No loss or injury in life compares to the loss of a loved one. Although financial matters might seem like a low priority in the midst of your grieving when a loved one dies as the result of another person’s or party’s negligence, you deserve to receive compensation. You should know that Texas law provides for this situation.
By pursuing a wrongful death action against the negligent party in your loved one’s death, you might get the financial help you need to make up for lost income or services your loved one provided. You may also recover compensation for non-economic damages.
An El Paso wrongful death lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you understand your legal options and represent you in your pursuit of justice. Call us today at (800) 593-3443 for a free case review.
Examples of Wrongful Death Causes
Wrongful death, or unintentional injury deaths, can occur from a virtually unlimited number of causes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks these types of deaths, and the agency’s 2017 data shows that nearly 170,000 such deaths occurred that year.
Unintentional injury deaths ranked third in a list of 15 top causes of deaths in 2017. Motor vehicle accidents constituted more than 40,000 of these deaths.
If another person’s negligence caused your family member to experience a motor vehicle collision that caused them to suffer injury, and your family member died from those injuries, you can bring a wrongful death action against the person who caused the crash. If the at-fault individual was on the job when they caused the accident, you might be able to bring a wrongful death action against their employer via the rule of vicarious liability. This doctrine establishes that if a company’s employee causes injury while they are on the clock, the company assumes accountability for damages connected with such injury.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving El Paso, call 800-593-3443
Wrongful Death Claims
You can consider two types of actions after losing a loved one to negligence in Texas: a wrongful death claim and a survival claim.
A wrongful death claim provides a vehicle for surviving family members to pursue compensation for losses they suffer from this death. Unlike a survival claim, the compensation for a wrongful death action goes directly to the family, rather than through the estate of the deceased.
Texas allows spouses, children, and parents of the deceased to bring a wrongful death action.
Suing for Wrongful Death in El Paso
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §71.002 outlines the cause of action in a wrongful death suit. This statute specifies that you can bring a wrongful death action against any person liable for wrongful death. Liability stems from an individual causing another person’s death by their (or their agent or servant’s) carelessness, neglect, lack of skills, or default.
In a wrongful death claim, you can pursue compensation for your personal losses following the death of your family member. Some of the damages you might receive in a wrongful death claim include:
- Loss of inheritance: The total value of assets that your family member could have accrued and left to you in their estate
- Pecuniary losses: Losses, such as support, counsel, maintenance, care, services, and other contributions, that your deceased family member could have provided you had they survived
- Mental anguish: Emotional pain and suffering that you have suffered and will continue to endure due to your family member’s death
Texas law also provides for the possibility to recover exemplary or punitive damages. This can be an option in cases where the family member’s death resulted from the defendant’s willful action or inaction.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death
The State of Texas gives family members up to two years from the date of a death in which to file a wrongful death lawsuit under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003.
An El Paso wrongful death lawyer can help you file your wrongful death lawsuit in time. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC to learn more.
El Paso Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 800-593-3443
The State of Texas provides another option for recovering compensation after someone’s negligent actions cause a family member to die.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §71.021 acts as a remedy to a previously held common law that prevented personal injury suits from persisting after the death of a plaintiff. Today the estate of someone who has died can bring or continue a personal injury claim, as the deceased person could have done had they not died.
Recoverable Damages from a Survival Claim
If your family member survived an accident but they subsequently died from the injuries the accident caused, you can use a survival claim to either continue a personal injury claim your loved one had already initiated prior to their death or to bring a new personal injury lawsuit on your family member’s behalf. In this type of action, you would seek damages that your loved one could have collected had they survived, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering your loved one endured before dying
- Funeral expenses
- Other losses
Your lawyer can tell you more about the damages you might recover in your survival claim.
Requirements for Filing
To bring a survival claim, your case must meet the following criteria:
- The claim defendant’s negligence caused the injuries that caused your family member’s death.
- Your family member could have brought a personal injury claim had they survived their injuries.
- Before dying, your family member had a cause of action for their personal injuries.
- You serve as a legal representative for your family member’s estate.
Statute of Limitations for a Survival Claim
Just as with a personal injury claim, Texas gives plaintiffs two years from the date of your loved one’s injury in which to bring a lawsuit on their behalf.
An El Paso Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Seek Justice on Your Behalf
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we do not shy away from tough cases. Please remember that we charge you legal fees only when and if we win you compensation via an insurance settlement or court award. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at (800) 593-3443 for a free consultation.