Filing a lawsuit after a family member’s premature death is never a process anyone wants to go through. Compensation can never assign financial value to a life cut unfairly short. A claim can minimize the financial and personal burdens that your family must bear because of another person’s misconduct.
A committed Copperas Cove wrongful death lawyer can discuss your situation during a confidential consultation and offer guidance about legal options for you and your loved ones. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys will work diligently to pursue a fair case while protecting your family’s interests and rights.
Many of the regulations and restrictions on other injury cases also apply to wrongful death cases. However, a few unique procedural aspects are worth knowing about in advance. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney in Copperas Cove can explain any guidelines.
Most notably, only certain family members can file a wrongful death claim over a loss caused by another person’s negligence or recklessness. Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §71.004, priority goes to the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, and parents. If none of those eligible beneficiaries file a claim within three months of the death, a personal representative indicated in their estate planning documents may pursue a lawsuit on behalf of the estate or beneficiaries. Any surviving beneficiaries can specifically request that a representative does not file a claim.
Wrongful death litigation exists separately from any criminal proceedings related to the same negligent or wrongful act. The outcome of one case has no direct influence on how the other case may play out. In fact, it is possible for someone to be acquitted of criminal wrongdoing but still be found civilly liable for wrongful death.
A wrongful death claim’s primary purpose is to compensate a deceased person’s family for losses they have experienced and will experience because of an unexpected loss. With that in mind, compensable losses that a lawyer can possibly factor into a wrongful death claim in Copperas Cove may include:
Per TX Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §71.009, a person who causes a wrongful death through gross negligence may have additional exemplary—or “punitive”—damages imposed upon them by the court. A Copperas Cove attorney can help determine whether this additional compensation applies to a wrongful death case.
There is no single best way to approach a wrongful death lawsuit, nor can financial compensation ever fully mend the damage that a fatal accident can cause to a family. That said, enforcing your right to recovery in a tragic situation can be crucial to protecting your loved ones’ interests both now and for years to come.
A compassionate Copperas Cove wrongful death lawyer can provide the guidance you may need to seek a beneficial case result. Call today to learn more.