Wrongful death means that a death that should not have occurred in normal circumstances but did occur. A wrongful death may be caused by negligence, action, or inaction of a certain person, persons, or a company. Since the deceased person cannot be brought back, the family of the deceased is compensated by way of damages.
WHO CAN SUE FOR A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
Family members such as spouses, children, and parents of the deceased have the direct legal right to file the wrongful death suit. No amount of money cannot bring back a loved one, but it in the nature of law to compensate monetarily to the party who is at fault.
MAIN CAUSES OF WRONGFUL DEATH CASES
The main reasons for wrongful death cases are the following:
- Car accidents or wrecks (due to distracted driving or drunk driving);
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents;
- Airplane and train accidents;
- Premises liability;
- Maritime or offshore accidents;
- Work-related accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Defective products; and
- Nursing home abuse.
TIME PERIOD FOR FILING WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT IN TEXAS
In Texas, the period for filing is two years from the wrongful death of your loved one. This may seem like a long time, but the families often become grief stricken and it takes a lot of time to recuperate from such loss.
Also, it is important to note that, building a wrongful death case can take a lot of time, since evidence regarding such cases is not readily available. It takes a lot of toil to collect evidence and build the case.
HOW TO PROVE THAT THE DRIVER IS LIABLE TO PAY?
To prove the case of wrongful death claim, the deceased’s attorney needs to prove that the defendant (person who is sued) was negligent.
HOW TO PROVE THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE PARTY AT FAULT?
There are certain steps to prove the negligence of a driver
- The defendant (person who is sued) owed a duty of care to the deceased;
- The defendant breached that duty;
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the wrongful death;
- The plaintiff suffered death and needs to be compensated monetarily.
If the representatives of the deceased can prove the above-mentioned points against the defendant, then the plaintiff can recover damages for personal injuries caused to the plaintiff.
WHAT TYPE OF DAMAGES CAN BE RECOVERED IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE?
The following type of damages can be claimed in a wrongful death case:
- Medical expenses of the deceased;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Lost earnings;
- Lost benefits (including retirement, pension, and medical insurance cover); and
- Mental and emotional agony of the family members.
A lot goes into determining and awarding the amount of compensation. The factors such as age, earning capacity, life expectancy, and other factors help the courts in determining the amount for compensation.
SHOULD I HIRE A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR?
If your loved one was in close environments like at work or medical malpractice, where the witnesses who might have seen the incident have very less motivation to cooperate with you, then you should hire a private investigator.