There is one phone call that everyone dreads receiving, and that is the call informing them that a loved one has died unexpectedly. Receiving this phone call can change everything in your life, and can quickly lead to unmatched emotional and financial trauma. If your loved one died as a result of another person’s wrongful act, then that causes an even deeper level of pain. Nothing can be done to undo this tragedy, but the law does provide a pathway for surviving family members to recover financial compensation for their tragic loss via a wrongful death lawsuit.
Section 71.002 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code defines wrongful death as a death that occurs as a result of someone else’s wrongful act, negligence, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default causes. The defendant in these cases may be held liable for an injury that causes death.
Another way to look at it is that if the victim had survived the accident, he or she would have had grounds to file a personal injury claim.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the causes commonly associated with wrongful deaths:
- Medical malpractice
- Car, truck, bus, taxi, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents
- Animal attacks
- Premises liability such as slip or trip and falls
- Workplace accidents
- Products liability
- Large fires
- Airplane or helicopter crashes
If your loved one was tragically killed due to another party’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed on his or her behalf. Here in San Antonio, the lawsuit is filed by a representative of the victim’s surviving loved ones, such as the following:
- The executor of the victim’s estate
- The victim’s parents, children, or spouse
- Adult children of the victim
- If the victim was an adoptive parent, then his or her adoptive children are eligible to file
- If the victim was an adoptive child, then the victim’s adoptive parents can file
- Siblings of the victim
A wrongful death plaintiff may be eligible to receive financial compensation for the loss of their loved one. Economic, non-economic, and punitive damages may all be available, depending on the circumstances of your specific case.
Here are some examples of damages that are commonly awarded in wrongful death lawsuits:
- Medical costs from the date of the accident until the date the victim died
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Punitive damages that are generally reserved for particularly egregious conduct and are intended to deter the defendant and society as a whole from behaving in that manner in the future
- Emotional pain and suffering of the victim’s survivors
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of inheritance, which includes what the victim was expected to bequeath to the surviving loved ones
- Loss of companionship
- Lost benefits, such as insurance, from the victim’s death
- Loss of services the victim would have provided, such as care, love, advice, and child care.
- If you witnessed the accident that killed your loved one, you may be eligible to receive bystander damages
If your loved one has tragically died in a wrongful death accident, our attorneys at Patterson Law Group fully understand the gravity of the pain, anguish, stress, and trauma that you may be experiencing right now. We take pride in standing in the corner of clients who are enduring the worst period of their lives and fighting for justice on their behalf.
When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, in many cases, the defendant’s insurance company will be the entity that ends up paying you. Insurance companies are big businesses focused primarily on the bottom line, so they are notorious for doing everything possible to minimize a wrongful death plaintiff’s financial recovery, and often extend only lowball offers that are far below the true market value of your claim.
Our attorneys at Patterson Law Group strongly suggest that you consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in San Antonio prior to accepting any settlement offers from the insurance company in order to determine whether or not it is a fair offer.
When wrongful death clients in San Antonio, TX enlist the help of our law firm, we ensure that all legal filing deadlines are met, we immediately begin building and investigating their case, we consult with expert witnesses as necessary, we interview eyewitnesses to the accident, we communicate and negotiate directly with the insurance company, and – if necessary – we prepare to take your case to trial and win.
If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident here in San Antonio, call Patterson Law Group today to schedule a cost-free consultation with a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer. No attorney fees will ever come out of your pocket unless you win your case.