There are a few different factors that can affect how much you are awarded in a wrongful death case. In order to determine how much you could be awarded, you will have to consider who is responsible for the death, who is named in your case, how many people are suing for damages, and which entities can be liable for paying the costs of your loved one’s death. All of these factors will depend on the specifics of each wrongful death case.
Texas, for instance, places a settlement cap on how much you may receive in damages if your loved one was killed as a result of medical negligence. If you were to pursue a case against the doctor or hospital responsible for your relative’s death during surgery, there may be a limit how much you are given for:
- Non-economic damages. Family members may sue for losses that do not have a specified monetary amount, such as mental and emotional anguish, loss of consortium, loss of counsel, and other non-financial losses. Texas places a cap on non-economic damages in wrongful death medical malpractice claims that was originally valued at $500,000, but families can receive $1,500,000 or more after the cap is adjusted for inflation.
- Multiple defendants. If there are multiple defendants, such as two or more health care institutions and a private physician, there is a limit to how much survivors can be granted in non-economic damages from each institution.
- Multiple claimants. Even if there are multiple survivors suing for the death of a single individual, the survivors are treated as one claimant, meaning the cap will be applied regardless of the number of plaintiffs.
You Should Receive the Full Amount of Medical Costs After a Loved One’s Death
Survivors should keep in mind that the only costs that are flexible are non-economic. The costs that a family has already paid (or has been asked to pay) in connection with the death, such as medical bills, custodial care, or death and funeral expenses should be fully reimbursed. In addition, the court may order the defendants to pay exemplary damages (also known as punitive damages) as a penalty for their negligence and to ensure that the mistake does not happen again. To find out what your family could be owed for your suffering, call the attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP today at 800-237-3334 for a free case evaluation.