Texas spouses, children, and parents have a right to bring a claim under Texas law for the wrongful death of a loved one. Texas wrongful death claimants have a right to bring a claim in connection with the loss of a family member for pecuniary loss, loss of companionship and society, mental anguish, and loss of inheritance. Pecuniary loss is defined as the loss of care, financial support, maintenance, services, guidance and other contributions of a pecuniary value not including the loss of inheritance. Loss of companionship and society is the loss of the care, comfort, society, love and emotional support resulting from the loss of a loved one. Mental anguish is the emotional suffering, pain and torment that results from the death of a loved one. In evaluating loss of companionship and society and mental anguish in connection with the loss of a spouse the couple’s living arrangements, relationship, common interests and activities are all taken into account. Similar factors are considered when evaluating these claims by parents and children.
Loss of inheritance is the net present value of the amount of assets or investments that the deceased would have in probability added to the estate and left at natural death to the surviving heirs. This element of damages varies greatly from case to case. High wage earners often accumulate substantial estates, particularly during the later years of their careers, and their early demise results in a large amount of damages for loss of inheritance. On the other hand, low wage earners often consume all of their income resulting in no calculable loss of inheritance damages. Texas wrongful death damages are individual in nature and are submitted to the jury separately.
Texas survival damages are the traditional personal injury damages suffered by the decedent prior to death. Upon death these damages become a right or asset of the deceased’s estate and are asserted by the representative of the estate. These damages also vary greatly. In situations where the victim died instantly or with no knowledge of the event which caused their death these damages are smaller. On the other hand, in situations such as with cancer where the victim dies a long, slow, painful and very expensive death the survival damages can be huge.
For more information contact a Tyler Wrongful Death Lawyer today.