The decision to bring a suit against the person responsible for the death of your loved one is a difficult one. Knowing the worth of the case is one of the most important factors family members need to consider. This is especially important if the individual(s) left dependents behind. Dependents might include not just young children, but also ailing parents or special needs adults.
Unfortunately, there is no predetermined compensation figure that family members may receive for a wrongful death incident. Some Texas courts award millions of dollars, while others might award several thousand. Take a look at some of the factors that might affect this.
The expenses to make claims for
There are many expenses that might result from a wrongful death incident. Death can also rob family members of many benefits you might have otherwise received. According to Valley Central News, courts allow family members to make the following expense claims in a wrongful death case:
- Funeral expenses paid by a surviving family member
- Loss of household, spousal and parental contributions
- Loss of potential inheritance
- Loss of love, companionship, care, guidance and support
- Emotional distress and mental anguish of surviving family members
- Psychiatric health care expenses related to emotional distress
The persons eligible for making a claim
Only family members of the deceased person may file a claim and receive compensation. Surviving family members might include children, parents and spouses. Unfortunately, even long-term romantic partners might find that they cannot recover compensation in these cases. Some family members may also not qualify as claimants, such as grandparents, grandchildren, cousins or even siblings.
A surprising thing to note is that family members cannot usually claim shared debts or use the compensation to pay off those debts. This may present challenges if you co-signed on loans or share some property with the deceased.