When the unexpected happens, and a wrongful death occurs, it takes a wrongful death attorney to get the compensation for the client they deserve and need. How much compensation they can get depends on the situation. Some differences could be due to negligence, or if it was entirely accidental, intentional, which could become a homicide. There are several causes of wrongful death and several reasons behind it to bring investigations to find out the steps to take in a case.
Everything that tallies up the payoff in the lawsuit goes by the damages, medical bills, punitive damages, funeral cost, loss of income and future earnings, loss of inheritance, companionship, child care, maintenance, and other forms of support lost due to the wrongful death. Different laws within states deal with wrongful death, and Texas law is no different.
What is Considered Wrongful Death?
To understand how much can be compensated for wrongful death cases, we would have to look at some examples of wrongful death and what it means. Any type of accident like a vehicle, personal injury cases, work-related cases can turn into a wrongful death case if negligence can be proven along with any intent that may be present. If safety rules are violated, a 100 percent guarantee of a wrongful death case can become drawn up and won.
Let’s say a construction site has failed to put a guard rail, and a worker fell from a high-level platform and got killed in the accident. The construction company is responsible for its employees. Due to the failed guardrail, a wrongful death claim can be filed.
If an accident occurs where an innocent loved one is killed in a DUI situation, a wrongful death claim can be filed. In these situations, punitive damage, which is added punishment for negligence, will be reviewed. Most cases with DUI involvement end up with a penalty and jail time added to the awarded settlement for justice to get served.
Ideas of Awarded Amount
Three things included in the settlement or litigation can jack up the price into millions if these painful stipulations are met. The medical expenses can go into the hundreds of thousands and even as high as a million if the victim lives on life support or goes into a coma for an extended period before death. Insurance companies will pay the bill most of the time, but companies or other parties involved with the negligence may have to fork out the bill too. The victim’s funeral can range from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on the service, casket, and companies involved in the funeral and burial services. Last would be the loss of income for the rest of the survivor’s lives, especially if small children are left behind. The cost of education, food, shelter, and clothing for the children would get factored in, and the money to support the surviving spouse would also be tallied into the figures. If the spouse is in their 30s or 40s with small children, the funds awarded could skyrocket. It is also essential to remember, the attorney will take their cut right off the top first. The fee is usually in the 30 percent range. Some cases win as little as $10,000 to $25,000, while others may win up to one to two million dollars.
Money Awarded for Pain and Suffering and Any Loss
Of all the money a person could win in court, the person’s loss will always be greater than any amount of money awarded in a case settlement or trial. Money is awarded to the survivors closest to the victim. It will never bring the person back, but it will help in some form or fashion of financial stability. Almost anyone would take the loved one back over the money, but the feeling of loss must be compensated for any trauma, mental anguish, emotional pain, or suffering.
A loss of inheritance is another issue where a wrongful death can put a strain on the survivors. In a wrongful death suit, there are situations where people lose their inheritance. If there is a spouse or children involved, the estate will go to the children. The amount depends on the estate. It can all get factored in with the case if the timing is still available. There is a time limit to file a claim. Texas law has up to two years, with some exceptions to the rule. An experienced attorney can figure out the compensation and the time limits to the case.
Who is Eligible for Compensation?
This can be a tricky question because everyone will want a piece of the pie. Only the immediate family can file a claim. This includes the surviving parents, children, and spouses. Only other family members can file if they are some sort of personal representative to the deceased. All immediate family must file within three months of the family member’s death, or others may step in to file. The family will often sort out their own finances after the case is awarded the compensation.
The Fight and Why an Attorney?
Insurers are the enemy in these types of cases. They will fight aggressively and win if the party does not have an experienced lawyer to handle the case. The insurers will fight all death claims because they make their money off the premiums and how much they can rip off the people. The lawyer cannot bring back the loved one lost, but they can get a fair settlement to the family.