Can I Seek Punitive Damages for a Wrongful Death?
Punitive damages are not often awarded in Texas, but can be sought in a wrongful death lawsuit involving “severe misconduct” such as fraud, malice, or gross negligence.
Unlike compensatory damages which aim to reimburse the victim for their actual losses, punitive damages are meant to hit big companies where it hurts; their pocketbook. These awards are often substantial, but are usually only considered in the most egregious cases.
The burden of proof for gross negligence is much higher than the burden of proof for ordinary negligence, and juries must be unanimous in order for punitive damages to be awarded. This can be an incredibly tough standard to prove, which is why it’s always important to have an attorney look into the facts of any wrongful death case.
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