Damages and Compensation Available Following a Fatal Truck Accident
We're sorry for the loss of your loved one. All too often, we get calls from clients that have lost spouses, parents, or children through the negligence of a truck driver or their employer. When your family member's death involved a commercial vehicle, it creates a more complex situation than you might realize. Not only are the stakes higher, there are many kinds of compensation and damages available for your wrongful death claim.
In this article, we'll look specifically at who can receive compensation from wrongful death claims in Texas, what kinds of compensation exist, and how to get started.
Who Can Receive These Awards
Wrongful death claims in the state of Texas are governed by a law known as the Wrongful Death Act. This specifically names certain statutory beneficiaries who have the legal standing to file a wrongful death claim. In our state, standing to file these claims is only available to:
Other family members are considered too far removed from the decedent to have the appropriate legal standing in Texas. In short, this means that unadopted stepchildren, siblings, long-term partners, and grandparents cannot file a claim.
What Kind of Compensation Exists
At Grossman Law Offices we understand that no amount of money can take the place of the person you've lost. However, this is the only means the court system has available to acknowledge your loss and seek to bring amount a measure of justice. This isn't about making you richer: we understand that you likely just want justice and an understanding of what happened. But the damages you've experienced as a result of this truck accident, both tangible and otherwise, entitle you to fair compensation.
Here are some examples of the losses that you can sue for in the state of Texas after a fatal truck accident:
- Loss of decedent's earning capacity - The plaintiff's diminished financial well-being due to the loss of the decedent's income
- Expenses associated with psychological treatment - The plaintiff can recover pecuniary damages for reasonable and necessary expenses of treatment for their emotional trauma
- Loss of services- The plaintiff can recover damages for loss of services the deceased would have rendered. Appropriate evidence should be offered to prove the value of the services lost, but the jury is given wide discretion.
- Loss of parental services
- Loss of child services
- Loss of spousal services
- Loss of advice and counsel - Includes the pecuniary value of professional recommendations and personal guidance the decedent might have rendered to the plaintiff if the decedent had survived.
- Funeral Expenses - These are only recoverable under the Survival Statute unless the statutory beneficiaries paid for these expenses
- Mental anguish- A plaintiff can recover damages for past and future mental anguish
- Loss of companionship and society - Companionship and society are defined as the positive benefits flowing from the love, comfort, companionship, and society the plaintiff would, in reasonable probability, have experienced if the decedent had lived.
- Loss of inheritance - Loss of inheritance is defined as the present value that the decedent would, in reasonable probability, has added to the estate and left at natural death to the statutory wrongful death beneficiaries but for the wrongful act causing the premature death.
- Punitive damages - Punitive damages are recoverable for wrongful death when the death is caused by the defendant's willful act or omission or gross negligence.
If you'd like to read more about each of these compensation types, click here.
How do I get Started
We know that this is a lot of information, and that you may want more clarification. Fortunately, we know this area of the law better than almost anyone, and we're happy to share our knowledge with you. If you have questions regarding a specific type of compensation or are curious as to whether you are eligible to file a claim, we can help. You can reach us at (855) 326-0000 any day at any time. We'd be happy to go to work for you and help you get the justice you deserve for your loved one.
Related Articles for Further Reading:
- Proving Your Losses in Court
- How Do We Gather The Evidence Needed to Win Your Truck Accident Case?
- Special Considerations for Accidents Caused by Street-Sweepers