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What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case?

July 19, 2023
Wrongful Death

When a loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence, it can be a shock. While the last thing you want to think about might be your financial losses, pursuing wrongful death benefits from the negligent party can help relieve your burden from funeral expenses and other costs and losses. 

Statute of Limitations to File Wrongful Death Claims

The statute of limitations is the time limit the court system places on claimants to file their claims in court. Typically, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file your wrongful death claim in Texas while you typically have three years from the date of the incident in New Mexico..   This means if your family member died the same day as the incident, you have either two or three  years from that date, depending on what state laws apply.    Different states have different Statutes of Limitations.   Additionally, there are certain, narrow exceptions to the statutes which may shorten or lengthen the time frames.   Make sure to speak immediately with a knowledgeable attorney about the appropriate Statute of Limitations.  

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case?

The person who can file a wrongful death claim in court varies from state to state.  Most often, close family members can bring claims, including:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse
  • The decedent’s surviving children
  • The decedent’s surviving parents

Each statutory beneficiary can file their own claim, or any eligible party can file on behalf of the group. 

Damages for Wrongful Death

Damages are the monetary value of losses you suffered due to someone else’s negligence. In wrongful death cases, you might receive damages for certain wrongful death benefits, including:

  • Lost income or financial contributions
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, and guidance
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Lost inheritance or savings
  • Loss of household contributions such as chores and other services

You may also receive exemplary or punitive damages if the defendant’s actions that led to your loved one’s death were intentional, fraudulent, or grossly negligent. These are additional damages the court levies against the defendant to deter these behaviors in the future.

Damages for a Survival Claim

A survival claim is separate from a wrongful death claim. The wrongful death claim compensates family members for their losses due to the death of their loved one. A survival claim recovers damages for the decedent’s estate if they didn’t immediately succumb to their injuries.

Survival claim benefits might include:

  • The decedent’s pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical bills due to the accident
  • Lost income

The court will distribute these damages to the estate, which the beneficiaries will inherit according to the decedent’s will or through intestate succession.

Contact an Experienced Texas Wrongful Death Attorney

If you want to pursue wrongful death benefits for the loss of a loved one in Texas, contact us today at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. Call us at 800-433-2408 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with an experienced wrongful death attorney.