Killeen Wrongful Death Lawyers

Is the death of someone you cherish the result of someone else's dangerous, reckless, or irresponsible behavior?

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Losing a loved one unexpectedly is painful enough without having to deal with complex legal issues. The compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Thompson Law in Killeen are here to guide grieving families through the process step-by-step. We understand this is an emotionally difficult time, and our experienced lawyers can handle the legal details so you can focus on healing.

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Understanding Wrongful Death Claims In Texas

According to Texas statutes, certain surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death claim if their loved one died due to another party’s negligence or misconduct. This civil action allows them to hold the liable person or entity legally and financially accountable.

To have a valid wrongful death claim in Texas, it must be proven that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused the death. Additionally, verifiable financial damages to survivors, such as loss of income or benefits, must be demonstrated.

A wrongful death lawsuit is not a criminal prosecution and does not result in jail time for the defendant. It is meant to obtain compensation for grieving family members after a tragic loss of life.

Killeen Wrongful Death Claim Process

If moving forward with a claim, the basic steps include:

  • Investigation – Thoroughly gathering evidence and documenting the circumstances surrounding the death. Police reports, medical records, and eyewitness statements help establish key details.
  • Filing – An experienced wrongful death lawyer will handle submitting a formal legal complaint to the proper court on the family’s behalf, outlining allegations and liability claims.
  • Discovery – There is an evidence exchange process prior to trial, including depositions of relevant witnesses. An attorney ensures access to all pertinent documentation.
  • Settlement negotiations – Many valid wrongful death claims settle before reaching trial. This avoids a lengthy court case. Your lawyer negotiates for full and fair compensation.
  • Trial – If no settlement agreement can be reached, the case proceeds to a trial before a judge or jury. Your attorney presents evidence establishing liability and damages.

Having an accomplished wrongful death lawyer helps maximize compensation and takes the burden off families already dealing with grief and uncertainty.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas

While no death is expected or intentional, some of the common scenarios that may warrant a Texas wrongful death claim after a tragic loss include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents – Reckless driving, drunk driving, speeding, truck driver negligence.
  • Workplace accidents – Lack of proper safety policies, training, equipment; unsafe working conditions.
  • Defective products – Manufacturer liability for dangerous or defective consumer goods like cars, medical devices, drugs, child products.
  • Premises liability – Inadequate security, poor property maintenance, failure to address hazards.
  • Medical malpractice – Preventable medical errors by doctors, nurses, surgeons, other providers.
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect.

If questionable actions, misconduct, or negligence by another party contributed to your loved one’s death, consult a lawyer to understand your options. Financial recovery cannot replace your cherished family member but may provide your family with stability going forward.

Killeen Wrongful Death Statistics

Losing a loved one is always difficult, but it’s especially tragic when their death could have been prevented. Unfortunately, wrongful deaths occur far too often in Killeen and the surrounding areas. Here are some key statistics on wrongful death in our community:

  • According to the CDC, there were over 8,500 injury-related deaths in Texas in 2020 alone. Many of these were likely wrongful deaths that occurred due to negligence or misconduct.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of wrongful death. In 2020, there were over 3,600 fatal motor vehicle crashes in Texas resulting in around 4,000 deaths.
  • Workplace-related accidents also cause many wrongful deaths each year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports over 500 fatal work injuries in Texas in 2020.
  • Medical malpractice is another potential source of wrongful death. A 2016 study estimated that over 250,000 people die annually in the U.S. due to medical errors.
  • Defective products cause thousands of deaths each year that could potentially be considered wrongful. This includes faulty auto parts, dangerous drugs/devices, and more.
  • Intentional violence and criminal acts such as assault and murder are clear cases of wrongful death when one person unjustly kills another.

The pain of losing a loved one never goes away. But working with a skilled wrongful death attorney can help families of wrongful death victims find justice, hold negligent parties accountable, and receive the financial compensation they deserve. Our Killeen wrongful death lawyers are here to help.

