Sometimes the ones that suffer most from the loss of a loved one are their children. Wrongful death suits in are used by a number of Texas families to provide some sense of healing and justice to these children who now have to live without a mother or father.

Such a suit was recently filed on behalf of one 8-year-old boy after his father was shot by officers who mistakenly believed he was an armed robber. The man heard noises coming from his brother’s basement apartment and went to investigate. He saw his brother being attacked so he grabbed a gun from upstairs and ran outside holding it just as police arrived.

The officers claim that they told the man to “freeze,” but the suit claims that the officers did not say anything before firing a shot into the man’s chest. The man then went back upstairs and asked his girlfriend to call for help. He died shortly after reaching the hospital.

The suit also says that officers failed to get the man prompt medical attention and that he died because of the delay.

The $10 million suit was filed by the boy’s mother, who is the deceased’s former girlfriend. In cases like these, a jury will typically hear the evidence and decide how much to award in terms of damages. However, this amount is not set in stone. Courts can increase or decrease the amount based on various factors.

If the deceased has dependents, like in this situation, the amount of pecuniary — or financial — damages awarded will be based on the loss of parental guidance and the loss of income. Texas courts will do their best to make sure that children left without a parent have what they need to work through their grief and live a comfortable life.

Source: New York Daily News, “Fatherless boy sues city for $10M, claiming cops shot and let dad die after mistaking him for armed robber,” Jennifer H. Cunningham, Oct. 16, 2012