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How Do Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work?

How Do Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work?
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The pain of losing someone dear is something no one should have to bear, and while no financial settlement can replace your loved one, taking action against those responsible through a wrongful death lawsuit can offer a sense of justice and some financial support during such a difficult time.

In Texas, the legal framework governing these lawsuits is designed to hold the responsible parties accountable and to help the surviving family members cope with their loss. Our wrongful death lawyer in San Antonio is here to explain how this type of legal action works and how an attorney can help.

Understanding Wrongful Death in Texas

Wrongful death claims in Texas are civil lawsuits that allow the survivors of the deceased or the estate to seek damages from the party or parties legally responsible for the death. These claims can arise from various situations, including car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, or any instance where negligent or intentional acts lead to someone’s untimely demise.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The right to initiate a wrongful death claim is limited to specific individuals. Primarily, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased are entitled to bring a claim. 

If these individuals do not file the claim within three months of the death, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate may file the claim instead. The exception is if all eligible family members request not to pursue it.

The Role of a Wrongful Death Lawyer in San Antonio

Navigating a wrongful death claim requires a deep understanding of complex legal principles and the ability to manage procedural requirements. A wrongful death lawyer in San Antonio brings invaluable guidance and support, guiding families through each step of the process. 

From investigating the circumstances of the death to negotiating with insurance companies and representing the family in court, these attorneys play a crucial role in achieving justice for the deceased and their loved ones.

Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Damages awarded in a Texas wrongful death lawsuit are intended to compensate the family for their losses. These can include:

  • Economic damages: Covering the financial contributions the deceased would have provided, such as lost wages and earning capacity, as well as funeral and burial expenses.
  • Non-economic damages: Addressing the emotional and relational losses suffered by the family, including mental anguish, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium.
  • Exemplary (punitive) damages: In cases involving gross negligence or a willful act, punitive damages may be awarded as a punishment to the offender and as a deterrent to similar conduct.

A seasoned Texas injury attorney can evaluate the case’s details to determine the damages the family may be entitled to and estimate their potential value.

The Process of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas involves several critical steps:

  1. Eligibility Assessment: The first step is determining who is eligible to file the claim and ensuring it is done within the permissible time frame, typically two years from the date of death due to the statute of limitations.
  2. Investigation: Comprehensive evidence gathering is crucial. This includes obtaining medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and other documentation relevant to the case.
  3. Filing the Lawsuit: Once the preparatory work is complete, your wrongful death lawyer will file a lawsuit on behalf of the family, stating the facts of the case, the basis for the claim, and the damages sought.
  4. Discovery: During this phase, both sides exchange information and evidence related to the case, which might involve depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories.
  5. Negotiations and Mediation: Many wrongful death claims are settled before going to trial. Your attorney will negotiate with the defendant’s representatives to reach a fair settlement. If negotiations are unsuccessful, mediation may be attempted.
  6. Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will hear the evidence and determine liability and damages.

Given how complex and emotionally charged filing wrongful death lawsuits can be, working with a dedicated legal team is essential. 

A wrongful death lawyer in San Antonio can provide the guidance and advocacy needed to ensure the family’s rights are protected and that they receive the maximum compensation due. These attorneys understand Texas wrongful death statutes and how they apply to each case. 

Contact Our Texas Injury Attorney Today

Losing someone you love is unimaginably hard, and while no legal action can fill the void they have left behind, seeking justice through a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas can provide some measure of solace. It means pursuing financial stability for the future and holding responsible parties accountable for their actions. This process, however, is complex, and navigating it requires the skill and understanding of a compassionate wrongful death lawyer in San Antonio.

Our team at Patterson Law Group is here to offer our knowledge, resources, and support to ensure that the people responsible for your loss face the consequences of their actions. If you are coping with the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, we invite you to contact our team for a free consultation to explore your legal options.

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