Wrongful Death Lawyer
To understand a wrongful death lawsuit you must first understand what constitutes a wrongful death. Under Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, wrongful death is caused by either the wrongful act, carelessness, unskillfulness, neglect, or default of another person or corporation. Some examples of wrongful death claims could be death by a drunk driver, medical malpractice, or a defective product. In the state of Texas, wrongful death claims can be filed by family members of the deceased, including children, surviving spouse, or parents. However, Texas does not allow siblings of the deceased to file wrongful death claims. If the deceased’s parents, spouse, or children do not file a wrongful death claim within three month of the death, the deceased’s personal representative, the individual entrusted with the deceased person’s estate may file the claim instead. The only time that the personal representative may not file a claim is if all of the surviving family members request that a wrongful death claim not be filed.
The most important part of a wrongful death claim is proving proof of negligence. Negligence is proven when someone did not do something they were supposed to do or when someone did something they were not supposed to do. This may seem very vague, which is the intent of the wording. The vague wording is meant to be interpreted under the scope of the law, leaving it up to the plaintiff to prove their case to a judge. It may be helpful to regard wrongful death cases as being similar to personal injury cases. The only difference between the two is that in a wrongful death claim the individual is no longer able to bring the suit forward themselves. The reasons for bringing forward both personal injury suits and wrongful death suits can be the same, such as the reasons mentioned above, i.e. medical malpractice, defective products, etc. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will be able to recommend the best course of action for you and your family based on the specific needs of your situation.
In a successful Texas wrongful death case there are several types of damages that can be awarded. These damages can include:
- lost earning capacity
- lost care, maintenance, or services the deceased may have provided to their surviving family members
- mental anguish endured by the surviving family members
- lost love, companionship, and comfort
- lost inheritance that the deceased may have saved and left to surviving family members.
In all of these instances, the monetary amount in damages would be awarded to the surviving members of the deceased’s family. It is important to note that the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in the state of Texas is two years, meaning that a family member of the deceased has two years after the death to file the claim. Which is why you should contact Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC today to learn if your case has merit and if you should pursue action.