Homewrongful deathTexas Wrongful Death Damages: A Complete Guide

Texas Wrongful Death Damages: A Complete Guide

The agony and grief accompanying the loss of a loved one are unparalleled, but when the loss is caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, the situation becomes even more distressing. The knowledge that such a loss was preventable can weigh heavily on the hearts of family members left behind. It’s important to know that the law in Texas provides avenues for seeking compensation in such tragic circumstances.

At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we are deeply committed to standing by your side, providing compassionate legal counsel, and ensuring that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to under Texas law.


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Navigating the Aftermath of a Wrongful Death in Texas

We understand that dealing with a wrongful death is a profoundly challenging experience. Our experienced attorneys, with a combined practice spanning several decades, are equipped to help families navigate through the complexities of wrongful death claims and secure financial security during these trying times.

Our primary goal is to ensure that your family is financially secure so that you can focus on healing and remembering your loved one without having to worry about monetary burdens.

Understanding Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas

In the face of wrongful death, Texas law offers the possibility of claiming damages. These damages fall under three main categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Economic Damages

Economic damages cover quantifiable financial losses and expenses that can be directly attributed to the deceased. These may include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses incurred prior to death
  • Loss of the deceased’s expected future income
  • Loss of benefits such as retirement funds
  • Loss of household services

Calculating these damages is not a matter of simple math. An economist is required to calculate the present value of the future wage loss including consideration of the personal consumption percentage.

Non-Economic Damages

Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages refer to intangible losses that don’t have a specific monetary value. These damages may include:

  • Emotional trauma and mental anguish experienced by the surviving loved ones
  • Loss of companionship and guidance
  • Loss of consortium

Quantifying non-economic damages can be complex and contentious, given their subjective nature. However, our seasoned attorneys know how to accurately assess and present these non-economic losses to ensure that your claim is properly valued.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, Texas law allows for the pursuit of “exemplary damages,” also known as punitive damages. These damages are not meant to compensate the family but to punish the wrongdoer for gross negligence or malicious actions and to deter such behavior in the future.

Proving Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases

Establishing negligence is a crucial aspect of wrongful death claims. To prove negligence, the following elements need to be demonstrated:

  1. The presence of a duty of care
  2. Breach of that duty
  3. Causation – a direct link between the breach and the death
  4. Damages – quantifiable losses resulting from the death

Take, for instance, a wrongful death caused by a drunk driver. The driver has a duty to drive safely and adhere to traffic laws. By driving under the influence, they breach that duty. If this breach leads to a fatal accident, the driver can be held accountable for the resulting damages.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas

Wrongful deaths can arise from a variety of situations, including:

  • Workplace accidents
  • Electrocution incidents
  • Explosions, particularly in oil fields and refineries
  • Vehicle collisions
  • 18 Wheeler Accidents
  • Products design or manufactured improperly

Your Legal Journey with Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers

We are not just your legal representatives; we’re your advocates and allies. Our comprehensive approach involves gathering evidence, inspecting the site of the incident, interviewing witnesses, and retaining experts to establish the necessary evidence to prove the wrongful death claim.

FAQs About Wrongful Death Damages in Texas

How Are Wrongful Death Proceeds Divided in Texas?

The division of the jury award or settlement in a wrongful death case is decided among the entitled beneficiaries – the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents. The jury typically determines the division or the parties negotiate and agree upon it if the proceeds are received via settlement.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

Only the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased can bring a wrongful death claim under the Texas Wrongful Death Act.

What Are the Texas Wrongful Death Damages Cap Laws?

In some cases, Texas law imposes caps on damages. For instance, in a medical malpractice lawsuit, non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 per claimant. In personal injury and wrongful death cases, the amount of punitive damages claimants can receive is limited.

Remember, no amount of money can replace your loved one, but a wrongful death claim can help ease the financial burden. If you need assistance navigating a wrongful death claim, contact us at Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers today.

Practice Areas

Client Reviews


“I am a survivor of the March 23, 2005, BP explosion. Knowing my life had just been changed in an instant and not knowing what was to come was extremely unsettling. So when the time came to find legal representation, I chose Burwell Nebout personal injury attorneys from League City, Texas. Knowing they are from the Galveston County area made this an easy choice. Russ and Jimmy assured me they would do all things possible to help me and my family get through this most difficult time. Once again, I’d like to thank these men and their staff for their professional knowledge and guidance throughout those tough times. I know without a doubt I made the right choice.”

David Laymance
Santa Fe, Texas


“My company has faced disputes that require the litigation process to achieve resolution. I chose Russ and Jimmy to represent me not only for their ability to guide us through the process in a cost-efficient manner with the goal of resolution, but also with the comfort of knowing they have the skills and expertise to try the case.”

Will Watt
Friendswood, Texas


“Thank you for the excellent work performed by you and your staff in helping our company each step of the way in our pursuit of seeking reimbursement from BP due to our losses from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The presentation of the facts as well as the unknowns with each turn of the roller coaster has been greatly appreciated. I cannot thank you enough for the work you put into this nor credit you enough for the polish and professionalism in the way you did it.”

Doug Vingoe
Houston, Texas

Case Results

Automobile Accident

$19.2 million

Two clients killed as a result of a special defect in the shoulder of the roadway. A state court jury trial resulted in a $19.2 million verdict.

Premises Liability

$10 million

Children that attended school on a former toxic dump site made claims for exposure injuries. $10 million settlement.

Liberty County Record Verdict

Record-setting verdict

Two high school seniors were on their way home on a stretch of road that had been the subject of repeated complaints to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) about the poor condition of the shoulder. When the students entered a curve, the poor condition of the shoulder resulted in a crash that killed one and severely brain-damaged the other. A trial against the Texas Attorney General’s office resulted in the discovery of altered records, a spoliation instruction, and a record-setting jury verdict for Liberty County.

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