Losing a loved one will never be an easy thing for anyone to go through, no matter the timing. Such a loss is made even more painful when it was not only unforeseen but preventable and caused by the recklessness or complete negligence of someone else.
The feelings of anguish and anger that come with the loss of a family member can be stifling on their own. But, unfortunately, that is only the beginning. Often, things will begin to feel insurmountable with the addition of unexpected financial changes that immediately follow.
We at Minces Rankin understand you are feeling lost and confused during this time. Understandably so, you also have many questions about what to do next. It is in these unfortunate situations that a personal injury attorney can assist family members.
“I could not have been happier with the level of service they provided, from their understanding to their honesty and passion for helping others.” -Lisa Rascoe
What is a Wrongful Death?
The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 71.001 states that an action for wrongful death may be brought if the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party causes the death of another.
Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Defective Products
- Medical Negligence
- Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
- Workplace Accidents
- Defective Medications and Medical Devices
- Toxic Exposure
Who Is Eligible to File a Claim?
Under Texas law, a wrongful death claim can only be filed by the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. These parties can file a lawsuit individually or as a group. In the event none of these family members file a claim within three months of the date of death, the personal representative or executor of the deceased’s estate can file a lawsuit.
Texas Wrongful Death Damages
There will never be any monetary sum that can truly compensate you for the loss of having your loved one walking through life with you. The love and memories you should have been able to share are unquantifiable. But by filing a claim, you and other family members will be able to seek out a means to recover some of the losses caused by this ordeal. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers will pursue all damages possible to assist your family on the road to healing.
Damages that can be claimed can include:
- The loss of earning capacity or the loss of the financial support your loved one would have contributed had they continued to have an income.
- The loss of inheritance that you and other beneficiaries would have received in the future if not for your loved one’s untimely passing.
- The lost value of support and services such as child care and home maintenance.
- The loss of companionship, society, love, and comfort for the time you would have spent together and the benefits that flow from being in each other’s company.
- Compensation for the emotional and mental pain and suffering caused by your loved one’s death.
- When the death is caused by the willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant, exemplary damages (also known as punitive damages) may be recovered.
Is this a Time Sensitive Process?
While we recognize it is difficult for loved ones to process their loss, filing a claim for wrongful death is time sensitive. In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations within which the survivors must file a wrongful death lawsuit. Work must begin as early as possible to ensure the parties responsible for the death are held fully accountable.
Additionally, it is also crucial to begin collecting and preserving evidence as soon as possible. As time progresses, the likelihood of evidence being lost or destroyed increases. If there are witness accounts, it is crucial to take statements while the incident is fresh in their minds. Memories fade and can lead to details being forgotten. Witnesses may have life events that inhibit them from participating in the case in the future or may even decide they no longer want to be involved.
Texas Wrongful Death Lawyers
Our law firm will immediately begin an investigation into your case and gather all the facts. Then we will move forward swiftly with a lawsuit to seek justice for your loved one and your family.
Our attorneys are here to help families going through such tragedies by handling these cases with not only the utmost professionalism but with compassion. We put the same effort into our clients’ wrongful death claims as we would put in for our own families. If you or a loved one has suffered a loss, contact Minces Rankin today so we can begin helping you and your family through this difficult time.