After losing someone you love due to someone else’s reckless, careless, or criminal misconduct, pursuing civil litigation against the responsible party is most likely the last thing on your mind. However, it can be helpful to consider filing suit against the negligent party to minimize the negative impacts of your loved one’s death.
With that in mind, Houston wrongful death settlements generally revolve around identifying what losses you need to recover, including objective—or sometimes subjective—losses. Additionally, these claims can prove who should be held accountable for providing that compensation. Representation from a seasoned wrongful death attorney at Roberts Markland LLP can be vital to accurately identifying these losses and ensuring you do not accept a lowball settlement offer.
There is no “average” amount of compensation that Houston families will receive in a wrongful death settlement: every person is unique, and every wrongful death happens under particular circumstances. However, determining your case’s settlement value typically means identifying how your loved one’s unjust death will impact you and your family and determining the magnitude of those losses over time.
For example, someone in their 20s might have more expected future earning capacity than someone in their 70s. Additionally, the court imposes legal limitations, known as “caps,” on maximum recovery for non-economic losses caused by medical negligence. Likewise, the court must evaluate the decedent’s “comparative fault,” or their amount of responsibility they have for causing or contributing to their death.
Another important thing worth emphasizing is that most wrongful death claims settle outside the courtroom, contrary to popular belief. While going to court is almost always an option for you when financial recovery after your loved one’s wrongful death, it is also much more expensive and procedurally complicated than meeting privately with the defendants and their legal counsel to establish a fair amount to award you and your family.
That said, it is crucial to retain knowledgeable legal counsel before settlement negotiations start. Even when your family members and the defendant can come to a mutual agreement or resolution, plenty of legal pitfalls and minor disagreements could sidetrack negotiations and prevent you from recovering compensation. When the named defendants are unwilling to accept fault—especially when they are large companies or organizations with significant funds and ample legal counsel—having an experienced and hardworking attorney on your side can be essential to obtaining the settlement offer you and your family deserve.
Settling a wrongful death case out of court may be cheaper and more straightforward than formally filing a lawsuit, but that does not mean it is a simple process. No matter how obvious it may seem that someone else is at fault for your family’s immense loss, you will likely have trouble getting the restitution you are entitled to without guidance from legal representatives who have handled similar cases successfully in the past.
A dedicated and compassionate wrongful death lawyer at Roberts Markland LLP could make all the difference in the outcome you end up with when pursuing a Houston wrongful death settlement. Call today to learn more about potential damages and let our legal team members begin working on your case.