What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Settlements in Texas

By Michael GrossmanJune 07, 2021Reading Time: 2 minutes

There is nothing that can alleviate the pain of the sudden death of a loved one. Under Texas wrongful death law, surviving family members can bring a lawsuit in order to achieve a measure of justice for the deceased by holding the responsible party accountable. If you've lost a family member because of someone else's negligence, you have every right to pursue a wrongful death settlement.

A wrongful death settlement can provide your family with financial relief and a sense of justice for your lost loved one by holding the at-fault party accountable for their actions. If the victim was the primary wage-earner in your household, obtaining a settlement becomes even more pressing.

We are Grossman Law, a Texas law firm that focuses specifically on serious injury and wrongful death cases. People come to us during the worst time of their life. We take our responsibility to those people, and to their deceased loved ones, extremely seriously.

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If you are here because you've lost a loved one in Texas and you have questions about how to pursue a wrongful death settlement, we hope you won't hesitate to contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. We will answer your questions and do our best to give you a realistic idea of your prospects for achieving justice and closure through a wrongful death settlement.

Examples of Texas Wrongful Death Settlements Achieved by Grossman Law

   

For more than three decades, Grossman Law Offices has fought for our clients. Our track record of settlements and verdicts is a testament to our knowledge and experience.

Although many of our settlements must remain confidential, here are examples of recent Texas wrongful death recoveries:

  • $7.5 million for a commercial vehicle accident,
  • $5.4 million for a commercial vehicle accident,
  • $3.2 million for a product liability accident,
  • $3 million for a drunk driving accident, and
  • $550k for a gross negligence workers’ compensation accident.

These case results are just a few highlights of our thousands of client victories. The wrongful death settlement amounts we achieve for our clients help them through the most difficult time of their lives.

Holding the at-fault party responsible for their actions sends a powerful message. When the defendant must pay for their negligence, it might help others avoid the same fate as the victim.

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Is There a "Typical" or "Average" Wrongful Death Settlement in Texas?

There is not. Many wrongful death settlements in Texas are conifdential, meaning there is literally no way to accurately determine what an the average wrongful death settlement is. With that being said, wrongful death settlements tend to involve larger amounts than settlements for other types of personal injury claims.

To understand the viability of your potential wrongful death claim, you ought to speak with a qualified lawyer.

Wrongful death lawyers investigate the fatal accident or incident and compile information to determine the total amount of damages incurred by the victim and their family. They may rely on testimony from expert witnesses, medical records, and other evidence to help calculate all financial, physical, and emotional damages.

Other factors that can affect the value of your claim include:

  • The victim’s injuries,
  • The victim’s age,
  • The victim’s occupation and income, and
  • The victim’s future earning potential.

The other parties involved in the case, including the at-fault party’s insurance company, may also influence the final settlement value. If your attorney must file a lawsuit and fight for your settlement in court, this can also affect your claim’s value.

Can a Wrongful Death Settlement Calculator Identify Your Claim’s Value?

You may have come across online calculators designed to help you value your wrongful death settlement. Unfortunately, these calculators take a one-size-fits-all approach.

Without an in-depth analysis of both tangible and intangible losses, it isn’t possible to determine the value of your damages. That’s why talking to an experienced wrongful death attorney is critical.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

To qualify as a wrongful death, the victim must have died due to the wrongful actions of another party. You or your attorney must prove that the at-fault party has liability for the fatality, either through negligence or intent.

When the death was caused by the defendant's negligence, this requires establishing that the defendant:

  1. Owed a duty of care to the victim,
  2. Failed to uphold the duty, and thus
  3. Caused the victim’s death.

Even if you can prove fault and liability, only certain people can pursue legal action under Texas law. In Texas, the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased can legally bring a wrongful death claim. Legally adopted children and adoptive parents also have legal standing in Texas.

If none of these family members files a claim within three months of the death, the executor of the victim’s estate can file a claim. The law sometimes allows limited exceptions to this list of qualified parties, however. Your lawyer can advise you whether you have the right to pursue legal action for wrongful death.

What Factors Affect the Value of a Wrongful Death Settlement in Texas?

Settlement amounts are valued based on wrongful death damages. Recoverable damages in your case may include some or all of the following:

  • The victim’s medical care and treatment before death;
  • The victim’s lost income and benefits before death;
  • Burial, cremation, and funeral costs;
  • Lost future earnings and benefits;
  • Lost future financial support, gifts, or inheritance;
  • Loss of companionship and comfort;
  • Lost value of household services; and
  • Pain and suffering.

Attorneys calculate these values using information such as:

  • Wage and earnings records,
  • Tax returns,
  • Copies of medical bills, and
  • Expert opinions and testimony.

Other factors that can affect the value of a wrongful death claim include specific factors about the victim such as:

  • Age,
  • Education,
  • Job status, and
  • Role in the family or household.

For example, a younger victim might have had more potential years for earning a salary. Attorneys also consider whether the victim’s actions contributed toward the fatal incident or accident. In that case, the value of the wrongful death claim could be diminished.

Finally, the severity of the at-fault party’s actions could affect the value of your claim. In the case of gross negligence, your lawyer may recommend pursuing a larger settlement.

Why Is the Typical Wrongful Death Settlement Higher than Other Personal Injury Claims?

Both Texas personal injury and wrongful death claims are valued based on the economic value of what the victim(s) lost. In most cases, the cost of losing an immediate family member is significantly greater than the losses associated with an injury. Most people who suffer a personal injury can and do recover over time.

Victims can often return to work and resume their normal day-to-day activities. In the case of wrongful death, the victim will never have that opportunity.

Another factor that can affect the value of a wrongful death claim is the level of negligence that led to the fatality. For the victim to die, the defendant may have committed gross negligence. As a result, a wrongful death defendant may be liable for additional damages that a personal injury defendant would not.

How Quickly Must You File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit in Texas is two years from the date of the death (though there are some exceptions). If you do not file your action by the deadline, you could lose your legal right to recover damages. Talking to an attorney as soon as possible after a fatal accident will help ensure you retain your right to pursue a settlement.

Contact Grossman Law Offices for Help with Your Texas Wrongful Death Case

At Grossman Law Offices, we understand that you’re going through one of the worst times in your life. We are here to help you pursue justice and recover compensation for your losses. We are also here to listen and guide you through this challenging process.

We handle every aspect of your case. We provide proactive communication and update you on the progress of your claim. Our legal team answers your questions and provides the information you need to make informed decisions.

Our law firm is based in Dallas Texas, but we represent people all across the state. From El Paso to Fort Worth, Houston to Waco, Austin to Corpus Christi, and every where in between, our team is ready to help you.