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Eligibility for Filing a Texas Wrongful Death Claim

According to Texas statutes, the following surviving family members are eligible to pursue a wrongful death legal action after losing a loved one:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • The children of the deceased
  • The parents of the deceased (if their child was an adult)
  • Anyone entitled to inherit part of the deceased’s estate under Texas law

If you have lost a close relative and are unsure if you qualify to file a wrongful death claim, consult our experienced attorneys. We guide you through determining eligibility and legal options.

Proving Wrongful Death in Texas

In Texas, the following elements must be proven for a valid wrongful death claim:

  • Duty – The defendant (person or entity) owed a legal duty of care to the deceased. For example, doctors owe patients a duty of reasonable medical care.
  • Breach of duty – Through negligent or unlawful actions, the defendant breached their duty of care to the deceased.
  • Causation – The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the death. There must be a clear causal link between their negligence/misconduct and the fatality.
  • Damages – Surviving legal heirs experience measurable financial harm from their loss.

The accomplished wrongful death lawyers at Thompson Law can thoroughly investigate your case and help satisfy these legal criteria in court. We build strong arguments proving liability and damages.

Damages in Texas Wrongful Death Claims

The types of damages that may potentially be recovered in a Texas wrongful death claim include:

  • Loss of companionship and guidance
  • Loss of earnings, benefits, and future income
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills incurred prior to death
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased
  • Loss of prospective inheritance
  • Mental anguish suffered by surviving family members
  • Punitive damages in some cases to punish gross negligence

Monetary compensation can help stabilize grieving families after losing a breadwinner or beloved relative. An attorney can pursue maximum recovery.

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Seeking Compensation For Your Family After a Tragic Loss

When you lose a spouse, parent or close family member, you may lose more than just their love and companionship. Their income, guidance, and support is gone when you need it most. While money cannot replace your cherished loved one, a wrongful death financial settlement may help your family:

  • Pay outstanding medical and funeral bills
  • Cover lost income and employment benefits
  • Access counseling and grief support services
  • Pay for household expenses and daily needs
  • Fund college savings for minors

Though it cannot erase your pain, compensation can provide long-term security. Our lawyers have helped many families obtain the recovery they deserve.

How Wrongful Death Settlements Work

Many valid wrongful death cases settle confidentially out of court. This avoids time-consuming court proceedings and trials. An accomplished attorney can advise if settling is the optimal approach in your case, or if a trial is needed to maximize compensation. Factors considered include clear liability, offered settlement amount, and state wrongful death damage caps.

Killeen Wrongful Death Claims – Statute of Limitations

If considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one, be aware that strict time limits apply under Texas statutes. You generally have two years from the date of death to take legal action or you may be prohibited from recovery. It is essential to consult an attorney immediately who can properly evaluate your case within the required timeframe. By retaining Thompson Law promptly, we ensure your rights are protected.

Insurance Companies Aren’t Always Fair

The insurance carriers of potentially liable defendants will seek to deny or minimize claims after fatal accidents. Their goal is paying as little as possible to settle cases. Beware of insurance adjusters using stalling tactics or pressuring you to accept an inadequate settlement. They may use flawed methodologies to significantly reduce compensation offers. Our lawyers deal directly with insurers to level the playing field and fight for justice. We know how to strategically negotiate and maximize recovery for your family. Don’t let a corporation take advantage at this challenging time.

Why Choose Thompson Law for Your Wrongful Death Case?

If you lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence or misconduct in Killeen or anywhere statewide, the wrongful death attorneys at Thompson Law are here for you when it matters most. Our founder Ryan Thompson has over 17 years of experience successfully representing wrongful death clients. He and his team passionately fight against injustice while providing kind, compassionate guidance to grieving families. Thompson Law handles a wide range of cases including:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Nursing home negligence

Thompson Law also provides bilingual legal representation for Spanish-speaking clients. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning no money required upfront. Let us stand by your side and help you move forward. To schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with an understanding wrongful death lawyer in Killeen, call (844) 308-8180 today. You don’t have to manage this alone.

FAQs – Texas Wrongful Death Claims

What Does “Wrongful Death” Mean in Texas?

