When a family member passes away, it can cause financial strain on you and your loved ones. Taking action with a “wrongful death” lawsuit can aid your family financially.
What is a Wrongful Death Case in Texas?
The state of Texas defines wrongful death as being caused when a group or individual displays “neglect, a wrongful act, unskillfulness, carelessness, or default”.
Who Can File a Claim?
Close relatives are usually able to file a wrongful death claim. This includes the parents, spouse, or children of the deceased. If no one files, after 90 days the estate can make a claim.
Wrongful death is not the same as a homicide case. Wrongful death can be added on to a homicide claim, however.
Wrongful Death Damages and Compensation
The state of Texas will consider the following damages and your lawyer can help you get compensation for them:
- Funeral costs
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of support, love, and care
- Medical bills related to the fatal injury
With wrongful death claims, the damages are often split up between surviving family members. The court will do its best to split them proportionally and are the only ones able to determine the amounts.
How Long Does it Take?
Getting your claim settled can take years. The average amount of time for a wrongful death case to be settled is 1 to 4 years- which can feel long after losing a loved family member.
It is important to note that insurance companies will often offer smaller settlements than what you deserve, to rush the process along. Contact and consult with an attorney before agreeing to the companies terms. A skilled lawyer can often get you more than they are offering.
These are another form of damages when filing a wrongful death claim. They are not meant to assist you, but rather punish whoever caused the fatality, to ensure it does not happen again in the future. Texas recognizes these punitive damages:
- Criminal acts or behavior
- Construction hazards
- Dangerous chemicals
- Injury from falls
- Equipment failure
Talk to your lawyer if any of the above were involved in your family’s wrongful death. They will know what steps to take to add these damages to your claim. Letting your lawyer in on all the small details also helps them find out what damages to pursue your claim.
Filing a wrongful death case can be stressful, but with an experienced lawyer, you can be sure that you are getting the most compensation possible. Losing a loved one is awful. Hopefully, an accident lawyer can provide you with some relief during these trying times. Finding a Wrongful death law firm in Houston can be challenging. Contact us today to get started.