Important Answers About Wrongful Death Damages

For those who’ve lost someone to wrongful death, their lives are often in turmoil. Along with the grief of losing a loved one, there are still responsibilities to meet and bills to pay, all without the support and comfort of the person lost. Wrongful death damages can help families hold together after a tragedy.

We at Pierce Skrabanek understand that no amount of financial compensation can replace the value and importance of a lost parent, spouse, or child. However, the tangible benefits of pursuing wrongful death damages via lawsuit could improve your future and possibly make the world safer for others.

If you need to speak with a compassionate attorney right away, you can contact the offices of Pierce Skrabanek online or call 832-690-7000 today to begin moving forward.

What Are Wrongful Death Damages? Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death is one that should not have happened. This means preventable fatalities, including those caused by car accident injuries, a fall, an assault, or medical malpractice.

“Damages” refers to the financial compensation negotiated in a settlement or awarded by a judge or jury. Such funds are meant to pay for the damages caused, injuries inflicted, and in cases of wrongful death, the life lost (including that person’s potential income).

Each state has its own unique language regarding who exactly can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, immediate family like a spouse, a parent, or a child always has the right, including adopted children/parents. In some instances, financial dependents, more distant relatives like grandparents, or creditors may also file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you believe you have a case, contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Each state also has its own rules regarding how long you have to file a lawsuit after a death. If that timeline runs out before your lawyer can file the paperwork, you may miss out on the compensation you and your family deserve. Call Pierce Skrabanek for representation at 832-690-7000.

How to Calculate Wrongful Death Damages

Wrongful death lawsuit estimates vary greatly. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will help you translate all you have lost into numbers the court can understand. Wrongful death settlements often account for damages that cover:

  • Medical bills for emergency care, hospital stays, or follow-up care rendered
  • Lost wages and benefits, including the loss of future income, raises, insurance, and retirement benefits (particularly important if the deceased was your family’s main breadwinner)
  • Pain and suffering both physical and emotional, endured by the deceased and their surviving loved ones
  • Punitive damages charged to negligent actors as punishment, amounts that may then be awarded to you
  • Final expenses such as estate fees, funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of companionship, whether it be the comfort of a spouse, the guidance of a parent, or the promise of child

Wrongful death damages can not only help secure your family’s financial future, they can also create meaningful change in the world by penalizing wrongdoers. In some instances, punitive damages are a form of justice in areas where criminal courts cannot reach. In others, those charges can help change industry-wide safety standards in public service and medicine.

Pursuing wrongful death damages can not only help secure your family’s financial future, it can also create meaningful change in the world.

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Are Wrongful Death Damages Taxable?

Sums from wrongful death settlements are not taxable the way normal income is taxed. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) essentially does not classify the money as earnings, but instead as a claim resulting from personal injury which led to death.

There are instances where wrongful death damages could mean some extra taxes are due. Those cases include:

  • If the damages are meant to pay for expenses or medical bills you deducted from your taxable income in a previous year.
  • Payment for emotional distress damages that did not result directly from the initial injury which caused a wrongful death.
  • Punitive or “punishment” damages from the negligent party are considered distinct from the restitution payments for lost income, pain and suffering, or medical bills.

The attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek will walk you through every question you have about a settlement offer before you accept, or will make sure that you understand your verdict in cases that go to trial. We can be reached at 832-690-7000 for your legal needs.

Testimonials

Read what our past clients have to say about our legal services. 

Daryl M.

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“My experience with Mr. Skrabanek was honestly far better than all expectations that we had. He took care of us like we were family, making sure me and my wife always felt like a priority and walked us through all of the concerns that we had. If you are looking for a professional who truly cares for his clients you can stop the search. You won’t be disappointed.”

Denise J.

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“Mike and his team helped me settle an injury claim case. I was informed and helped through every step and they were always professional and very responsive. I really enjoyed working with them.”

Victoria S.

