When tragedy strikes unexpectedly, and a loved one loses their life because of another’s negligence, it can be emotionally challenging to make sense of it all. However, you may find it necessary to bring a suit against the offending party, especially if you face financial hardship because of the loss of your loved one’s earnings. That’s why you’ll want a law firm like Garcia Law Group, PLLC working on your behalf and in your family’s best interests.
Understandably, surviving family members may not be aware of what a wrongful death lawsuit consists of, so that is why the lawyers at Garcia Law Group, PLLC want to provide you some basic information regarding frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims.
- What is a wrongful death?
Wrongful death is when a person dies because of another party’s misconduct or negligence. In this situation, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party if they choose to do so. These lawsuits may also be filed for intentional homicides, regardless of criminal allegations.
Q: What is a wrongful death claim in the state of Texas?
The state of Texas has a statute known as the Texas Wrongful Death Act, which provides surviving spouses, parents, and children (including adult children), the ability to bring a lawsuit for damages against the offending party – whether an individual or company.
However, it is important to know that siblings and grandchildren are NOT given legal standing to bring about a wrongful death lawsuit under the Texas Wrongful Death Act.
Wrongful death claims can emerge from almost any conceivable circumstance where a person’s negligence resulted, or contributed to, the accidental or intentional death of another, including traffic accidents, product liability issues, and even medical malpractice. Depending on the given case, multiple individuals, companies, or even governmental agencies can be held liable for failing to act reasonably or for acting intentionally malicious.
Q: What does a family need to prove in a wrongful death claim?
In order to bring a successful wrongful death claim to litigation, a number of elements must be present in the state of Texas, including:
- The death of a human being caused by another’s negligence or intent to harm.
- A surviving spouse, child, or parent of the deceased suffering monetary injury as a result of the death.
- The appointment of a personal representative for the decedent’s estate.
Our attorneys at Garcia Law Group, PLLC will help you to prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused the victim’s wrongful death and has caused harm to you and your family.
Q: What forms of compensation are awarded?
Texas law stipulates two forms of damages, which are “actual” and “exemplary”.
Actual damages are classified as compensation for the financial losses caused by final medical bills, funeral expenses, and related costs. If the victim of the wrongful death was contributing to the family household, then actual damages can also include expected earnings. Pain and suffering, mental anguish, consortium, inheritance, loss of opportunity, and the value of the goods and services that a victim would have provided (i.e. homemaker), can also be included in this category.
Exemplary (also known as punitive) damages are awarded to the surviving family members as a means to punish the defendant for gross negligence and especially deplorable conduct. These damages ARE AVAILABLE in the state of Texas.
Q: What is a “survival” claim?
Under the Texas Survival Statute, the deceased victim’s estate or heir, may bring about a personal injury lawsuit, which is the type of claim a surviving victim would have been able to pursue. However, there are slightly different legal procedures for this particular form of suit.
Q: Are there statutes of limitations for wrongful death claims?
Our team at Garcia Law Group, PLLC recognizes that losing a loved one can be a life changing experience, but by beginning an investigation as early as possible, the truth can be uncovered much more easily and your needs met much more effectively. This is especially important considering that the statute of limitation in the state of Texas for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the death unless otherwise specified by clearly defined exceptions.
It is exceedingly vital that you obtain a trustworthy attorney on your behalf as soon as possible, as evidence can quickly deteriorate (or be removed), and witnesses may forget vital details after some time.
Having to relive the pain and heartache of the loss of a loved one can be difficult, but nevertheless it is critical to have an attorney analyze the circumstances and begin an investigation immediately. The passing of your loved one does not have to be in vain.
Q: What is the first step I should take to file a wrongful death claim?
In order to seek the justice your loved one and family deserve, the first step you’ll want to take in a wrongful death claim is to contact Garcia Law Group, PLLC to receive a free initial case evaluation and consultation. By contacting our experienced lawyers, you’ll be able to better understand the circumstances of your situation and receive valuable professional information about your case.
If you’re searching for a firm that’s not intimidated by powerful opponents or challenging cases, then look no further than the Garcia Law Group, PLLC. Our reputation means your case will be served with an ability unmatched.
Consult our effective and professional personal injury trial lawyers at (956) 661-8000.