Wrongful Death Lawyer
When a family loses a loved one due to the negligent actions of another party, State law allows those survivors to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for financial compensation the victim’s death has caused. A lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Houston, TX, understands that no amount of money will ever make up for the death of family member and that is not the goal of a wrongful death lawsuit. Instead, the compensation can help alleviate the financial devastation that often occurs.
The following are some of the more frequent questions clients ask about wrongful death lawsuits. For more information, contact our office to meet with a compassionate wrongful death attorney.
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death is when a victim dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, but had the victim lived, they would have been able to recover damages against that party for their injuries if they had survived. Survivors can pursue a wrongful death claim whether or not the at-fault’s party actions were unintentional or intentional.
Who can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit?
Every state has its own wrongful death laws which stipulate who can file a wrongful death claim, however, generally the following survivors are able to file a claim:
- The executor of the victim’s estate can file a wrongful death claim and any compensation received will be added to the estate to be distributed per the victim’s will instructions and/or settle the final debts of the estate.
- The spouse and minor children of the victim.
- If the victim was not married, their adult children can file (or grandchildren if not surviving adult children).
- If the victim had no spouse or children, their parents can file.
- If the victim had no spouse, children, or parents, then their siblings can file suit.
- Next of kin.
What are the losses that survivors can pursue damages for?
If the survivors are successful in their wrongful death claim, there are many types of losses they can be included in the lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of the victim’s death. The following are some of the more common:
- Medical expenses for any treatment the victim received in life-saving attempts
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the victim’s future expected income and benefits
- Loss of the services the victim provided survivors
- Loss of care the victim provided the survivors
- Loss of companionship the victim provided the survivors
- Loss of protection the victim provided the survivors
- Loss of comfort, advice, and guidance the victim provided the survivors
What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim?
Each state sets its own statute of limitation for a wrongful death claim. Generally, it is two to three years from the date of the victim’s death or from the date. There are some exceptions to that rule depending on the circumstances of the victim’s death.
Once the date has expired, the door is closed to filing any claim. This is why it is critical to contact a wrongful death attorney to discuss what your legal options are, even if you are not ready to file any claims.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into wrongful death.