top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Is There a Cap on Wrongful Death Settlements in Houston?

When someone loses a loved one due to another's negligence, they may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit to recover the damages incurred.

Typically, there are no limitations on the amount of wrongful death settlements one can recover in Texas, but in certain circumstances, there may be a cap imposed. This can restrict how much the claimant can receive.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have decades of combined experience handling wrongful death claims and lawsuits. They can help the affected parties in Houston, Texas, understand the limitations placed on the compensatory damage and guide them on their available legal options to ensure maximum compensation when dealing with the most common truck accidents in Texas.

Should the Grieving Family Members Pursue Compensation in a Wrongful Death or Medical Malpractice Case?

Should the Grieving Family Members Pursue Compensation in a Wrongful Death or Medical Malpractice Case?

Although financial compensation won't bring back a loved one, it can help ease the practical complications that may arise from a wrongful death or a medical malpractice case.

A wrongful death settlement can help the affected party by covering the economic and non-economic losses. An experienced attorney can protect the rights of the victims and guide them on the damages available if they pursue a claim or lawsuit. They can also help address questions like How do I divide a wrongful death settlement in Texas?

What Types of Damages Can the Affected Parties Recover in Wrongful Death Cases in Texas?

There are two main types of compensatory damages the affected party can recover in a wrongful death case in Texas, and these are as follows:

Economic Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

In wrongful death cases, the grieving family members can file a wrongful death claim to recover the following economic damages:

  • Medical expenses (all of the medical bills incurred in treating the deceased prior to their death)

  • Funeral and burial costs

  • Loss of economic support in the form of lost wages and potential future earnings

Non-economic Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

The loss of a loved one can leave the surviving family members in grief, causing them emotional pain and suffering.

Under the person injury law, the affected party may be able to recover the following non-economic damages by pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit or claim:

  • Mental anguish and pain

  • Loss of companionship

  • Physical pain and suffering

  • Loss of consortium

Calculating non-economic damages in a wrongful death case can be challenging without legal representation, which is why it's crucial for the surviving family members to reach out to an experienced attorney.

A resourceful fatal injury lawyer can help bring medical experts and other experienced professionals on board to help calculate the total non-economic damages incurred following a loved one's death.

In some wrongful death cases, the court may award punitive damages. This type of award does not intend to compensate the grieving family members but instead punish the defendant for their grossly negligent actions. It's also a tool that the judge uses to deter others from carrying out similar acts.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

There are several family members who have the right to financial recovery after the loss of their loved one due to another's negligence, and these include the following:

  • Spouse

  • Children

  • Parents

If the spouse, children, or parents fail to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party or their insurance company within three months, the right to recovery passes down to the decedent's estate.

Besides a wrongful death claim, the decedent's heirs or estate can also file a survival claim, which is a legal tool to bring a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. This civil action is a way to seek justice for the accident victim who died due to someone else's negligence.

Is There a Cap on Wrongful Death Settlements in Houston?

Under Texas law, there are no caps on wrongful death settlements unless the case involves medical malpractice or if the court decides to award punitive damages.

Medical Malpractice Cases

In medical malpractice cases involving wrongful death, there are no caps on economic losses that the affected party can recover. However, the law caps non-economic damages at $250,000 per claimant.

The cap on medical malpractice cases involving personal injuries in Texas stands at $250,000 whether the claimant sues one or more individuals, a hospital or medical facility, or multiple hospitals and facilities.

However, the limit on the amount grieving family members can recover in wrongful death lawsuits involving medical negligence is much higher. The 2003 law Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 74.303 allows up to $500,000 in damages.

It's important to note that the $500,000 limit is not adjusted for inflation. Since the law indexes the cap to the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI), it currently stands at just over $2 million.

Punitive Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

There is also a limitation on how much punitive damages the court can award in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Under state law, claimants can receive either $250,000 or two times the amount of their economic damages plus non-economic damages (up to $750,000), whichever is greater.

It's crucial for the affected parties to understand that there are no limits on compensatory damages if the defendant commits a felony.

Wrongful death settlements can vary from one case to another. An experienced wrongful death attorney can assess the facts surrounding the case and determine the amount of damages available to the claimant if they wish to pursue legal action.

How to Maximize Non-economic Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

How to Maximize Non-economic Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

The amount of non-economic damages a wrongful death victim can recover following the loss of their loved one depends on certain factors, including the number of dependents. If a surviving spouse has three children, they're more likely to receive a greater compensation award than those without minors.

It's important for the affected parties to reach out to an experienced attorney. They can guide the surviving family members on the legal process and also gather enough evidence to close the gap between the wrongful death settlement amount and the maximum cap placed by the law.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Can Help the Injured Victims Get Maximum Compensation!

Those who have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence or medical malpractice should call to schedule a free consultation with the experienced Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. They can assess the facts surrounding their case, gather the necessary evidence to build a strong claim, and handle the insurance company to get maximum wrongful death settlement for the affected party.


bottom of page