When someone in your family dies unexpectedly, their death will have an immediate and lasting impact on you and the other people in your family. The emotional consequences from a sudden death are immediate. The financial consequences may only begin to crop up after a few weeks, but they will likely persist for the rest of your life.
You depended on your loved one for financial contributions to the household, as well as unpaid support such as cleaning, cooking and child care. There’s also the invaluable emotional and social support your loved one could provide that you will now have to do without for the rest of your life. All of those consequences can mean a drastic change to your daily life and financial stability.
In circumstances where someone else’s wrongful acts, carelessness, default or negligence directly contributed to the death of your loved one, you may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim under Texas law. Part of the process for seeking wrongful death compensation involves putting a price on the impact of your loss.
Texas allows you to seek compensation for losses and your loved one’s suffering
Every state has its own rules regarding what compensation people can legally request through a wrongful death claim. Under Texas law, you have the right to seek the provable financial impact of the death.
Those costs can include the medical expenses incurred by your loved one before they died, their funeral and burial expenses, their lost wages and benefits, loss of inheritance and even loss of support from an interpersonal perspective.
From the emotional attachment and affection of a spouse to the practical support they provide around the house, it’s possible for you to claim the total impact of the death on your family. Additionally, you can bring claims for any pain and suffering your loved one might have brought if they had survived.
Can you request punitive damages in a wrongful death claim?
Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, serve as a penalty, rather than as a means of defraying expenses that impact the victim. While it is sometimes possible to seek exemplary damages in Texas, they are only an option in cases involving gross negligence or willful acts.