Posted on July 28, 2016
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There are many reasons to file a wrongful death claim after the unexpected death of a loved one, including giving them a voice in the justice system and holding a negligent party responsible. Another benefit of bringing a lawsuit is recovering financial compensation for the costs of your loved one’s funeral and burial. In Texas, heirs are entitled to funeral and burial expense damages for the wrongful death of a family member.
Are Funeral Expenses Reimbursed in a Wrongful Death Claim?
In many cases, yes. While it is not possible to guarantee results for a wrongful death lawsuit, most cases end in compensation for the decedent’s heirs or estate to pay for funeral and burial expenses. The definition of funeral and burial costs are the economic damages incurred by heirs or the estate for funeral services and the disposition of the body. Anyone who contributed to paying for the funeral – even those who were not heirs – can receive compensation for what they spent.
The compensation granted for funeral and burial costs can refer cover many different related expenses, including:
Headstone or monument
Funeral home costs
The price of a funeral and burial is combined with other available damages, such as the decedent’s lost wages, lost household services, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, property damage, and more. These are all examples of economic and noneconomic losses that are recoverable in the average wrongful death lawsuit in Texas.
What Are “Reasonable” Funeral and Burial Costs?
The amount of money that you can receive in funeral and burial expenses in a wrongful death claim is not without limits. In a Texas wrongful death lawsuit, an insurance company will only pay for an amount of funeral and burial costs that are viewed as “reasonable.” The reasonableness standard can depend on factors that are unique to the case, such as the size of the decedent’s estate. In general, a reasonable funeral and burial will cost around $10,000. However, you may be eligible for greater compensation if you can prove that what you spent was reasonable.
How to Prove Your Funeral Expenses
You can prove the value of your funeral and burial expenses by keeping copies of related bills, receipts and invoices. Keep the receipts of anything that you purchased for a funeral, memorial service, cremation or burial and make multiple copies. You may also need a written explanation of why what you spent was reasonable according to the situation. An attorney can help you gather evidence of your losses for a claim.
How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help?
It is important not to accept a wrongful death settlement from an insurance company before consulting with an attorney. You cannot trust that an insurance company is maximizing your financial recovery. On the contrary, insurance companies often try to minimize payouts to protect their own profits. A wrongful death lawyer in Dallas, on the other hand, will want your family to recover as much compensation as possible.
A lawyer will use proven legal tactics to fight for the true value of your case, including the full amount that your family spent on funeral and burial costs. A lawyer can negotiate with an insurance company for you or take your case to trial, if necessary. With trial experience in the law firm’s history, an insurance company will be more likely to offer a fair settlement for your wrongful death claim upfront. If not, however, your attorney can represent your loved one at trial.
If you recently lost a loved one in an avoidable accident in Dallas, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney for a free consultation. You can discuss your ability to recover funeral expenses and other losses using a wrongful death claim. Consulting with an attorney right away can reduce your chances of missing an important filing deadline.