Like other states, Texas allows the surviving family members of a fatal accident victim to hold the negligent party financially responsible for their losses. A wrongful death lawyer in Baytown can help you identify the liable party, collect all available evidence, and file a claim against the person who caused the death of your loved one. If this is not successful, an attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit and ask a judge to award you the compensation you deserve.
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, our wrongful death team understands how hard it is to lose a beloved family member. We will aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf while offering compassionate support to your family. We offer free consultations, and you pay no legal fees unless we recover a payout for you.
Call us today at 713-850-8600 to learn more.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Action
A successful wrongful death action will allow you to recover compensation for the financial and emotional losses related to your family member’s death. In general, these damages may include:
- Funeral expenses;
- Out-of-pocket expenditures;
- Lost household income, based on your family member’s earnings;
- Loss of inheritance;
- Cost of therapy or grief counseling;
- Loss of the services and support your family member provided, such as childcare;
- Loss of advice and counsel from your family member;
- Loss of companionship; and
- Your grief and suffering, called mental anguish.
It is important to note the damages available from a wrongful death action only cover your losses and the losses other qualifying family members experienced. A wrongful death action cannot recover money for the expenses or losses of your deceased loved one.
However, these damages are available through a survival action. We can help you with this process, as well.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Only certain relatives can sue for wrongful death. These are:
- Legally married partners;
- Children of the deceased; and
- Parents of the deceased.
Other family members cannot pursue a wrongful death claim without clear proof they suffered financial losses because of the death. If you believe this may be the case for you—or if you have other concerns about your eligibility—we can review your case and explain your rights under the Texas Wrongful Death Act.
If one eligible family member files a wrongful death action, it applies to all eligible family members. This means only one family member needs to take action, and the rest will benefit. There is no need for both the spouse and their children to file separately. If no qualifying family member opts to pursue compensation within 90 days, the estate administrator or executor of the will may be able to file a claim for all eligible heirs.
Filing a Successful Wrongful Death Action
It is sometimes difficult to know if you have a valid wrongful death claim. The process of investigating your loved one’s accident and understanding exactly what led to their death can rip open healing emotional wounds. We can handle this investigation and determine how and why they died without forcing you to relive the circumstances.
If we find that another person’s negligence led to your loved one’s death, you likely have a valid case against the at-fault party. Almost any type of negligence accident can support a wrongful death claim, including:
- Car accidents;
- Truck accidents;
- Semi truck and 18-wheeler crashes;
- Pedestrian or bicycle-versus-car collisions;
- Motorcycle crashes;
- Slips, trips, and falls;
- Other premises liability incidents; and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Action
A successful Baytown wrongful death action depends on our ability to prove the at-fault party acted negligently. We need to provide evidence to show four key points:
- The at-fault party had an obligation to act carefully and protect others from unreasonable hazards;
- They failed to uphold that obligation;
- Your loved one fell victim to one of these hazards, and suffered injuries that led to their death; and
- You suffered financial and emotional damages because of their injuries and death.
When you ask us to help you with a wrongful death action, we go to work investigating the incident that led to your loved one’s death. We identify and collect all possible evidence to support your case. If necessary, we will call in medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and others who can help us prove negligence and document your losses.
Time Limits on Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Under the Texas statute of limitations, you have two years from the date your loved one died to file a lawsuit. While we do not always have to file a lawsuit to get compensation in these cases, it is important that we retain this option. For this reason, it is paramount we file an insurance claim as early as possible in your case.
We can usually settle wrongful death claims without going to court. However, knowing we have the option to take the case to court provides incentive and motivation for the at-fault party and their insurance company. Without this option, it would be difficult or impossible to negotiate a fair settlement in your case.
Talk to a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Baytown Today.
If another person’s negligence caused the death of a close family member, the attorneys at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can explain your legal rights. We can help you file a claim or pursue a lawsuit, and hold the at-fault party liable for your damages. Call us today at 713-850-8600 to learn more.