Sealy Wrongful Death Attorney
While some people are lucky enough to walk away from their accidents without injury, many are not so fortunate and in especially tragic cases, might even lose their lives. This can be particularly devastating for the loved ones of the deceased when the accident occurred through no fault of the victim’s own, but can be attributed to the negligent or reckless conduct of someone else. While recovering compensation for this type of conduct can never make up for the loss of a beloved relative, it can play a critical role in helping grieving family members pay off medical bills and household expenses, especially for those who have been reduced to a single income.
If you recently lost a loved one in a tragic accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you could recover damages on that individual’s behalf by filing a wrongful death claim. For help determining whether this is an option for you and your family, please call an experienced Sealy wrongful death attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you accordingly.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Under Texas law, a person’s death is considered wrongful if it was the result of:
- A wrongful act;
- Unskillfulness; or
Essentially, the relatives of an accident victim can file a claim on that person’s behalf after his or her death if the deceased would have been able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party if he or she had survived the accident.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Only certain individuals can file a wrongful death claim in Texas, including:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse;
- The decedent’s surviving children; and
- The parents of the deceased.
These individuals can bring the action together, or one of the relatives can file the claim for the benefit of the group. If, however, none of these individuals have filed a wrongful death claim within three months of the decedent’s death, the executor of the estate can bring the action, unless the surviving relatives specifically request that the suit not be filed.
Wrongful Death Damages
Plaintiffs who can demonstrate that someone else’s negligence caused their loved one’s death, could be eligible for a monetary award compensating them for:
- Lost earning capacity;
- Lost care, support, services, and counsel;
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering;
- Lost companionship, society, and comfort; and
- Lost inheritance.
These types of damages are referred to as actual damages and are intended to compensate victims for their losses stemming from the untimely death of the deceased. In some cases, however, a court could choose to award exemplary damages to the plaintiffs, which are also known as punitive damages and are intended to punish the defendant. Exemplary damages are usually only awarded when a death was the result of a defendant’s willful act, omission, or gross negligence. Both actual and exemplary damages awards will be divided among the surviving family members.
Talk to an Experienced Texas Wrongful Death Lawyer
Those who lose loved ones in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence should not be left without the monetary means to cover medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and other losses. Please call us at The West Law Office, PLLC at 281-347-3247 to speak with a Sealy wrongful death lawyer about your recovery options.