A wrongful death occurs when someone dies as the result of another person or entity’s negligence or misconduct. Surviving family members may file a civil claim seeking compensation for their tragic loss.

What Are Some Common Examples of Wrongful Death?

Who Can File a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The deceased’s surviving spouse, children, parents, or anyone entitled to inherit their estate under Texas law may potentially file a wrongful death claim.

What Are Some Possible Outcomes of a Wrongful Death Case?

  • A settlement agreement reached prior to trial
  • Compensation awarded by judge or jury for damages
  • Case dismissal if the elements of wrongful death are not proven

What Is the Difference Between Murder and Wrongful Death?

Murder is a criminal offense that can lead to imprisonment. Wrongful death claims are civil cases meant to compensate families for their loss. They involve very different standards of proof, procedures and penalties.

What Types of Damages Might Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case?

  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of companionship
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Pre-death medical bills
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased

What Must Be Proven in a Texas Wrongful Death Case?

The at-fault defendant owed a duty of care, they breached this duty through negligence, their negligence caused the death, and quantifiable financial loss resulted for survivors.

Is a Wrongful Death Claim Considered a Criminal or Civil Case?

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases meant to compensate families, not punish criminal conduct. There is no jail time for defendants found liable.

Can a Company Be Sued for Wrongful Death?

Yes, corporations and government agencies can be held liable. Their insurance policies typically cover claim settlements and verdicts.

Can a Minor Recover Damages for a Parent’s Wrongful Death?

Yes, minors can pursue a wrongful death claim through a guardian to help cover their loss of parental support and guidance. Funds are placed in trust until adulthood.

What Is the Time Limit to File a Texas Wrongful Death Claim?

You generally have two years from the date of death to file a claim before it expires under the statute of limitations. Promptly consult an attorney.

The knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys at Thompson Law are here to help families in Killeen get the recovery and justice they deserve after a tragic loss. To schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with an attorney, call (844) 308-8180 today.

Wrongful Death FAQs

Wrongful Death

In Texas, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death suit. This differs from the statute of limitations for typical personal injury claims not involving death, which allows two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Our skilled wrongful death attorneys can help ensure you meet all the legal requirements and deadlines necessary. If a wrongful death lawsuit is not filed by the proper person within the time allowed by law, you will lose your right to recover monetary damages.

Knowing the applicable statutes of limitations, understanding the elements of negligence and proximate cause, and gathering evidence to establish liability are all crucial factors that can influence the outcome of a wrongful death case.

Wrongful death cases can be highly emotional and complex, making it crucial to determine who is at fault. In these cases, liability is determined by analyzing the evidence to identify who acted negligently or intentionally caused the death. This often involves investigating the circumstances leading up to the incident, such as whether the victim was in a safe environment and whether there were any contributing factors to the death. Additionally, insurance policies and state laws may also come into play when determining fault. It’s important to have a skilled attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you receive the compensation you deserve. While nothing can bring back a loved one, accountability can bring some closure and justice for the family.

The loss of a loved one can be a devastating experience, especially when the death was caused by another person’s negligence or intentional harm. In such situations, the surviving family members may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible individual or entity. The process for filing a wrongful death lawsuit typically involves gathering evidence, hiring an attorney, filing the complaint, and going through the discovery process which involves exchanging information and evidence with the opposing party. The case may then proceed to trial or settle outside of court. It is important to remember that each state has its own laws and procedures for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, so it’s recommended to consult with an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process.

While many wrongful death cases settle out of court, anyone filing a lawsuit should prepare for the possibility of having to go to trial. A skilled wrongful death attorney can litigate on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family.

In Texas, damages for wrongful death can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, loss of possible inheritance, pain and suffering, and loss of society, companionship, support, and care. In some instances, punitive damages might be sought. These are damages intended to punish the guilty party and deter other parties from engaging in the same conduct.

In Texas, the surviving spouse, children, or parents can file a wrongful death claim. If no family members file, an executor of the deceased person’s estate may file. Here is a complete guide to wrongful death claims in Texas.

Thompson Law Guarantee

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.