Some Texas families bear the tragic results of a car accident that takes the life of a beloved relative. In the aftermath of such a tragedy, the surviving family members may decide to litigate the negligent party responsible for the accident. In the process of suing for damages, family members will try to receive pecuniary damages for the loss of their loved one.
When a judge or jury determines the loss suffered by a family as a result of a wrongful death, they will likely measure financial loss. As explained by FindLaw, pecuniary damages are financial damages, which can refer to a number of different losses. For instance, when a father dies in an accident, the father is no longer around to provide income or services to the family.
Sometimes when a person suffers injury from an accident, the person does not die right away. The injury victim may go to a hospital for treatment, but despite the efforts of the doctors, the person passes away. Families can seek to recover these medical costs in a wrongful death suit. Families may also try to recoup the costs of the funeral of their loved one. Additionally, courts may consider a potential loss of inheritance from the deceased person as further damages.
Courts may look at a number of different factors while figuring out how much to offer in damages. This examination may become complicated depending on the variables considered. Usually, courts look at the personal circumstances of the decedent, like how much money the decedent was making and if the decedent was providing parental guidance to children. Courts may also look at how much income the decedent would have made had the decedent lived.
Other factors courts might look at which determining damages include:
- The earning capacity of the decedent
- The life expectancy of the decedent
- Age and health of the decedent
- The current condition of the surviving family members
Because individual wrongful death cases vary, exactly how courts figure out how much to award in damages will also differ. Factors that matter more prominently in one case may not matter as much in the other.