It’s no secret that the loss of a loved one causes deep emotional pain for surviving family members. When this loss is a consequence of someone else’s recklessness, families can suffer an immense amount of mental and emotional distress. Taking legal action is necessary to begin the healing process. If you believe your loved one has suffered a wrongful death, it is important to take the proper steps to bring justice to your family and hold responsible parties accountable.
You and other surviving family members could be eligible for compensation for losses experienced from the death of your loved one. Here are some things you need to know before filing a wrongful death claim.
What Defines a Wrongful Death
A wrongful death occurs as a result of carelessness or misconduct of another. Wrongful death claims are similar to personal injury claims in which the injured person is incapable of filing the claim on their own. Wrongful deaths can occur in multiple instances including negligence-based incidences, medical malpractice, and even intentional acts.
Specific circumstances in which a wrongful death may arise include:
- Medical misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Surgical errors
- Unsafe premises including poorly lit areas, obstructed or slippery walkways, and lack of safety signs
- Unsafe working conditions including exposure to harmful substances, falls, and dangerous contact with equipment
- Traffic accidents
- DUI related fatalities
- Willful negligence and/or omission of imperative care
Possible Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Claimed losses by the plaintiff are referred to as “damages.” In a wrongful death case, damages are paid to the deceased person’s surviving family members for the losses resulting from the death. Losses eligible for compensation include:
- Loss of household income
- Loss of household maintenance, provision, and services for family members
- Loss of comfort, love, and companionship
- Loss of inheritance including a foreseeable inheritance the deceased would have left to surviving family members
- Emotional damage and mental distress experienced by surviving family
Exemplary damages, also known as “punitive damages,” may be available if the death was a result of a “willful act or omission or gross negligence.” Punitive damages are focused on punishing the offender and dissuading others from participating in similar conduct, as opposed to compensating the family.
Bringing a Successful Wrongful Death Cause of Action
Surviving family members must act quickly to file a wrongful death case. Taking legal action may be the last thing on a person’s mind after losing a loved one, but it is important to act quickly. Texas law requires wrongful death claims to be filed within two years of the person’s death, and sooner is better for a strong case.
Ryan Solis is ready to help you pursue justice for the wrongful death of your loved one. Knowing no amount of money can replace a life, Ryan Solis gets surviving family members the compensation they deserve, and holds the offender accountable to his or her actions. Call Ryan Solis today to bring your wrongful death cause of action.