When you pursue a lawsuit seeking compensation for a wrongful death, often, it will end in a settlement. Defendants and their insurance companies usually prefer the certainty of a settlement to taking their chances before a jury.
You also receive a benefit by settling the lawsuit. A family negotiating in good faith could settle a wrongful death claim in weeks or months, but litigation is slow. Should your case go to trial, you might not see any money for years after filing your suit. Settling also reduces your legal expenses.
Always work with a local wrongful death attorney if you pursue a case. A legal professional can use their knowledge of the law and negotiating skills to ensure you receive appropriate compensation through a Temple wrongful death settlement after the loss of your loved one.
Money cannot make up for the death of a loved one. Family members grieve the loss of their loved one’s physical presence, love, and companionship, and money does nothing to ease those losses. However, many families underestimate the financial contribution their family members made, and damages from a wrongful death claim could reimburse the loss and provide a measure of financial security.
Valuing a wrongful death often requires the help of experts, especially when the person who died was a breadwinner. For example, if a 35-year-old mother of two minor children who worked full-time dies in a car accident, her family is missing out on 30 years of income she could have earned. Her children might have inherited money or property from her had she lived her expected lifespan. Her family also lost the value of the services she provided, such as gardening, homework help, transportation, and anything else she did to support the household.
The party responsible for her death is liable for those losses and the family’s emotional suffering, but calculating these losses is difficult. A Temple attorney could estimate what a settlement might offer a family for losing their young mother based on experience handling similar wrongful death cases. We also have a network of professionals like actuaries and economists to help calculate the income she might have earned over the rest of her professional life.
When an accident causes a death, insurance companies for those responsible often approach the families with a cash offer. Some families accept the first offer, and some try to negotiate. Any family that does not engage a legal professional to handle negotiations is making a mistake.
Families rarely have the experience to estimate the value of their loved one’s life. Insurance companies will take advantage and offer much less than a claim is worth. Even when the family negotiates a better offer, it is unlikely to match the sum a family might obtain if a legal professional handled the matter.
When an attorney in Temple manages settlement negotiations in a wrongful death claim, the defendants know the case could end up in court. Most defendants prefer to avoid court, so they will offer a better deal than they would when the family members try to handle negotiations themselves.
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004(a), the only people who can benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit are the deceased’s spouse, parents, and children. When the children are not yet 18, protecting their rights to the settlement money becomes an issue.
When a jury offers a verdict in a wrongful death case, the jurors decide how the money will be allocated between the eligible family members. When the Temple wrongful death case settles before a trial, the family must decide between themselves. Although one might assume a surviving spouse would use some of the settlement to support the children, typically, some money is set aside for the children’s use alone.
Any party could request the court appoint a Guardian ad Litem to ensure the settlement serves the children’s best interests. In many cases, the minor children will receive a sum in trust they can access when they come of age.
When your loved one dies and another is at fault, bringing a wrongful death action is a way to hold those responsible accountable. Although these cases sometimes go to trial, reaching a pre-trial settlement is far more common.
Seek an attorney with experience handling Temple wrongful death settlements to negotiate on your family’s behalf. Working with a capable legal professional reduces stress on your family and usually results in more appropriate compensation. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case.