Losing someone in your family suddenly is an overwhelming situation. The pain caused by an accidental death is increased if another person’s negligence causes it.
If someone in your family died because of injuries caused by someone else’s negligence, you need the services of an experienced wrongful death lawyer. The Burkett Law Firm provides legal representation for the families of wrongful death victims to hold the responsible parties liable and accountable for their actions.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your claim and situation, so we encourage you to call today to discuss your situation.
What Does Wrongful Death Mean?
When someone’s death is caused by another person’s negligence (whether intentional or accidental), the deceased person’s family has the right to file a wrongful death claim.
Negligence-based incidents, like car or truck accidents or intentional acts (this includes criminal acts), are just a few examples of events that may result in a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims include several elements. Another person’s wrongful act, carelessness, and negligence that resulted in an injury and death are the foundation of wrongful death claims in Texas. Also, if the victims survived the injuries, they would have had the legal right to pursue a personal injury claim for damages. However, their family can move forward with a wrongful death filing since they died and cannot do this.
It is important to note that wrongful death claims and criminal homicide cases have notable differences. A criminal homicide conviction will result in the at-fault party having to go to prison, be on probation, and pay fines to the state, along with other penalties. In a wrongful death case, the court-ordered punishment for the defendant is to pay monetary compensation to the deceased person’s survivors.
Who Can Recover Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In the state of Texas, only certain people are legally able to make a wrongful death claim. The people allowed to do this include the spouse, parents, or children of the deceased individual. The siblings of the deceased are not eligible to file this claim (this is true for biological and adopted siblings).
The statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas is two years from the incident that caused the person’s death. However, if the lawsuit is not filed during the initial three months after the person’s death, an administrator or personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file this legal claim.
There is an exception to this rule. This occurs if family members who are eligible to file a wrongful death claim request that it not be filed.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you file a wrongful death claim and it is successful, you can recover several types of damages. The most common types of damages awarded in these cases include the following:
- Medical costs incurred before the person passed away
- Burial and funeral costs
- Pain and suffering the deceased person experienced before they passed away
- The decedent’s loss of earning capacity
- Loss of services the individual provided, including childcare, domestic responsibilities, and home maintenance
It is also possible to receive compensation for intangible losses incurred by a family member’s death. Non-economic damages offered in wrongful death lawsuits include the following:
- Loss of support, comfort, and companionship your loved one provided you
- Emotional suffering and mental anguish
In some situations, punitive damages will be awarded in Texas wrongful death cases. These damages are beyond the damages awarded to compensate the victim’s family for their losses. The purpose of punitive damages is to serve as a punishment for a wrongful act and work as a deterrent to the same actions in the future.
Contact Our Corpus Christi Personal Injury Law Firm for Assistance
There is no amount of compensation that can make up for the pain and anguish caused by losing a loved one. However, when you contact our legal team at The Burkett Law Firm, the financial burden you face will be reduced, and you can focus on grieving and healing from the loss.
Contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation if you lost someone in your family due to a wrongful death situation. During this meeting, we will learn about the situation, provide a plan to move forward, and file a claim to help you recover the damages you are entitled to.