Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Losing a loved one is tragic, and sometimes the sense of hurt never ends. These raw feelings are worse when the death of a loved one is the result of another person’s negligent actions. That’s why it’s important to speak with a wrongful death attorney about your case. Attorneys Jackson R. Reed, Travis B. Terry, and Allan A. Cease are committed to surviving family members in the greater Sugar Land, Katy, and Richmond, TX areas.
During wrongful death lawsuits, different kinds of damages are sought. Let’s discuss the damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, how they are calculated, and how the amount in legal damages compares to pre-trail settlements.
Compensatory Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Compensatory damages cover material losses in a civil case. In wrongful death lawsuits, compensatory damages will cover funerary expenses, emergency medical care prior to death, damaged property, the love one’s lost future income, emotional pain and suffering, and so forth.
Calculating Compensatory Damages
Calculating compensatory damages is relatively simply since there are bills and invoices that can be referenced. For emotional pain and suffering, for instance, one can look at bills from therapists or grief counselors. These amounts can be added up in order to arrive at a final amount.
Punitive Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Punitive damages are not tied to material losses in a case. Instead, these types of damages are sought to punish the negligent party for the actions that resulted in the death of your loved one.
Calculating Punitive Damages
Calculating punitive damages is not always straightforward. Juries will award an amount based on the nature of the incident. Generally speaking, more will be awarded in punitive damages if the fatal accident or incident was especially careless, negligent, or hurtful.
Loss of Consortium in Wrongful Death Cases
In addition to compensatory damages and punitive damages, it’s also possible to seek a loss of consortium claim in wrongful death cases. This covers the intangible aspects of the loss of a loved one, including the loss of companionship, affection, and society.
In essence, a loss of consortium claim covers the difficulties associated with the absence of your loved one, from parenting and help around the home to that person’s love and emotional support.
Calculating Loss of Consortium
Since loss of consortium deals with intangibles, the amount awarded will usually depend on the nature of the relationship you had with the deceased. Juries will need to evaluate the companionship lost and its toll on the surviving loved one/household.
How Do Legal Damages Compare to Pre-Trial Settlement Amounts?
The overall amount awarded in damages can be higher than what is provided in a pre-trial settlement. However, pre-trial settlements avoid lengthy court battles. Unlike a trial, the details of a settlement will not be made public.
Our attorneys can evaluate settlement amounts and help negotiate a better deal for you. If a better settlement cannot be reached, we will take your case to trial and fight diligently on your behalf.
Contact Reed & Terry, L.L.P.
If you have lost a loved one because of the negligence of another person, be sure to contact our team of fatal accident and injury attorneys. You can reach the Reed & Terry, L.L.P. offices in Sugar Land, Katy, and Richmond by phone at (281) 201-0988.