What Is The Average Settlement for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Texas?
One question families which have suffered a loss of life related to an accident often ask is, "What is the average settlement for a wrongful death claim in Texas?” Asking this question is absolutely understandable. After all, your family has to make the critical decision of whether to pursue a lawsuit related to the loss of life.
Each wrongful death and survivorship lawsuit is different, which is why it is impossible to provide an estimate as to what a wrongful death lawsuit is worth in any given situation. In Texas, one wrongful death case might resolve for $100,000, while another wrongful death lawsuit might settle for $100,000,000.
At Sneed & Mitchell Law, our experienced wrongful death lawyers have secured many settlements for families in lawsuits related to a loss of life. If you have lost a loved one in an unexpected passing and seek information into the range of compensation available to support your family's future, contact us today. A skilled wrongful death attorney can sit down with your family in confidential no-obligation case consultation to discuss the damages possible in their individual circumstance.
In this article, our legal professionals help you understand what factors go into determining wrongful death settlements. You’ll also learn about Texas wrongful death statute and the way in which loss of life cases typically settle and what may increase or decrease the amount of compensation paid to a family.
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What is the average wrongful death settlement here in Texas?
There is no average settlement in wrongful death lawsuits here in Texas. However, many payouts range between around $500,000 to $1 million, with other settling for $10,000,000 or more, even outside of the courtroom. The amount recovered in lawsuits involving a loss of life fluctuates depending on the defendant's amount of insurance coverage, along with their financial standing. Other factors that effect a recovery include presiding judge over the case, jurors sentiment of the facts involved, the circumstances surrounding the death, and the type of damages sought. Each case requires a careful assessment to determine the potential monetary payout in any specific wrongful death lawsuit.
While there is no established average settlement in Texas, attorney Niles Sneed and our wrongful death litigation group generally secure the full general liability policy, or "policy limit", on behalf of beneficiaries.
What is average sum awarded by a jury?
Although people often research information regarding the settlement potential of a wrongful death claim, it is equally important to discuss the litigation of these claims and how placing the issue before a jury can provide a substantially greater recovery for individuals that suffered an unexpected loss of a family member or loved one.
Some recent wrongful death verdicts here in Texas include;
$730,000,000 after a man was killed in a wreck with an 18-wheeler hauling an oversized propeller
$36,240,000.00 awarded to the family of the deceased in a products liability case against Lasko Products
$33,000,000.00 awarded in a commercial trucking accident claim against DGJ Transport
$20,000,000.00 awarded in a pedestrian facility case against Greyhound
When analyzing the differences between the genders of the victim in these lawsuits, some web sources suggest that the average verdict awarded by a jury for a man is around $5,000,000. This number is largely unsubstantiated. However, data from Jury Verdict Research on the median and average values of cases where the decedent is female found the average compensatory award of an adult female over the last eight years in the United States to be $2,990,032. The research group found that age is a large factor when looking at the average female wrongful death values awarded at trial, with female victims between 30 and 39 seeing an average award increase to $5,605,127.
If you have additional questions regarding the average wrongful death settlement here in Texas, contact the Sneed & Mitchell law firm today.
What factors impact a loss of life lawsuits?
A settlement in a wrongful death case will take into account a number of different economic and non-economic factors.
The age of the deceased: Accidents involving children or a young person who was killed due to someone else's negligence will likely have many years of earnings ahead of them, which will be taken into account in the settlement.
Funeral and burial expenses: The aftermath of a loss can lead to various costs for the surviving family that can be compensated.
Value of household services: If the death of your loved ones leads to a loss of household services, this may create new expenses for the surviving family. You can receive compensation for this accordingly. After all, if the deceased was the primary breadwinner, then settlement are often larger help offset the loss of income.
The number of dependents: Whether the victims supported dependents, and the number of dependents often changes a case evaluation.
Loss of financial support: The loss of income and monetary support you received from a loved one is eligible for equal compensation.
Medical expenses before death: If your deceased loved one experienced pain and suffering or medical expenses before death, the estate could bring a survival action for appropriate compensation.
Punitive damages: Punitive damages are discussed in detail below.
The relationship: Courts examine the intimate relationship between the deceased and the survivors. A spouse or child will usually receive more than distant relatives or friends. This category of damages includes looking into the possible losses of affection, guidance, moral support, attention and companionship.
Loss of benefits: The loss of future benefits, gifts, and experiences you would have received had your loved one lived.
