. Failing to initiate legal action within this time frame can result in the dismissal of the case.

Thorough and Detailed Investigation

Anyone who wants to file a wrongful death case should hire a qualified wrongful death law firm for the job. Evidence gathering, witness interviews, and expert consultations are integral to building a compelling case. This process establishes liability and determines the extent of damages.

Also, an experienced wrongful death attorney will work to secure fair wrongful death settlements that adequately compensate the family. Negotiations can spare members the emotional toll of a trial.

The Difference Between a Wrongful Death Action and a Survival Claim

The Difference Between a Wrongful Death Action and a Survival Claim

These two legal avenues serve distinct purposes and address different aspects of the situation.

A wrongful death settlement case is a legal claim brought by family members or the estate representative of the victim.

Its primary aim is to seek compensation for the people who have endured the loss of their loved one due to another party's negligence or wrongful actions.

On the other hand, a survival claim is a legal action brought by the estate representative of the victim. This claim addresses the suffering endured by the deceased person before their passing and seeks an advanced wrongful death settlement on their behalf.

Final Words

The question of how death compensation is calculated in a wrongful death lawsuit resonates with countless people who find themselves on this challenging path to justice.

At its core, the calculation of death compensation reflects the losses of family members. The journey begins with a comprehensive assessment of economic damages.

This includes medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost future income. These figures seek to alleviate the tangible financial impact of the untimely loss.

The aim is to ensure that family members receive just compensation and that the wrongdoer is held accountable for their crimes.

A wrongful death attorney from a reputable firm like Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help victims win confusing trials. Stating, "We Go to War for You," its lawyers can ensure a successful wrongful death case for clients.


bottom of page