A wrongful death action allows certain family members to receive compensation when a loved one dies. There are many different examples of wrongful death, including accidental deaths in car accidents.
If a family member has been killed in a crash, you might be interested in the average wrongful death settlement. However, there is no average wrongful death settlement in Texas. No one has kept that information, since settlements are usually private. Also, each case is different and must be understood based on its own facts.
Below, we run down through the considerations that help a Houston wrongful death attorney estimate the amount a client can receive in a wrongful death settlement.
Wrongful Death Damages
Damages are awarded to family members to compensate for the loss of their loved one. Depending on the circumstances, you could be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost earnings
- Loss of support or services your loved one provided
- Loss of care the deceased provided
- Loss of comfort, companionship, society, and love
- Loss of an inheritance
Calculating the amount you can receive in a settlement is difficult. For example, to calculate lost income, an attorney will need to know your loved one’s age, the amount he or she made while living, as well as education and experience.
Other losses are harder to put a price tag on. No amount of money can make up for the loss of love and companionship that you have suffered. However, a jury cannot bring your loved one back to life, so giving an award of money is the only other option.
Limitations on Settlements
You can’t always get 100% of what you deserve after a car accident. One common reason: the driver did not carry enough insurance to fully cover your losses.
For example, your husband might have died at age 26. This means he probably had 40 years (at least) of working life ahead of him. The amount of income he could have made during those four decades probably totals more than $1 million and sometimes much more. Unfortunately, few drivers have an insurance policy large enough to cover this amount of loss.
Instead, Texas law requires that those registering a motor vehicle carry only the minimum amount of liability insurance, which is currently $30,000. If the defendant has other assets—such as investments or money sitting in a bank account—then it makes sense to sue to recover more money than the insurance policy provides. However, many people don’t have any other assets, so the insurance policy represents the maximum recovery.
Questions about the Average Settlement for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? Contact Us
At Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, we have helped countless motorists just like you get the money you deserve after a devastating car accident. In your moment of grief, call us. We can handle all the legal issues and allow you to focus on what matters most—your family.
To schedule a free consultation, please contact out firm today.