June 7, 2022

Wrongful Death - Pecuniary Value Blog

If you believe someone you loved has died due to negligence, omission, or as the result of an accident, you may be considering a wrongful death lawsuit

In Texas, the damages you could recover can include compensation for medical bills required before death, the victim's physical and mental suffering up until their death, a loss of earning capacity from an injury until their death, and even funeral and burial expenses. This all amounts to the pecuniary value.

To help grieving Texans understand their legal rights following the wrongful death of a loved one, this article summarizes what "pecuniary value" means in the state of Texas.

 

 

What is the Pecuniary Value of Life in a Texas Wrongful Death Suit?

Pecuniary value is quantifiable compensatory damages.

If a loved one dies due to somebody else's wrongful act, they can recover money as part of their overall damages. In the case of wrongful death and many others, "pecuniary damages" can be recovered by the person who has been wronged. 

The financial damages a family suffers because of a death is difficult to measure as so many different factors determine the number. 

Your loved one may have had life insurance that could help provide you or your family with immediate financial relief through monthly premiums or a lump sum. However, these benefits typically won't account for every dollar you have spent due to the death (and possible injuries before death) of your loved one. 

What are the Different Types of Damages and How Do They Affect Your Texas Wrongful Death Suit

The wrongful death of a family member will impact everyone. The immediate family members of the deceased victim will likely experience immense emotional and financial costs from their loss.

A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal claim made by a family member or loved one of someone who died without just reason, usually due to an accident or medical malpractice. It generally covers damages tied to pain and suffering, loss of companionship and consortium, mental anguish, and trauma. If there is a wrongful death in your family, it is essential to act quickly. 

There are three types of damages in Texas wrongful death lawsuits: economic, non-economic, and punitive: 

 

The first type of damage is economic. This includes funeral expenses, medical expenses incurred by the plaintiff before the death occurred (such as ambulance fees), lost wages due to time off work for recovery from injury, or time off work for mourning/grieving over a loved one's death.

Non-economic damages are non-monetary and subjective losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, losses of consortium, enjoyment of life, society and companionship, inconvenience, and emotional distress.

Finally, punitive damages are damages awarded to punish certain harmful and reckless behaviors or actions as a deterrent. They can be awarded in cases where the defendant acted with malice or reckless indifference to human life. They're neither economic nor non-economic, as they're not awarded solely to compensate the victim.

 

 

Pecuniary Values for Different Types of Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Suit

Pecuniary values are the monetary value of an individual's life. It is usually calculated by considering the individual's age, education, and career.

Wrongful death suits are filed when a person has died due to another person's negligence or carelessness. The damages that a wrongful death attorney can seek in these suits include pecuniary values for different types of damages. 

A court can award damages to help provide for the loved ones left behind after the death of a loved one. In Texas, they often include both funeral and burial costs, lost earnings and benefits, lost inheritance from loved ones, and love and companionship with family members during the grieving process for years to come. 

A wrongful death claimant may be entitled to recoup the value of their pecuniary losses, including the physical and emotional pain suffered after a wrongful death, including loss of income or wages, reduced Social Security benefits, loss of insurance coverage.

Loss of inheritance provides a probable minimum loss of earnings. Proving loss of inheritance is very speculative, so this is less common than other loss recoveries.

Loss of support is the most commonly claimed component of pecuniary loss. After death, how much someone leaves behind can help estimate their net worth. There is no precise mathematical formula for determining the contribution to the claimant, and the jury or judge is given broad discretion.

 

 

Who Can Receive Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

As the law stands, a portion of the award won during a wrongful death suit in Texas is divided amongst heirs. A surviving spouse or children are typically the beneficiaries of a deceased loved one's estate.

In Texas, the court has complete discretion to divide the proceeds of a wrongful death trial. In a wrongful death case, compensation for each family member will be based on how much the person lost due to the death of the loved one.

 

 

When Can You Claim Punitive Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Case?

There is a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit. In Texas, there are strict laws that apply to wrongful death claims. The statute of limitations is two years following a person's death in these claims.

Punitive Damages in Texas Wrongful Death Case:

Punitive damages are generally awarded in cases where the defendant's conduct is found to be malicious or grievous. 

Punitive damages are also available in cases of intentional tortious conduct, such as battery or assault, but only when there is a showing that the defendant acted with malice or reckless disregard for human life.

 

 

The Pecuniary Value of Life Is Important to Consider 

One of the most important things to consider when seeking justice for the victims of an accident is the pecuniary value of life. It can be challenging to put a price on human life, but it is always important to consider what people are worth and how it affects those left behind.

It can also measure how much monetary compensation someone deserves if their 

An excellent attorney can maximize a family's payout after a family member has been killed or injured in an accident and their death or injury has caused them significant harm. 

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can facilitate conversations and compromises to help your family decide how to distribute a settlement among loved ones instead of trial. Wrongful death lawyers can provide support and help during tough times and can take on complicated tasks for you while you focus on the grieving process after a terrible event.

If you were harmed by the wrongful death of a loved one, Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC, can help you seek justice. If you would like more information regarding the wrongful death process and pecuniary value in Texas, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 

 

Rationale

If you believe someone you loved has died due to negligence, omission, or as the result of an accident, you may be considering a wrongful death lawsuit. 

In this type of litigation, lawyers work with the grieving family to understand the financial damages a family suffers based on many different factors. They also determine the pecuniary value of the lost life.

Pecuniary values are the monetary value of an individual's life. It is usually calculated by considering the individual's age, education, and career.

Determining the pecuniary value is extremely hard to do, but important for recovering financially following a death. 

You don’t want to go through this on your own. If you would like more information regarding the wrongful death process and pecuniary value in Texas, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 

 

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Houston, TX 77046
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