“In approaching this problem, we cannot turn the clock back…”
United States Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, 1954
The Supreme Court in American History, 1965
Wrongful Death – What to do After the Tragedy
If you have just suffered the loss of a loved one to a tragic accident, there are no words to adequately address how you must be feeling. An important step, along with grieving and beginning the arduous path to healing, is finding out how to address your loss legally so you can protect your rights as a surviving spouse, child or parent.
Right to Recover Under the Law
You are entitled to recover money damages in the event your loved one died at the hands of another’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, lack of skill, or default. The time frame for surviving family members to bring a lawsuit is three months after the date of death.
After that, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate may bring the action until two years after the date of death.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be quite difficult and complex. Securing proper representation and preparing strong evidence quickly are vital components to your winning at trial. Many companies and their insurance agencies retain defense attorneys in order to defray large scale costs from jury verdicts.
Money Damages from Wrongful Death
Even though no one can change what happened, initiating a wrongful death lawsuit may be the best and only way to secure your financial stability in the wake of the death of your loved one – and also to make sure it doesn’t happen to others.
The Wrongful Death Act provides a statutory right to sue for wrongful death. According to statute, when the death is caused by the willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant, exemplary as well as actual damages may be recovered, as in medical bills and funeral expenses. Other money damages can take the form of past and future mental anguish, loss of benefits and of future earnings, and past and future loss of society, companionship and affection.
Any damages a jury would award are at the jury’s discretion and are relative to the injury and cause of death. In order to recover adequate money damages, you must find the right attorney who will be able to use strength and experience to fight for your rights under Texas law.