If another person’s negligence cost your family member their life, you may be able to hold them accountable under Texas state laws. Certain immediate family members can file a claim and recover financially based on the death of their loved one.
A wrongful death lawyer in Beaumont can help you handle this type of legal action by identifying the liable party or parties, building a case against them, and fighting for a settlement or filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The wrongful death team from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, offers the families of accident victims compassionate support and aggressive legal representation. We will fight for the full compensation you need and deserve after losing your loved one.
Your initial consultation is free, and you owe us no attorney’s’ fees unless we recover a settlement or court award on your behalf. Call us today for your complimentary case evaluation.
What Damages Can I Recover With a Wrongful Death Action?
The damages available through a wrongful death action differ significantly from those you might get from a personal injury claim. Wrongful death damages include only your financial and non-economic losses suffered because of your loved one’s death. These may include:
- Funeral expenses;
- Other related out-of-pocket expenses;
- Lost wages, based on their contribution to your household income;
- Loss of inheritance;
- Cost of counseling and other emotional support services;
- Loss of support for help with childcare, household duties, lawn care, and similar tasks;
- Loss of advice and counsel your family member provided;
- Loss of companionship; and
- Mental anguish, including your grief and suffering.
Financial recovery for a wrongful death suit is therefore a combination of damages to pay for bills and losses to acknowledge your loved one’s ordeal and your own suffering in the wake of this loss.
While a wrongful death action does not allow us to recover any compensation for the damages your family member suffered before their death, we may be able to file a survival action on behalf of your loved one’s estate. This would allow us to collect the type of damages normally available through a personal injury claim.
What About Medical Expenses?
Depending on the reason for your loved one’s passing, they may have left behind medical bills for their treatment. A three-day hospital bill can reach $30,000, while cancer care from a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis could be hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Healthcare.gov. Your wrongful death claim or suit could help you recoup the cost of that care, including emergency services, hospitalizations, and medical equipment.
We can explore all possible options for easing the financial burdens associated with this tragedy, including any remaining medical costs. If your lost family member’s death was caused by negligence, expenses associated with it deserve reimbursement.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
State law limits who can file a wrongful death claim. The only family members eligible to take this type of legal action include the deceased’s:
- Legally married spouse;
- Children; and
The law bars other family members from recovering financially from a wrongful death claim unless there is undeniable evidence of their financial losses. If you have questions about whether you can file a claim, we can explain your legal rights during a free case evaluation.
What if Someone Else Has Already Filed?
When one family member files a wrongful death action, the outcome benefits all eligible family members. This means there is no need to take action if another family member is already pursuing a wrongful death claim. We can help sort out any confusion regarding other claims or suits already filed.
What About Executors or Representatives?
If no eligible family member chooses to take action in the first 90 days after a fatal negligence accident, the administrator of the estate or executor of the will may be able to pursue financial recovery on their behalf. If you are the executor or representative of an estate, we can answer any questions about your role.
What Types of Accidents Lead to Wrongful Death Claims?
Qualifying family members can recover damages if they can prove someone else’s negligence caused their loved one’s death. This can include almost any type of negligence incident, but most commonly, we see wrongful death actions from:
- Car accidents;
- Motorcycle crashes;
- Truck accidents;
- Commercial 18-wheeler accidents;
- Pedestrian-versus-car collisions;
- Bicycle-versus-car collisions;
- Slips, trips, and other falls;
- Other premises liability accidents;
- Dog attacks;
- Drunk driving crashes; and
- Bus accidents.
If you believe someone else was at fault in your loved one’s accident and death, give us a call. Even if you are not sure exactly what happened, we can get to the bottom of it and help you understand if you have a valid claim.
What if I don’t Know Who Was Responsible?
You may know what caused the loss of your loved one, such as drowsy driving, but determining liability may be more complicated. For instance, a trucking company may be held liable for the actions of their drivers, causing them to share responsibility.
Part of getting to the bottom of your case is identifying who can be held liable. Depending on the form of negligence, it could be:
- Product designers
- Property owners
- Government entities
- Healthcare staff
If a city bus was responsible for your family member’s accident, the city itself may share liability. Property owners who fail to take precautions to prevent injury on their premises can be responsible for a wrongful death case. In cases of medical malpractice, more than one party may be liable, including doctors, nurses, and lab techs.
Keeping track of these variables and possibilities is not your job. Let us track down all parties who share responsibility for your loss and hold them accountable.
How Can I Prove Someone’s Negligence Caused My Loved One’s Death?
Proving negligence is central to winning a claim after an accident. The only way to get the financial recovery your family deserves for the loss of your loved one is by providing evidence to show the at-fault party acted in a careless or reckless way. To do this, we must collect proof that shows:
- The at-fault party had a certain duty to keep your loved one safe, such as following all laws and other applicable rules;
- They failed to do so by acting in an unreasonable, careless, reckless, or dangerous way;
- Their actions or inaction led directly to your loved one’s injuries and death; and
- You suffered financial losses and emotional damages because of your family member’s death.
For example, a medical device manufacturer has a duty to release tested and safe products. A manufacturer that doesn’t perform adequate testing before selling a product, missing dangerous defects, can be held liable if that product led to your loved one’s passing.
If you enlist our help filing your wrongful death action, we will fully investigate the circumstances surrounding your family member’s death. This allows us to ensure we can identify all possible liable parties, build a solid case against them, and understand the full nature of your damages.
What Evidence Is Needed for a Wrongful Death Case?
As part of investigating your lost loved one’s accident, we may call on accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, and others who have specialized knowledge necessary to prove your case.
Some of the most common types of evidence we use to prove a wrongful death action include:
- Police reports about the incident;
- Statements from people who witnessed the accident or arrived shortly after;
- Pictures and video taken before, during, and after the accident;
- Testimony from doctors, economists, and other authorities;
- Analysis of the accident, debris, and various contributing factors;
- Your loved one’s medical records; and
- Receipts, bills, and any other available documentation of your expenses and losses.
Our wrongful death attorneys also utilize specific evidence in certain types of wrongful death cases. For instance, if your loved one passed away due to a truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel, we can obtain their truck’s vehicle data and rest logs. Similarly, a dog attack case may rely on the animal’s history and reports from neighbors about its behavior.
Just like our approach to your family’s financial recovery, our approach to evidence is customized to each case. Your loved one was one of a kind, and the case filed in their honor should be as well.
A Wrongful Death Lawyer in Beaumont Can Help with Your Case
If someone else’s negligence caused the accident that led to your loved one’s death, it pays to act quickly. Texas law gives you two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court. We need to get started as soon as possible to ensure we can identify all available evidence to prove your case.
Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, today for a free case evaluation.
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