Have you lost your spouse in a car accident due to the reckless or negligent actions of another driver? While no amount of financial support can ever bring back your loved one, our team works with family members of the deceased to help them recover monetary losses. Wrongful death attorney Beverly R. Caruthers has experience helping spouses, children, and other family members of the deceased navigate this difficult time. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you through this process.
Each state has different rules on who can file a wrongful death case. Generally speaking, only immediate family members can bring a wrongful death suit. This includes parents, if the decedent was a minor child, or spouses, if the decedent was a spouse. And in cases when the decedent is a single adult, a more distant family member, like a grandparent, can sometimes bring the wrongful death claim. Get more details on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Is There an Average Payout for Car Accident Deaths?
There is no readily available data when it comes to the average payout amount for wrongful death cases stemming from car accidents. Even if this information were available, it wouldn’t be that helpful, since every case is unique. It might be more beneficial to focus on the key factors that typically carry the most weight when it comes to the value of a wrongful death claim, including:
- Age of the decedent. If the decedent is a young child, it might make intuitive sense for a wrongful death claim to be “worth” more. But this isn’t usually the reality in the objective eyes of the law, because the accident doesn’t have as big of an effect as economic factors like lost earnings and lost household services.
- What the decedent did for a living. The more money the deceased person earned, the more the wrongful death claim is usually worth.
- The size of the decedent’s surviving family. If the decedent only had a spouse that could sue for wrongful death, the value of the case would likely be far less than it might if the decedent also had four young children.
- The decedent’s share of fault. In certain states, the decedent’s share of fault in the underlying car accident can have a big effect on how much money is recoverable by a wrongful death plaintiff.
- Amount of economic damages incurred because of the accident. This can include things like medical bills and funeral expenses.
- The details of applicable laws. State laws outline how wrongful death actions work, recoverable damages in a wrongful death case, and special limits or caps on the amount of money recoverable for wrongful death.
- Insurance policy limits. It won’t usually be the defendant that pays any wrongful death settlement or court-order judgment. Instead, it’ll be the defendant’s insurance company. But how much insurance coverage the defendant has will sometimes dictate how much money the plaintiff receives.
Another reason wrongful death compensation figures are elusive is that most cases settle before trial, usually with the settlement amount remaining confidential. In some situations, a “slam dunk” case is more likely to settle because the defendant knows they’ll probably lose. And they might get away with paying a slightly lower amount by settling early as opposed to taking their chances at trial.
But on the other side of things, a weak case might be more likely to settle because the plaintiff understands the long shot nature of the claim and is willing to accept a lower settlement amount to guarantee some sort of recovery.
When Will I Get a Wrongful Death Settlement?
Settlement of a wrongful death claim can occur at any point on the personal injury lawsuit timeline. It might take place when negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Or it might settle only after someone files a wrongful death lawsuit. In some cases, it will settle the night before the trial. But regardless of when the settlement takes place, it will probably be after extensive negotiations with the plaintiff providing evidence and information to justify the settlement demand.
Spanish Speaking Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas
Spanish-speaking individuals can have a more difficult time seeking justice in their personal injury cases due to language barriers. This causes them to not take action against those who have left them with financial devastation and physical trauma. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!