Losing a loved one is always heartbreaking. When their death was caused by another person, it can be particularly difficult to cope with both the anger and grief that you may experience. In these situations, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.
This type of personal injury claim can’t make you whole again. It can help you recover financially after a devastating loss, and achieve some measure of justice for your loved one’s death. A skilled wrongful death attorney can help you with filing a lawsuit.
At Forbes & Forbes, we are dedicated to helping people in the greater El Paso area who have suffered losses due to the wrongful conduct of another person. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
In Texas, a wrongful death is defined as any death that was caused by the wrongful act, carelessness, unskillfulness, neglect, or default of another person or corporation. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the deceased person (decedent’s) survivors can recover compensation for a range of losses, including:
- Loss of financial contributions (familial income) and inheritance
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of benefits (such as health insurance or retirement benefits)
- Loss of services and support (such as care, protection and guidance)
- Loss of love, society, consortium, or companionship
Any type of personal injury claim may give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit. If the decedent would have been able to file a lawsuit if they had survived the accident or injury, then their survivors can probably file a wrongful death claim. Examples of the types of cases that may lead to a wrongful death action include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Vehicle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Vehicle rollover
- Distracted driving accidents
- Truck accidents
- Job site accidents
In some circumstances, the victim’s family may also be able to bring a survival action. This type of claim seeks compensation for the pain and suffering that a loved one endured prior to dying. A survival action claim is brought by the estate of the deceased.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Texas law, only certain loved ones are able to file a wrongful death claim and/or a survival action. A decedent’s beneficiaries can pursue these types of claims. Beneficiaries may include the surviving spouse (including a common-law spouse), children (including adopted children), and parents of the deceased.
Although many loved ones may experience a profound loss when someone is killed in wrongful death, Texas law strictly limits who can file this type of claim. Brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins are all barred from pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.
There is a 2 year statute of limitations on all personal injury claims in Texas. This means that you must file a lawsuit within 2 years of the date of your loved one’s death. If you fail to do so, then your case will be dismissed.
Should I Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?
After a family member dies, a lawsuit may be the furthest thing from your mind. While a wrongful death claim can’t bring your loved one back, it can help you get answers and justice. It may also help you financially as you recover from your loss.
Through the legal process, your attorney can request documents, photographs, medical records and other evidence from the person or corporation responsible for your loved one’s death. In this way, you may be able to learn exactly what happened and who was responsible for their death.
At the same time, a lawsuit may allow you to hold the responsible person or entity accountable for their actions. While some wrongful deaths may lead to criminal charges, many do not. Filing a lawsuit can help you hold them financially responsible for their actions.
A wrongful death claim may also help to bring about change, and prevent something similar from happening to another family. For example, if your loved one was killed while turning at a dangerous intersection, a lawsuit may prompt the city to make changes so that the intersection is safer.
Finally, losing a loved one doesn’t just take a toll on you emotionally. It can also be financially devastating. A lawsuit can provide you with financial security so that you can move forward with your life.
We’re Here for You.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you may be overwhelmed with grief and unsure of what to do next. The thought of filing a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. An El Paso personal injury attorney can help to ease this burden.
Forbes & Forbes represents Texans who have been hurt in all types of accidents, including family members who have lost loved ones through the negligent, careless, or reckless actions of another person. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, contact us today at 1-877-585-3827 or email us at any time.