Generally speaking, a wrongful death occurs due to someone’s negligence, such as someone killed by an intoxicated driver, or due to unsafe work conditions at a job site. Whatever the reason, someone from your life is gone too soon. In these examples, a loved one of the departed may file a wrongful death lawsuit on the departed’s behalf. These civil suits, which tend to carry no criminal charges, assist loved ones in recovering losses for pain and suffering, monetary loss, medical bills, and more.
What Is Required to Win a Wrongful Death Case?
To win a lawsuit in Texas, your wrongful death lawyer must prove the following elements.
- Duty of Care – The defendant owed a legal duty of care towards the deceased person.
- Breach of Duty – The defendant breached this duty of care through their actions or failure to act.
- Causation – The defendant’s breach of duty resulted in the injuries that caused death.
- Damages – The person’s death resulted in damages, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income and loss of companionship.
Proving each of these elements is a challenging process requiring extensive evidence, detailed research and expert witnesses. Additionally, Texas law has specific rules and limitations for wrongful death cases, such as a two-year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
Wrongful death law varies from state to state, but the following criteria must be met anywhere:
- You must be an immediate family member of the recently deceased – Spouses, parents, and children are considered immediate family. In some states, grandparents or extended family may be eligible.
- You must have proof of their death – You must hold a legitimate death certificate signed by a coroner to file a wrongful death suit.
- You must suffer damages – You need to prove you have suffered emotional and/or financial damages because of an untimely death.
Should you meet these requirements, you may file a lawsuit. For more information, read the important terms to know about wrongful death here.
What Damages Can You Receive in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
After a wrongful death, if all requirements are met, you’re entitled to damages. The damages in question may vary depending on circumstances. The most common include:
- Loss of income, including future income
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Inheritance loss
- Hospital or burial costs
- Mental distress
- Loss of companionship
You’ll want to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney to better determine what damages you’re eligible for. An attorney will fight on your behalf and help your overall understanding of the law and statutes.
Unfortunately, people lose their lives each year due to accidents at home, on the roads and in the workplace. Working with a professional with an appropriate area of focus, such as a workplace injury lawyer or auto accident attorney, may also prove beneficial in securing much-deserved damages.
Trusted Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Clients in North Texas
Lucé Law, PC helps North Texas clients with wrongful death, personal injury and workplace injury cases. For advice and representation on a related legal issue, contact Joe Lucé today. Call (972) 632-1300 or request a free legal consultation.