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“My attorney, Michael, did an amazing job with my case. He’s a straight shooter and has a vast knowledge of the law combined with an extensive amount of experience, making him a fantastic attorney. I fully recommend this firm.

Thank you Pierce Skrabenek!”

Gabriela C.

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“Paul Skrabanek of the law firm Pierce Skrabanek was very professional and went above & beyond in handling my daughter's case. Very dedicated, worked diligently, and got justice for my family. If I could give a higher rating than 5 stars I would. Thank you and your firm for such tenacity.”

Raymond H.

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“These guys are awesome, they were very informative from the beginning to end, working with them was super smooth, and I had all questions answered thoroughly. The whole team at this firm works to help in every way they can. They were able to get me the compensation I deserved and exceeded my expectations. If you’re ever in need of a stellar team to stand behind you and work for you, these guys are the ones you would want in your corner.

Thank you very much Paul and thank your team for me.”

Cam F.

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“Working with Paul Skrabanek was a very positive experience. He helped me understand the legal process as someone who has never been a part of a lawsuit, and was able to get me settled quickly and painlessly! Loved working with Pierce Skrabanek law firm!”

Michele R.

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Michael Pierce and his team, especially Krystle, were very professional, always available (even on weekends), and very knowledgeable. We appreciate their hard work on our case and the time they took to explain every detail as our case progressed. Mike is a phenomenal attorney and we highly recommend them for your legal needs.”

Beverly C.

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“I found Mr. Skrabanek to be very trustworthy, creditable, and genuinely concerned about my well-being while I was going through this very difficult process. He showed constant concern for me being completely satisfied before making any final decisions.”

Diane T.

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“Fantastic team of attorneys and staff dedicated to their clients. Michael Pierce is an outstanding trial attorney for personal injury cases.”

Deborah S.

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“We watched, participated & listened to Paul Skrabanek fight for a settlement which we could be happy with. Just this month the case has been put to rest.”

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Contact Wrongful Death Attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek

A wrongful death is a devastating blow to surviving loved ones and family members. Knowing that a loss of life should have been prevented often complicates feelings of grief with outrage and anger. A wrongful death lawsuit can go a long way towards getting some degree of justice and peace.

Pierce Skrabanek are personal injury lawyers, which means we represent those who were unfairly harmed by the actions (or negligent inactions) of others. When those personal injuries are fatal, we are fully prepared to file a wrongful death case, and recover the maximum amount of damages for those impacted by the loss.

Contact Pierce Skrabanek online or call us today at 832-690-7000. While no legal decision can fully recover all that you have lost, wrongful death damages can improve your future and possibly help protect others from harm.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are wrongful death damages?

Wrongful death damages are the payments made after a settlement or verdict. The funds are meant to account for the damages done when a life is lost, including the loss of income, companionship, and the pain and suffering caused. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help translate those losses into numbers for the court.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Immediate surviving family members (parents, spouses, children) have the right to file wrongful death in every state. Some states also allow financial dependents, distant relatives (grandparents or descendents), and/or creditors to file as well. The settlement or verdict amount may differ depending on whose losses are presented to the court.

How do lawyers calculate wrongful death damages?

Your wrongful death attorney will gather evidence and make a case for the amount due to you and your family. Wrongful death damages should fairly cover the cost of:

  • Medical bills for any treatment surrounding the fatal injury
  • Lost wages and income from the deceased
  • Pain and suffering, both emotional and physical
  • Punitive damages meant to punish negligence of the other party
  • Final expenses like burial and estate costs
  • Loss of companionship and support

Are wrongful death damages taxable?

Usually no, wrongful death damages are not taxed as income. However, there are some circumstances where funds meant to reimburse medical expenses may need to be taxed if those payments were written off previously to the IRS. The lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek will make sure you understand the full implications of a settlement before you accept and sign. Call or contact us today at ​(832) 583-1862 for more information.