Although losing loved ones is a natural part of life, losing loved ones unexpectedly in wholly preventable accidents is another matter altogether. When the negligence of others suddenly takes your loved one from you, you want to hold those persons or businesses responsible for their actions. Calling on a Belton wrongful death lawyer for help in this situation may allow you to seek justice for your loved one and make other parties accountable for their negligence.
Determining whether to take legal action following the death of a loved one is not always an easy choice to make. Pursuing a legal claim is not likely to be at the forefront of your mind in this situation. You might be able to more fully explore your options with the assistance of a dedicated personal injury lawyer.
A wrongful death typically occurs when some preventable carelessness, recklessness, or negligence leads to the death of a loved one. These deaths are likely unexpected and would not have happened absent the negligent behavior of others. In this situation, some surviving family members may file a civil claim against the parties responsible for the death.
By definition, fatal accidents that negligent parties cause may result in wrongful death claims. For example, surviving family members might have a wrongful death claim if a drunk driver caused the death of a loved one. Other common instances of fatal traffic accidents that might lead to wrongful death claims include those occurring due to distracted, speeding, or reckless drivers.
Aside from traffic accidents, other fatalities resulting in wrongful death claims might include those resulting from consumer use of defective products, acts of medical malpractice, violent assaults, and slips and falls. If the evidence shows that the careless conduct of other parties more likely than not caused the wrongful death, then those parties may be liable in a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawyer in Belton can assess the circumstances leading to the death and determine whether a valid legal claim exists.
Wrongful death claims may be appropriate if the deceased persons could have pursued a personal injury claim resulting from the accident had they survived their injuries. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies. Code § 71.003, immediate family members of the deceased may file wrongful death claims either separately or jointly. The surviving husband or wife, children, and parents of the deceased might qualify to file a wrongful death claim. Other relatives and intimate partners, however, may not file wrongful death claims under state law.
The estate executor or administrator of the deceased also can file a wrongful death claim for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. Only these family members can receive damages from the proceeds of a wrongful death claim. However, if all these family members specifically oppose taking legal action, they can require that the executor not pursue a wrongful death claim.
Damages in wrongful death claims can vary based on the facts and circumstances of each case. However, all compensation is designed to defray the financial costs of losing a loved one. Eligible surviving family members may be entitled to damages in a wrongful death claim such as:
Surviving family members may receive unequal portions of any damages awarded in a wrongful death claim. The law does not require that the eligible survivors share the proceeds of the claim equally. Damages in a wrongful death claim also do not satisfy the remaining debts of the deceased person. Remaining family members may be able to obtain a full and fair damages award with a compassionate wrongful death attorney in Belton.
When you find that a close family member has died due to the negligence of others, you may have a wrongful death claim. Although your first inclination in this situation is not typically to call a lawyer, you owe it to yourself and your family to determine your legal rights. A Belton wrongful death lawyer can represent the interests of your family and help secure financial support during a challenging time in your life.
Legal counsel can guide you through the complex process of wrongful death proceedings and negotiate with the insurance companies involved to reach a settlement. If the claim must proceed to trial, our compassionate legal team will pursue the damages you are entitled to for the tragic loss of your loved one.