How to Recover & Seek Justice After a Wrongful Death in Sugar Land, Texas
Losing a loved one can tear you apart. While nothing may ever be the same again, pursuing a wrongful death case can help you and your family get some justice and start to pick up the pieces.
Whether you’re unsure about your rights or you know you have a case, the information that follows can give you a deeper understanding of how wrongful death claims work — and how to protect your rights and a case going forward.
For more answers and additional help advocating your rights, talk to a wrongful death attorney near you in Sugar Land, TX.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Sugar Land, TX?
Those who are entitled to file a wrongful death case in Sugar Land (and throughout the Lone Star State) are the surviving spouses, children, and parents of the person lost to negligence (the decedent). That’s according to Texas law, which also defines eligibility for each of these groups far more specifically.
For spouses, those who can file a wrongful death case in Sugar Land include surviving husbands and wives who, at the time of the death, were:
- Still married to the decedent
- Separated from the decedent but still married to them, regardless of whether they were living together at the time of death
- In the process of getting a divorce, as long as the divorce had not been finalized at the time of death (Divorced spouses are not entitled to file wrongful death cases in Sugar Land or anywhere in Texas).
For children, those who can sue for wrongful death in Texas include:
- Biological children
- Adopted children (Stepchildren cannot file a claim if they had not been legally adopted by the decedent.)
For parents, those who file a Sugar Land wrongful death case include:
- Biological parents
- Adoptive parents (Stepparents cannot file a claim if they did not legally adopt by the decedent.)
With claims filed by these parties, please note that:
- Each of these parties can come together to file a wrongful death claim, or one of them may file a case “for the benefit of all,” as Texas law explains.
- If none files a case within 3 months of the death, the estate’s executor may file a survival action (as long as the spouse, children, and parents don’t object to this filing).
When Should I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Sugar Land, TX?
Waiting to file a Sugar Land wrongful death case rarely benefits plaintiffs. In fact, it can end up backfiring if spouses, children, or parents wait too long to file a claim.
That’s why, if you have a case, you’re likely better off filing it as soon as possible. If you do, you can be in a much better position when it comes to:
- Getting as much evidence as possible while it’s still available
- Putting together and presenting a stronger case
- Avoiding missteps that could give the opposition leverage or strengthen their defense
- Bringing a claim to a successful resolution that yields full, fair compensation for the profound losses caused by the wrongful death
What Evidence Do I Need for My Wrongful Death Case?
There is no quick and easy answer here because every wrongful case is different. That means that it’s necessary to take a close look at exactly what happened to figure out how to prove:
- The nature of the negligence that caused those events
- How negligence and the accident resulted in death
- How the loss of life has impacted the plaintiff(s)
If a wrongful death case involves an incident like a car accident, a truck wreck, a boating accident, or an aviation accident, key evidence for a case may include (and is not limited to):
- Accident reports from authorities (like police)
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Witness statements
- Data from onboard recorders (when available)
If defective products or dangerous drugs caused the death, a case may require evidence like (but not limited to):
- Product specifications
- Product safety testing
- Medical records
- Expert witness testimony
In the event unsafe properties are involved, essential evidence may include (and is not exclusive to):
- Property inspection records
- Property maintenance records
- Permits or a lack of them
- Surveillance camera footage
This is one key area where having a Sugar Land wrongful death attorney in your corner can make an incredible difference. An experienced lawyer will know what evidence is essential for a given case, how to find and obtain that evidence, and how to preserve and present that evidence.
Will My Sugar Land Wrongful Death Case Go to Court?
If you have a case, there are really good chances it won’t end up in court. That’s because most wrongful death claims are settled out of court. It’s rare for them to end up in trial due to the time, costs, and resources involved in litigating cases.
Consequently, disputing parties will typically try to find an out-of-court resolution to these claims. When that’s not possible, going to court will come into play with wrongful death claims.
Look for a Sugar Land wrongful death attorney ‘near me’ for more information, or you can get more insights here.