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Wrongful Death Damages

When a car crash results in the death of a loved one, it is a devastating event for everyone involved. The immediate aftermath of a wrongful death is overwhelming, stressful, and frightening, and only with help, guidance, and resources can your family start to recover.

Besides dealing with emotional pain and grief, there are complex and demanding details that require your attention as you plan for the funeral and attempt to settle your loved one’s financial and legal commitments. There may be assets to transfer such as real estate and financial accounts, insurance claims to submit, and a will to execute.

If your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence, the stress and burden you feel will likely be exacerbated. You may be receiving medical bills or experiencing other financial burdens related to the fatal accident and wondering how to handle them. You may also be worried about how your family will deal with the loss of income that your loved one provided.

You may have a viable claim for compensation through a wrongful death case. Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death, you may have legal options under Texas or federal laws.

The skilled Houston wrongful death lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can evaluate your case and explain what types of compensation might be available to you.

Wrongful Death Laws

Two Texas statutes govern claims involving fatal accidents. Depending on the circumstances of your family member’s death, both may apply.

  • Wrongful Death Statute — Chapter 71, Subchapter A of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code allows a surviving spouse, child, or parent to file a wrongful death lawsuit when the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or deceit” of another party causes the death of their family member. Family members may be able to recover actual damages associated with the wrongful death, such as loss of financial contributions, mental anguish, loss of inheritance, loss of society, and loss of support.
  • Survival Statute — When a family member’s death isn’t immediate, Chapter 71, Subchapter B allows for the surviving spouse, child, or parent to file a survival action. A survival action, in essence, allows the family of the decedent to pursue the personal injury damages the decedent could have received if he or she had survived. That may include compensation for medical costs, physical pain, and mental anguish during the time your loved one lived following the accident. You also may be able to receive compensation for funeral, burial, or cremation costs in a survival action.

If your family member was killed in a maritime or railroad accident, certain federal laws may provide unique avenues for seeking compensation for your losses. Depending on your circumstances,
those may include:

  • The Jones Act
  • Death on the High Seas Act
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
  • Federal Employers’ Liability Act

The experienced Houston wrongful death lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can explain which laws may apply to your case and what you can expect as you move forward with your wrongful death case.

Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

Damages are the legal term for the forms of compensation you may be able to receive through a lawsuit. The specific nature of damages you may be able to recover may vary depending on which Texas or federal laws apply to your individual case. However, in general, damages in a wrongful death case tend to fall into these categories:

  • Economic Damages — These include financial losses such as medical expenses incurred, the loss of your family member’s income or earning capacity, the value of services or support that your family member provided but is no longer capable of providing, or property damage.
  • Non-Economic Damages — These types of damages place a value on your mental anguish and grief and other intangible losses such as your family member’s companionship and comfort.
  • Punitive Damages — Punitive damages are intended to be a deterrent or financial punishment when the responsible party’s actions are especially egregious or shocking. It’s very rare to receive these in Texas.

In the face of losing a loved one, all you may want is to have that person in your life again. Unfortunately, the only remedies offered by our judicial system are in the form of money. A lawsuit will not give you back your loved one but it may help you secure financial peace of mind and protect your family after losing a close family member. To achieve those goals, the dedicated wrongful death attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. are here to help. We have helped numerous grieving families in Texas obtain compensation for the death of their loved ones, including numerous multi-million dollar recoveries.

Compassionate Representation For Your Texas Wrongful Death Case

When you’re considering a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s important to find the right personal injury attorneys to handle your case. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we have more than four decades of experience handling fatal accident cases and will fight for justice after your family’s tragic loss.

We understand the devastating effects that an untimely death can have on you and your family, and are committed to providing you with the support, compassion, and strong advocacy that you need during this time of grief.

We have extensive trial experience in holding negligent parties accountable and understand how to make the strongest possible arguments in support of your claim. We also have the resources to pursue the maximum possible compensation for your family’s loss.

Contact the Houston wrongful death attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at 281-283-8500 or by using the contact form below. We offer a free consultation and charge no fees unless you recover compensation for your case.