Losing a loved one is undoubtedly one of the most painful experiences life can offer. The grief can be immeasurably amplified when the death is sudden and due to someone else’s negligent or malicious actions. In such circumstances, the law in Texas permits the surviving family members to file a wrongful death claim.
The primary purpose of a wrongful death claim is to provide financial compensation to offset some of the immense losses, both monetary and emotional, that families experience due to the premature death of a loved one. While it in no way can make up for the profound loss, the compensation can certainly provide a degree of financial relief and security in these challenging times.
This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. However, due to the complexity of these legal procedures, it is highly recommended to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can provide advice tailored to your unique circumstances and aid you in achieving a fair settlement.
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
Before considering filing a lawsuit, you need to figure out whether you are eligible to sue for wrongful death in Texas. The state’s laws allow the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, and parents to file a wrongful death suit. Unfortunately, siblings and grandparents are not eligible to file.
Step 2: Identify the Grounds for Filing
To file a wrongful death claim, you need to establish that the other party’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” caused your loved one’s death. These elements can exist in a variety of scenarios such as car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and more. Documenting evidence of negligence or a wrongful act will be crucial at this stage.
Step 3: File Within the Statute of Limitations
In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is generally two years from the date of death. This means that you must file your claim within this period. There are few exceptions to this rule, but they are limited and fact-specific. Thus, time is of the essence when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Step 4: Gather Documentation
Accruing substantial evidence is vital to the success of your case. This can include medical records, police reports, witness statements, autopsy results, and any other documentation related to the incident and death. These documents serve to substantiate the defendant’s role in causing the death of your loved one.
Step 5: Calculate Damages
The next step in this process is quantifying your losses or damages, which can be a challenging task. Compensation in a wrongful death claim is generally divided into economic (e.g., funeral expenses, lost earning capacity) and non-economic damages (e.g., emotional distress, pain, and suffering). A meticulous damage calculation can be instrumental in maximizing your compensation.
Step 6: File the Lawsuit
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documents, and evaluated your damages, it’s time to file the lawsuit. An initial complaint outlines the basis of your suit, identifies the parties involved, describes your claim, and states what you’re seeking in compensation.
Step 7: Engage in Legal Proceedings
The next phases can vary significantly based on the particularities of your case. These steps might include discovery (exchanging evidence with the other party), negotiations, settlement discussions, and potentially even a trial.
Throughout all these steps, an attorney’s guidance can be invaluable. They will assist you in navigating these complex processes, providing educated advice, and maximizing your chances to receive equitable compensation.
While this step-by-step process provides a general overview of what to expect when filing a wrongful death lawsuit, please remember that each case is unique. The complexity of wrongful death cases underscores the importance of seeking legal advice. Be sure to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can deliver the legal expertise and the compassionate understanding that you need in these emotionally taxing times.
Walker Texas Lawyer Can Help In Filing A Wrongful Death Claim in Texas
Walker Texas Lawyer offers indispensable assistance during these trying times with compassionate counsel fused with aggressive representation. Renowned for exceptional expertise, James Walker is considered the Houston Wrongful Death Attorney. Walker has more than four decades of experience fighting for justice and necessary compensation on behalf of grieving families. The seemingly insurmountable burden of dealing with a loved one’s unexpected death is hard enough, which is why it is crucial to have a seasoned attorney guiding you through this intricate legal venture.
When you trust your case to Walker Texas Lawyer, you can ensure it receives the special care it deserves, paired with an uncompromising commitment to securing the best possible outcome for your case. If you are considering a wrongful death lawsuit and confront any apprehensions or issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Schedule a free consultation with Walker Texas Lawyer today and gain the peace of mind knowing that a knowledgeable and empathetic expert is on your side.