Wrongful death is when one party causes the demise of another due to carelessness, unlawful acts, neglect, or unskillfulness. The surviving family members of the deceased make a wrongful death claim. It may be anyone from the parents, children as well as the surviving spouse, according to the legal website Nolo.
The claimants may file the wrongful death claim together or singly. Despite this, it is within reason that they do not all receive an equal share of the compensation. So, who gets to decide what share each claiming party will receive?
In Texas, a jury is responsible for deciding what to award the claimants and the proportions of the award. They also determine if there is any need for compensation. However, some cases are not presided over by a jury since they do not get to trial. In such scenarios, your lawyers use the knowledge of past cases that juries have presided over to provide legal advice.
As noted on FindLaw, an online legal website, when all the claiming parties are adults, they may reasonably determine how to divide the settlement. But when there are minor children in the list of beneficiaries, the court appoints a guardian ad litem to represent their rights. The guardian ad litem ensures that the adults do not take advantage of the kids.
When children are involved in a wrongful death claim, the court recognizes that they may require help as no one else may protect their rights. Most of the time, the benefit will gear towards the children. However, it does not mean that the court influences the decision. Instead, they ensure that the process is fair for everyone.