When someone dies as a result of an accident of some kind, the family of the deceased person may have a right to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims are heard in civil court. The claim is filed by the surviving family member(s) in order to seek compensation for the death.
In Texas, wrongful death lawsuits must usually be filed within two years of the death. A wrongful death suit can be hard to prove, so it’s important that you rely on an experienced wrongful death attorney.
One of the most common questions Thompson Law is asked is who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under Texas law a wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by the spouse, parent, or child of the victim, or by the executor of the decedent’s estate on behalf of those parties, as stated in Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
In Texas, there are two elements you must prove to have a successful wrongful death claim.
There are a variety of forms of compensation you can seek in a wrongful death lawsuit. Those damages may include:
Calculating damages in wrongful death claims is highly complex, and usually involves experts such as economists and actuaries. These expert witnesses provide calculations and provide their opinions on the proper amount of damages based off the claims made above.
Damages in a wrongful death case are typically distributed among the family members based on their specific degree of injury. For example, parents of the deceased person may be given a smaller portion for their pain and suffering than a spouse. Similarly, a spouse might receive the majority of the lost income, particularly if the parents are not dependent upon their lost child.
If a wrongful death case goes to trial, the court has full discretion over how to divide proceeds. Typically, jurors proffer the largest percentage of the proceeds to surviving spouses, followed by minor children, followed by parents of the deceased. In effect, the court tries to match the award to the degree of loss by each of the loved ones.
Serious accidents in Texas that most often cause wrongful death include, but are not limited to:
If you are asking yourself when is the right time to contact a wrongful death attorney, the answer is NOW! Our law firm offers free consultations. Further, we charge no fee unless we win. You will not incur any attorney fees, court costs, legal expenses, or any other costs unless we recover money on your behalf.
If we do obtain a settlement for you, our fee will only come out of a portion of the settlement. When you have experienced the loss of a loved one, you need a law firm that is recognized as champions for their clients.
Call Thompson Law toll-free at 866-293-4768. We can help you determine whether you have a civil wrongful death claim. If so, we can help you protect your legal rights.
Thompson Law receives an attorney fee and you pay no legal fees as our client unless we pay you. Thompson Law has 350 years of combined experience in legal representation and has won over $1.8 billion dollars in cash settlements for our clients. We master the art of managing client cases with empathy, compassion, respect and, of course, prodigious skill. Contact us today for a free, risk-free consultation to discuss your accident and your options.
State law limits the time you have to file a claim after an auto accident. If you have been injured in an accident, call now to get the help you need.