When someone dies as a result of the wrongful conduct of another, the decedent’s loved ones might be able to file a lawsuit as part of their fight for justice. The suit can bring monetary compensation as well as accountability, and an experienced wrongful death attorney can explain how these lawsuits generally proceed, including how they often end in settlements outside of court.
When your spouse, child, or parent dies because of the negligence or intentional misconduct of another, you might consider calling a lawyer knowledgeable about Austin wrongful death settlements.
A family can file a wrongful death claim leading to verdicts or settlements in Austin when another’s negligence, carelessness, or intentional misconduct caused the death. Many wrongful death cases are caused by accidents where the responsible person did not necessarily mean to hurt anyone but did so anyway because they failed to act in the careful manner required of them under the circumstances. A wrongful death claim can arise from incidents such as:
Even when the person who caused the accident did not mean to do harm, when they are found to have been more than 50 percent responsible for the death, they can be held liable for damages.
Deaths resulting from intentional or criminal conduct can also be the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit, such as when someone is murdered or dies after being assaulted. The district attorney handles any associated criminal case, which is different from the wrongful death claim.
Under state law, the decedent’s spouse, children (including legally adopted children), or parents can file an Austin wrongful death suit that might result in a settlement. One of those parties, like the wife or husband, can also bring the action on behalf of all other beneficiaries. Brothers and sisters are not entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but common law spouses can bring these kinds of actions.
When family members do not bring the lawsuit within three months of the death, the decedent’s executor or administrator can file suit unless the family members request that not be done.
Wrongful death suits are high stakes for all parties. As a consequence, many wrongful death claims settle before the case goes to trial. Families settle because they do not want to assume the risk of a loss at trial. Some cases go through many rounds of settlement discussions, but the client always makes the final decision with the advice of the lawyer.
Damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit include lost companionship, lost guidance, lost inheritance and financial support, lost household services, and mental suffering. Each of these categories of damages will be evaluated and negotiated by an Austin wrongful death lawyer to secure a fair settlement amount.
Settlements can be paid out in a single lump sum, or the family can opt for a structured settlement to spread the payments over time. Even for single payments, clients often prefer to place the money in an investment. Settlement proceeds for children are placed in trust accounts pending their eighteenth birthdays.
When your loved one dies because of another’s wrongful conduct, you can bring a lawsuit for damages to compensate you for losing the many ways your loved one enriched and contributed to your life. An attorney experienced in negotiating Austin wrongful death settlements can help evaluate the case and the kinds of damages that might apply.
Whether a lawsuit ends in a jury verdict or an out-of-court settlement, fighting for justice can help you secure the compensation and closure you deserve. Call today for more information about your options.