Losing a loved one to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence is unthinkable. To make matters worse, losing a loved one can leave surviving family members with unbearable lasting emotional pain and overwhelming financial deficits. While it won’t bring your loved one back, surviving family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against any party whose negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct caused their loved one’s death.
If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, the Frisco wrongful death attorneys at Hartley Law Firm can help. We will fight to recoup your expenses and achieve justice for your loved one’s passing. We care deeply about our clients and will aggressively pursue meaningful compensation for your losses. With our Little Elm and Frisco wrongful death lawyers in your corner, you can breathe easier knowing your case is in good hands. Contact us today.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
For wrongful death, Texas laws provide that when a party’s wrongful, negligent, or careless act causes another person’s passing, that person’s surviving family members may pursue a lawsuit. As with most negligence claims, a successful wrongful death claim requires proof that:
- The liable party owed the decedent a duty of care,
- The liable party violated that duty of care,
- The liable party’s violation led to the decedent’s death, and
- The surviving family members suffered damages because of the wrongful death.
Filing a lawsuit will not make everything better. But a successful wrongful death settlement can cover funeral costs and help with your current and future financial needs. By hiring the Little Elm wrongful death lawyers at the Hartley Law Firm, you increase the chances that your wrongful death suit will be successful.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The Texas wrongful death statute limits who can file a wrongful death action. To file suit, you must be a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the decedent. All these surviving family members may file suit together, or one or more may file for the benefit of all. Similarly, only the surviving family members allowed to file suit may recover compensation. If none of the surviving family members file a wrongful death suit within three calendar months after the death, the decedent’s executor or administrator can file. They will not be barred from filing unless the surviving family members request otherwise.
What Can I Recover Financially in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Surviving family members can file a wrongful death suit against a defendant for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages reimburse a claimant for quantifiable monetary losses, like the cost of a funeral.
Non-economic damages are subjective and harder to calculate. They include loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In rare cases, family members may also recover punitive damages when a defendant’s willful act, omission, or gross negligence caused a loved one’s death. Texas law further provides that a survivor’s compensation can not be used to settle a decedent’s debts. In other words, if your loved one’s estate is in debt, creditors cannot use your wrongful death settlement to pay off those expenses.
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Calculated?
Texas law provides that a jury may award damages in an amount proportionate to the injury resulting from the death. But there is a difference between damages that can be recovered in wrongful death cases and damages that are recoverable in survival actions.
A survival action is an action that proceeds as if the decedent did not die. In other words, if the decedent had survived their injuries from the negligent act, they could have sued for their medical expenses and lost wages attributable to the injury. These are not the damages that you can recover in a wrongful death suit.
In a wrongful death claim, family members can recover for their own losses, such as:
- Loss of the decedent’s emotional support and guidance (especially for children),
- Loss of the decedent’s financial support,
- Loss of future inheritance,
- Emotional pain and suffering,
- Loss of comfort, love, and companionship, and
- The cost of funeral expenses.
Often, both types of claims can be filed. So check with your attorney to see what damages you can recover in your specific situation.
The Frisco and Little Elm Wrongful Death Attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm Can Help
If you need a wrongful death advocate, the Little Elm and Frisco wrongful death attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm are here for you. We have handled numerous wrongful death claims and thoroughly understand the procedures and nuances involved in these cases. Our experienced trial attorneys also know that your future and welfare hang in the balance, which is why we handle everything necessary to achieve your maximum compensation. Contact the Hartley Law Firm today for a free consultation. You won’t pay us a penny unless we win.
- Construction Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Premises Liability
- Sexual Abuse
- Truck Accidents
- Uber & Lyft Accidents