Recovering Loss of Parental Services in a Wrongful Death Claim
The only thing more difficult than losing a loved one, is losing a loved one through the negligence of someone else. We understand that level of grief here at Grossman Law Office, and we hope we can answer some of the questions you might have regarding your claim in this article.
In a wrongful death claim, statutory beneficiaries can sue for damages. In the state of Texas, statutory beneficiaries refers to:
- Parents of the decedent
- Children of the decedent
- Spouse of the decedent
One of the damages available to recover is loss of services. In this article we'll specifically look loss of parental services, what evidence you'll need to win your case, and how to move forward with your claim.
Defining Loss of Services
When a child loses a parent, there are some specific services that the law realizes you have lost. These services include:
You may be thinking, these are abstract terms. How can the jury possibly award a fair amount for these losses? We acknowledge that no amount of money can take the place of your loved one, but financial compensation is the means the court system has available to them to acknowledge your losses and attempt to bring about justice for what you now lack.
Proving up your Losses
As a statutory beneficiary, a child can recover damages for the loss of the deceased parent's services. Appropriate evidence should be offered to prove the value of the services lost, but the jury is given wide discretion.
Each family is different, and how the jury will interpret the value of your loss will also differ. For instance, losing a parent that actively homeschools three children, might more easily be awarded a higher recovery amount than a parent that drops a single child off at school in the morning and picks them up again in the afternoon when the school-day is over. It's also possible that the jury would award a higher amount to younger children simply because they lost that much more time benefiting from the services of their mother or father. These are just a couple examples of how loss of services can play out in court.
Please keep in mind that there are a variety of damages available to recover through a wrongful death claim. Each is designed by the court to attempt to restore you to a similar position as you were before your loss. This can be complex material to wrap your mind around, and we understand that. You'll want documentation and evidence that illustrated to the jury how life has changed since your loss in order to give them an idea of how to quantify the amount you deserve. That might include the cost of tutoring, afterschool babysitters, etc. An experienced attorney will know exactly how to guide you through this process.
Contacting an Experienced Attorney
At Grossman Law Offices, we have over 25 years of experience handling wrongful death claims. We have attorneys available to speak with you 24/7. We are more than happy to discuss your case with you and answer whatever questions you might have about damages and the kinds of evidence you'll need to prove them up to the jury. Give us a call today at (855) 326-0000.