How Do You Quantify Grief Following an Accident?

W. Bradley Parker
Protecting the rights of Bedford, Texas area personal injury victims since 1985.

Processing an expected loss of a loved one can take everything you’ve got, but when someone close to you dies in a tragic way, such as in a car accident, violent incident or medical error, you need a special set of coping skills.

In addition to the emotional stress those left behind face, there is the financial and administrative burden following a wrongful death. Survivors have to deal with the practical elements of their loved one’s death, including managing the loss of household income, sorting through the details of their debts and estate and paying for their end-of-life costs.

Those left behind often want some sort of legal retribution for their loss.

Brad Parker says, “In a wrongful death suit, loved ones can recover many types of loss. There are several factors that juries take into consideration. The primary factor is the relationship between the deceased and the claimant. The mechanism of the event that caused the death is important also. For instance, was it a really freak accident or was it caused by drunk or distracted driving?”

Factors Considered in Wrongful Death Compensation

  • Age of the deceased person
  • Age and circumstance of the deceased’s dependents
  • Closeness of relationship between deceased and claimant
  • Circumstances/cause of the wrongful death
  • Earning capacity of the deceased
  • State of the deceased’s health
  • The deceased’s income at the time of death
  • Medical bills and other expenses incurred for the deceased
  • Value of lost benefits such as a pension or insurance policy

Types of Loss Recovered in Wrongful Death

Funeral Costs

Final arrangements can be extremely expensive, reaching several thousand dollars after totaling the cost of funeral services, cemetery expenses and burial or cremation.

Loss of Companionship

According to the law, only children, parents and spouses of the deceased may seek financial compensation for their loss of companionship, emotional support and emotional trauma that follows the loss. The closeness of the relationship between the deceased and the family member plays a big part. For example, if a parent was estranged from their child or spouses have been separated, the compensation may be less.

Medical Expenses

If your loved one received medical treatment before their death, surviving family members are liable for those bills. In a survival claim, the estate can recover those medical costs from the person who caused the wrongful death.

Loss of Income

Family members who had been living with the deceased prior to their death may have grounds to seek compensation for the loss of past and future income. They may also seek compensation for loss of inheritance, meaning money that the deceased may have earned, saved and passed onto family after their death.

Mental Health Treatment

Losses recovered can include expenses for medical treatment for emotional trauma, including counseling and psychiatric care.

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney helps alleviate some of the burden following a wrongful death. They will ensure your rights and the rights of your lost one are protected. Brad says, “We don’t think of these cases as ‘wins,’ but we are proud to be able to do something positive under such tragic circumstances.”

Case Study

In a recent case, our clients were devastated by the loss of their son. A bright and ambitious architecture student at Texas Tech, he brought joy to his parents and siblings and had planned to go into business with his brother when he graduated. The close-knit family was torn apart by his senseless death. While a wrongful death lawsuit cannot lessen their pain, it does make the people responsible for the death pay for their actions. In our suit, we demanded and won the following damages:

  • Physical pain and mental anguish. Our client’s son suffered terribly in the moments before his death. We presented the results of his autopsy to demonstrate that the injuries he sustained caused him great pain before ultimately killing him.
  • Loss of society and companionship. We presented photographs and stories that illustrated how important their son was to our clients and how they deserved to be compensated for their tragic loss.

Because of the strength of the evidence we gathered, we may have been able to secure a higher award by taking this case to court, but our priority was to settle the matter quickly to provide closure to our clients. We issued a deadline to the lawyers representing the bar, and they quickly agreed to settle the claim for the maximum value of their insurance policies.

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured In A Texas Area Wrongful Death Disaster?

If you or a loved one have been involved in a serious wrongful death or car accident disaster, you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford office directly at 817.440.3888 to tell us your story.


At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.

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