What do non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit mean?
Non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are the emotional damages caused by the death. Wrongful death cases usually place a high priority on economic losses. Family members who are still alive urgently need money to cover the lost salaries, medical expenses incurred before death, and funeral expenses of their loved ones. Non-economic damages, in the context of wrongful death litigation, refer to losses without a financial value. These damages can be some of the most substantial after a loved one has died.
Specifically, this is the cost of the deceased’s support, comfort, care, affection, guidance, company, and companionship, as well as their help and support in times of need.
What does a wrongful death lawsuit’s non-economic damages involve?
The best way a skilled lawyer may assist surviving family members is by providing proof of the closeness of their relationship with their deceased loved one. The degree of sadness, sorrow, and loss that the family members have experienced depend on how closely they are related to one another.
A relative who was estranged from the deceased family member usually will not receive considerable damages, if any, for the loss of a family member.
Evidence of the family’s closeness and strength, their frequency of reunions with the deceased loved one, their relationship’s harmony and happiness, their shared interests in hobbies and other social gatherings, and how frequently the deceased took part in their activities or provided support, consolation, and advice to them are all crucial components in proving non-economic damages to a jury as well as refuting the opposing party’s arguments. The best approach for a jury to comprehend the scope of a family’s loss is for family members to testify (despite how emotionally taxing this will be for them) about how closely they were connected to their loved one who has passed away and how much sadness and anguish they have experienced.
Videos and pictures of the family members with their deceased loved ones, whether on a birthday, holiday, athletic event, vacation, family reunion, or just on an average day, might be used to support such testimony. An attorney can help family members recover these damages for the loss of a loved one by explaining the significance of such evidence to them and assisting them in presenting it in a lawsuit, whether by way of obtaining a settlement or proving such damages to a judge and jury at trial.
Is there a limit on the amount of money someone can receive for non-economic damages in a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit?
Like many states, Texas has a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Texas has a $500,000 limit on non-economic damages in wrongful death medical malpractice cases, but after the cap is increased for inflation, families may recover $1,900,000 or more. There is no limit for other personal injury cases in Texas. Many other states have similar limits in medical malpractice cases, which were born out of tort reform.
How do you calculate non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?
It’s challenging to put concepts like non-economic damages into a number. But you must do it in a wrongful death lawsuit. Otherwise, a jury will be left to guess on its own. A wrongful death attorney can determine your non-economic damages in a few different ways.
We can start by using a multiplication strategy. This involves adding up all the economic damages and multiplying them by a number. Typically, that ranges from 1.5 to 3. If the intensity or length is terrible, you might get around three. In general, 1.5 and 2 are more common.
You could also use a daily method. In that plan, we determine the value of a day without the loss of your loved one. Then we project how long you will endure their loss. Then the two are then multiplied.
Third, we could use before-and-after stories. You can discuss your life both before and following the death. Try to show the differences. Give the jurors an idea of the percentage range of what you could and couldn’t do.
Talk to an attorney about non-economic damages for wrongful death
The non-economic damages will be complicated to assess. But that highlights the need to hire a wrongful death attorney experienced in valuing cases involving death. David P. Willis has decades of experience in these matters. He is a board-certified personal injury trial law specialist representing families in wrongful death lawsuits across the United States. For almost 40 years, we’ve put in a lot of effort to get the best results for our clients, and we’ll do the same for you. Call us at 1-800-883-9858 to tell us your story.