Personal injury cases can often be an emotional and financial hardship for all parties involved, but this is especially true when the accident results in the death of a loved one. Texas law provides for a way to compensate surviving family members faced with the loss of a loved one; at the Law Offices of Steve Gibbins, we help families throughout Texas, including Austin, Dallas, and Houston, pursue wrongful death claims against the party who is at fault.
Wrongful Death Claims
In Texas, when a death is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another party, the deceased's family members are eligible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, as governed by the Texas Wrongful Death Act. This act allows a family to file a claim in almost any instance where the deceased could have filed a personal injury claim if he or she were still living. This includes claims arising from vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, or even police brutality. In such cases, the act allows the deceased's spouse, children, and parents to sue for damages; if the deceased leaves no qualified relatives behind, the executor of the estate may sue.
Wrongful Death Damages
The deceased's survivors may seek both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses incurred from the deceased's injury and death
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of wages and benefits that the deceased provided to the family
- Compensation for the deceased's pain and suffering prior to death
- Loss of consortium, companionship, support, and care suffered by surviving family members
In some cases, such as when the death is caused by a willful act or gross negligence on the part of the defendant, punitive damages may also be awarded. Punitive damages are meant to punish wrongdoers in the hopes of preventing similar harm from occurring to others in the future.
Seek Help Immediately
Texas law imposes a statute of limitations barring plaintiffs from filing wrongful death claims more than two years after the death occurred. For this reason, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible or risk being prevented from recovering for your loved one's medical and funeral expenses, lost income, or the emotional damages their loss has caused. To find out how we can help you obtain the full recovery to which you are entitled, contact the Law Offices of Steve Gibbins today for a free initial consultation.