The pain of losing a loved one unexpectedly is even worse if the death was caused by another party's negligence and could have been prevented. Families in this situation may have legal recourse through a Texas wrongful death lawsuit, which could provide compensation to help make up for the financial and emotional effects of losing a loved one because of negligence.
That is why you should contact a Weatherford wrongful death lawyer to find out if you have a viable case and how an attorney can assist you throughout the legal process.
The reputable attorneys at our firm have recovered millions in compensation in wrongful death claims, including a verdict of $5,829,487. All of our clients are entitled to a free, no obligation legal consultation and are not charged legal fees unless they receive fair compensation from their claim.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney
There are many reasons why hiring a wrongful death lawyer in Weatherford could be crucial to the success of your claim. You should strongly consider hiring an attorney because:
The Legal Process is Complicated
Interpreting statutes of limitations and other laws applying to wrongful death claims can be complicated and confusing, particularly if you do not have experience with these laws. Trying to make sense of these laws and going through the process of filing a claim is a tall order.
The Weatherford wrongful death lawyers at our firm have many years of combined experience and have detailed knowledge of the complexities of many types of wrongful death cases, including wrongful deaths that occur in:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dog attacks/bites
We also have a detailed understanding of what constitutes wrongful death, under Texas' wrongful death statute. This statute defines a wrongful death as any death that occurs because of the following actions of another person:
- Wrongful act
Investigating a Claim is Difficult
Conducting a detailed investigation is crucial to the success of your claim. You need to uncover evidence of the negligence that led to your loved one's death. For example, if your loved one was killed in a truck accident or car accident, you will need a police report and pictures from the scene.
You also need to review all of the damages you have suffered to ensure you pursue all of the compensation you deserve.
Unfortunately, you could miss crucial details if you do not know what to look for and where to look for it. That is why you need an attorney at your side who has investigated these cases before.
An Attorney Knows How to Accurately Value Your Claim
Our Weatherford wrongful death lawyers want you to receive all of the compensation you deserve, which is why we take great care when evaluating all of the damages you have suffered. This is particularly true for non-economic forms of compensation, such as pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
We can also tell you what steps you can take to help us create an accurate valuation of your claim, such as keeping a daily journal documenting the emotional and psychological effects of your loved one's loss.
Schedule a free consultation with our wrongful death lawyers in Weatherford to learn about some of the other ways we can assist you throughout the legal process.
Compensation for a Wrongful Death Case
When someone dies unexpectedly, it can turn into a financial catastrophe for the loved ones who were financially dependent on the deceased. The emotional and psychological effects of the loss can also be even more significant than the financial effects.
This is why Texas law allows family members of someone who died in a wrongful death scenario to pursue the following forms of compensation:
Lost Earning Capacity
When a loved one dies, he or she will no longer be able to financially provide for his or her family members. If this death was caused by negligence, some of the deceased's dependents can pursue compensation to make up for the lost earnings of their loved one.
When determining how much to award for lost earning capacity, juries will take into account the deceased's salary before he or she died along with his expected future earnings, given his or her expected career path.
Loss of Inheritance
This provides compensation for the loss of savings, insurance and retirement benefits the deceased would have provided to his or her dependents if not for his or her untimely death.
Lost Care, Maintenance, Services, Support, Advice and Counsel
Most of these are emotional and psychological benefits that the loved one would have continued to provide if he or she had not died unexpectedly. For example, your loved one may have been there to provide advice and help you make life decisions.
Meanwhile, lost services compensates you for the value of services your loved one performed, like things around the house.
Lost Love, Companionship and Comfort
This attempts to place a value on the love, companionship and comfort provided by your loved one before his or her death. This is meant to help make up for the loss of your relationship with your loved one.
Pain and Suffering
This refers to the physical pain and emotional injuries experienced by your loved one prior to his or her death.
This provides compensation for reasonable funeral and burial costs for your loved one.
Your Weatherford wrongful death lawyer can also pursue compensation for medical costs your loved one incurred before he or she died.
These are not meant to compensate you for any losses you suffered. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party for intentional or gross negligence. Courts award punitive damages in the hope that doing so will deter others from engaging in intentional or gross negligence.
If a claim is successful and the victim is awarded compensation, the jury will divide it among the deceased's surviving family members proportionally based on the damages they have experienced.
The Weatherford wrongful death attorneys at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings have a detailed understanding of how to value these different forms of compensation and how to collect evidence in support of the damages we are pursuing.
Contact our trusted lawyers today for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
Texas's wrongful death statute says that only certain members of the deceased's immediate family are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes:
- Children, including legally adopted children
- Parents, including adoptive parents
- Personal representative or executor of the deceased's estate
The law prohibits siblings or grandparents of the decedent from filing a wrongful death claim, regardless of whether they are biologically related or adoptive.
If you have questions about whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit, contact our Weatherford wrongful death attorneys today for a free consultation.
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
All wrongful death cases in Texas are governed by a two-year statute of limitations, according to Texas Code 16.003(b).
A statute of limitations sets a timeframe for pursuing legal action. Once the statute expires, you lose the right to pursue your case. Texas' wrongful death statute of limitations begins on the date of your loved one's death and ends within two years.
Another deadline for wrongful death claims occurs within three months of your loved one's death. Once the three months are up, the executor or representative of the deceased's estate has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, family members who are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit can block the executor or personal representative's claim at any time.
We recommend contacting one of our wrongful death attorneys in Weatherford as soon as possible so we can help ensure your claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires. We know from experience that statutes of limitations expire much faster than most people realize.
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Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Weatherford Today
Nothing can ever make up for the loss of a loved one who was killed because of another party's negligence. However, compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit can help you and your family as you attempt to move forward without your loved one.
Filing a claim on your own is very difficult, which is why you should strongly consider working with a reputable wrongful death attorney in Weatherford on your claim. The attorneys at our firm handle many types of wrongful death claims and are prepared to go to work for you, building a strong case and pursuing all of the compensation you deserve.
We work on a contingency fee basis so there is no upfront fee, and you will not owe legal fees unless we successfully obtain compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Call a Weatherford wrongful death attorney right now at (877) 920-9009.