Seeking Justice & Recoveries for Families Who Have Lost Loved Ones Due to Negligence
The death of a loved one can be crushing and profoundly painful. When that death was caused by another’s negligence, Texas law provides options for victims’ families to seek justice and recover compensation.
Those options and how to recover are discussed in more detail below. Whenever you’re ready for case-specific information and confidential answers related to your situation, simply reach out to a /wrongful death lawyer.
Causes of Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, wrongful death can result from several types of accidents, events, and incidents. Those can include (and are not limited to):
- Traffic accidents, including car crashes, 18-wheeler wrecks, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents
- Maritime accidents, like boat accidents, cruise ship accidents, and jet ski accidents
- Aviation accidents, like airplane accidents and helicopter accidents
- Work accidents, like falls, oil rig explosions, industrial accidents, manufacturing accidents, and heavy machinery accidents
- Toxic exposures, like exposures to deadly levels of carbon monoxide, benzene, and asbestos
- Accidents at unsafe properties, like deadly falls, elevator accidents, skylight accidents, and balcony accidents
- Accidents caused by faulty or defective equipment, including faulty consumer goods, malfunction automotive parts, and defective industrial equipment
What these accidents have in common is that they often involve some form of negligence, like (but not limited to):
- Failing to comply with the laws, like the rules of the road, the waters, or the skies
- Violating safety rules and regulations, including workplace safety regulations or federal safety testing requirements for products or equipment
- Hiring or retaining unqualified companies or contractors to do dangerous work.
- Failing to train and supervise workers, overscheduling workers, or failing to provide workers with sufficient or appropriate safety equipment
- Keeping or transporting toxic or hazardous substances in an unsafe, illegal, or risky manner
- Failing to maintain equipment, vehicles, boats, or planes
These and other causes of wrongful death can result in liability for various parties, from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, government entities, and more.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Texas law restricts the time that you have to file a wrongful death case, limiting it to 2 years. In other words, there’s a 2-year statute of limitations for filing Texas wrongful death cases. That window of time can:
- Begin at different points, depending on when the death occurred and other details of the case
- Vary based on whether the defendant is a private party or a public (government) entity
- Be subject to other exceptions
With that 2-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases, it’s essential to understand that it’s generally best to file sooner, instead of running down the clock and waiting until the last minute. One major reason why is that more evidence tends to be available for cases filed sooner, rather than later.
Wrongful Death Claims & Lawsuits
Wrongful death cases can offer a path for families to seek justice when negligence has robbed them of a loved one. Depending on how the loss of life occurred, wrongful death cases can involve:
- Deep investigations to determine liability, preserve and gather evidence, and build the case against all responsible parties
- Protracted, complicated dealings with insurance companies to verify fault, assert victims’ rights, and position a case for full, fair compensation
- Voluminous paperwork and complex legal and administrative work to initiate, advance, and eventually resolve the case
The vast majority of wrongful death cases are settled out of court. However, these lawsuits will go to trial if the defendants or their insurance companies dispute liability and/or damages and both parties are unable to come to an agreement outside of court.
Wrongful Death Compensation & Settlements
Compensation from wrongful death lawsuits can never bring back a loved one or erase the pain of losing them. The recoveries from these cases can, however, help families:
- Find closure and lay their loved ones to rest in peace
- Cover bills and expenses, like ambulance and hospital bills for their loved one who has passed away
- Recover economic damages that the decedent would have contributed to loved ones, such as household expenses, despite losing income or earnings that the decedent would have brought home
- Provide for the harms and losses caused by the incident in the past and for the future
Wrongful Death Claims vs. Survival Actions
Texas law provides various legal remedies for seeking justice after the wrongful death of a loved one. Some of those options include filing a:
- Wrongful death claim: Texas law allows the spouses, children, and parents of decedents to file wrongful death cases and seek recoveries for their losses, pain, and suffering arising from the death of their loved one.
- Survival action: The estate of a decedent — or the personal representative of that estate — can file a survival action, seeking damages for the losses endured by the decedent prior to his or her death.
There can be some distinct benefits to pursuing a wrongful death claim and a survival action, and some families may be eligible to file both types of claims.
To find out what type(s) of claim(s) you may be eligible to pursue, it’s best to speak to a wrongful death lawyer and get a thorough case evaluation.
Wrongful Death FAQs
Find the answers you need to some of the most common questions about wrongful death, including:
- What is wrongful death?
- Who can sue for wrongful death?
- How much are wrongful death claims worth?
- How long do wrongful death claims take?
Find Out More About a Potential Claim
When you need more information, it’s time to speak to a wrongful death lawyer who can listen, answer your questions, explain your options, and share more about what to do next.