If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to circumstances within someone else’s control, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
The deadlines and paperwork that come with filing a wrongful death claim can feel daunting, especially when you are also grieving. With the right lawyer, you will be able to get the maximum compensation for the tragedy with the least stress. Here’s what you need to know about wrongful death claims and the elements that your claim is built on before you file.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death can occur due to negligence or intentional harmful action. Wrongful death differs from criminal homicide in that it covers the civil side of the claim, not the criminal side. If the at-fault party does face criminal charges, these will be decided before you can sue for the funds you’re owed.
In Texas courts, wrongful death is qualified as injury causing the death of an individual. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death suits are car accidents, medical malpractice, and intentional torts.
A robust wrongful death claim includes significant evidence that the person who caused the harm had done so out of negligence or with intent.
For example, if distracted driving results in the death of a pedestrian, that would be grounds for a wrongful death suit on the basis of negligence. If a person were driving and chose to intentionally hit a pedestrian, that would be grounds for a wrongful death suit on the basis of intentional tort.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
Because the deceased cannot advocate for themselves, their surviving family members (spouse, children, or parents) may choose to file a claim on their behalf.
The executor of the deceased person’s will and estate may also choose to file a claim if the family has not done so within three months of the deceased’s passing unless the family specifically requests that no such claim be filed.
Knowing who’s eligible to file can make a big difference for you and your claim. Reach out to a lawyer if you have any questions about whether you’re eligible to file and when to file your claim.
Damages for a Wrongful Death
The damages that can be obtained from a wrongful death article are similar to other personal injury lawsuits. The biggest difference is that the injured person cannot advocate for themself. Damages usually fall into the following categories:
- Lost income that the deceased may have earned had they remained alive and would have been used to support their family members
- Lost emotional support from the deceased
- Emotional suffering of the surviving family
- Loss of the deceased’s impact on society
- Lost inheritance
While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, financial compensation can ease some of the stress that comes with tragedy. A strong wrongful death claim includes a thorough picture of what damages are due and what those damages are worth.
Reach Out to a Wrongful Death Attorney
In times of tragedy, it can be hard to focus on advocating for yourself and the legal protection of your loved ones. Building a strong wrongful death claim can feel impossible, even, without the right guidance.
Let the Estes Law Firm take care of it for you, so you can focus on what’s really important: honoring your loved one’s memory. Call 281-205-8079 or fill out the online contact form below to see what the Estes Law Firm can do for you.