The cause of death: A painful and prolonged death will usually result in a higher settlement than a quick and painless one. The settlement may also be higher if the death was caused by negligence or malice, rather than an accident. Furthermore, car accidents, trucking accidents, offshore injuries, and deaths that involved corporate defendants often result in higher recoveries. If the accidents involved an 18-wheeler, learn more information of truck accident average here.
Loss of Consortium: This term refers to the loss of affection, companionship, and sexual relations that results from the death of a spouse or other close relative. While some states limit who can recover damages for loss of consortium, Texas allows both the spouse and any minor children of the deceased are eligible to receive compensation.
This list of factors is not exhaustive are there are always case-specific considerations that impact the amount of a wrongful death settlement. While some cases are clear-cut and easily resolved, others can be more complicated. The family of the victim should consulted with a Texas wrongful death attorney with experience structuring settlements on behalf of families to help them navigate the legal process and ensure they receive fair compensation for their loss.
Does Texas award punitive damages?
Under Texas Law, punitive damages may be awarded in wrongful death cases in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their actions and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. While punitive damages are not available in all states, Texas awards this form of damages when the defendant's actions were particularly egregious or if there is evidence that the death was caused by negligence or recklessness. In some cases, juries may be instructed to consider the victim's pain and suffering in determining the amount of punitive damages to award. Punitive damages are typically only awarded in cases where the defendant's actions were truly outrageous, and they are not meant to compensate the victim's family for their loss.
Are wrongful death settlements taxed in Texas?
In the state of Texas, wrongful death settlements are not taxed. This is because such settlements are considered to be compensatory damages, which are exempt from taxation under state law. The only exception to this rule is if the settlement funds are used to create an annuity, in which case the annuity payments may be subject to taxation. However, the initial lump sum settlement itself will not be taxed. This is good news for families who have already suffered a devastating loss and are now seeking financial compensation. With a wrongful death settlement, they can rest assured that they will not have to pay any additional taxes on the money they receive here in our state.
What can negatively effect a loss of life claim?
While a wrongful death settlement provides much-needed closure and financial compensation, it is important to be aware of the various factors that can negatively impact a wrongful death settlement. One of the most common is the statute of limitations here in Texas, that in most cases only provides a family 2 years for filing a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you will likely be barred from pursuing any legal action. Additionally, the settlement may be reduced if the deceased did not have an extensive work history or earning potential. Similarly, if the deceased was not married or had no children, the settlement may be smaller than if they were married with children. If your loved one shared fault in the incident and is determined to be contributorily negligent, the settlement amount would be reduced accordingly. For example, if your loved one were in a traffic accident where they shared partial blame for the incident, the percentage of fault would be estimated and subtracted from the settlement.
The takeaway from all of this is that there are a lot of factors that can impact the amount of a loss of life settlement. If you’re considering filing a claim, it’s important to be aware of these things and work with an experienced lawyer who can help guide you through the process.
Why wrongful death settlement calculators don't work
Wrongful death calculators are a dime a dozen on the internet. You enter in some information about the deceased and the "calculator" attempts to estimate how much money you could receive in a wrongful death settlement. However, these calculators are completely inaccurate, and there are several reasons why. First, every wrongful death case is unique, and settlements vary widely based on the circumstances. So there is no specific average wrongful death settlement data a calculator can pull from. Second, insurance companies are not required to follow these formulas, and they often lowball plaintiffs in an effort to save money. Finally, many wrongful death cases rarely go to trial, and settlements are typically negotiated between the parties before a jury ever hears the case. This means that the scope of your settlement or largely dependent of the experience and resources of your attorney. For all of these reasons, wrongful death calculators should be used with caution. If you're seeking a more accurate calculations, as an attorney about their previous case results when settling loss of life claims.
Consult Attorney Niles Sneed Today
After the loss of a loved one causes a family to experience depression, anger, and stress about their financial future. This is where Texas wrongful death attorney Niles Sneed comes in. Niles Sneed can evaluate how the death incident occurred and discuss the range of settlement potential possible in your specific circumstance. Niles has helped hundreds of family by advocating for their greatest compensation and will handles all of the court deadlines and insurance adjuster forms, so that you can focus on what matters most: your loved ones and the memories of your lost love.
Don’t hesitate to contact Sneed & Mitchell LLP today to start discussing your case. We’re in your corner to provide assurance and security as we work on your settlement. We will listen to your story and take all necessary strides towards the justice you deserve. Contact us today by calling 866-434-0014, for by filling out our quick online message and one of our attorney will call you immediately.