Wrongful Death

What Damages Can You Claim In a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?

Posted by Trent Kelly on January 18, 2023
What Damages Can You Claim In a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?

Our sense of fairness is deeply felt when a loved one is taken from us too soon, and especially when that loss is the result of someone else’s carelessness. “Wrongful death” lawsuits involve such situations – situations that involve unjust deaths that result from another party’s negligence.

The legal system in Austin, Texas can right the emotionally-charged wrong of a wrongful death. That’s why our team at TK Injury Lawyers is committed to seeking justice for people who have died in what could have been an avoidable incident.

In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims runs out after two years from the date of death. Therefore, you need to file a lawsuit within this time frame to receive compensation.

The Steps You Need to Take to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Preparing for a wrongful death lawsuit is called pre-litigation. During this phase, a personal representative of the deceased completes various tasks. The tasks include:

  1. Setting up the estate in the county courthouse where the deceased lived.
  2. Investigating the facts related to the cause of death through the help of a wrongful death attorney.
  3. Identifying and informing the parties responsible for the cause of death.

Once the above steps are completed, the attorney may negotiate the claim and settle out of court or go ahead and file the claim in court. If a lawsuit is filed, the process will begin with a complaint, which will be filed at the courthouse. The named defendants are given this information.


The litigation phase of the lawsuit includes various tasks, including discovery, interrogations, and requests for documents. During this phase, pre-trial, trial, and/or arbitration is performed. A settlement may be reached at any time during this phase, or the case may end with a trial and jury verdict for an award.

Seeking Compensation in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The damages in a wrongful death lawsuit represent compensation for the material and immaterial losses that a victim’s family realizes while grieving the loss of a loved one.

After the conclusion of this type of action, the family may be entitled to economic damages, non-economic damages, punitive damages, and/or survival action damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages count as quantifiable losses that immediate family members must pay, and these include the following:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical expenses related to a fatal sickness or injury
  • Loss of pension or medical insurance
  • Loss of inheritance
  • The worth of services the deceased may have provided to the family household, such as home cleaning or maintenance

Economic damages are measurable.

How Economic Damages Are Figured

When figuring economic damages, wrongful death lawyers consider:

  • The health of the victim before they died
  • Their earning capacity
  • The victim’s age

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages represent intangible losses and are more difficult to figure. They may include:

  • Mental distress or the pain and suffering the deceased’s loved ones have experienced
  • The loss of direction, care, or advice to the family that otherwise would have been provided by the victim
  • The spouse’s loss of consortium

Non-economic damages are subjective.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant for reckless or especially egregious behavior. Therefore, unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages do not cover the money a family spends after a loved one’s death. They are designed to punish the defendant or pay r reparations to the victim’s family.

Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are used as an example – meant to ensure that others do not make the same type of mistake.

Survival Action Damages

In some wrongful death lawsuits, the estate of the family may also sue for survival action damages – personal injury compensation that a deceased person could have requested if they had survived.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If you have lost a loved one because of someone’s negligence, you should speak to a wrongful death attorney now. In Austin, Texas, contact TK Injury Lawyers at (512) 900-4657 to set up a free consultation.

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