Losing a loved one in a needless tragedy can be one of the most difficult experiences life has to offer. With the potential to create tremendous emotional turbulence and financial strains, wrongful death can devastate families and compromise their well-being. Fortunately, the American legal system recognizes the importance of providing certain eligible family members with the right to pursue a recovery of their damages.
By filing a wrongful death claim against the person or entity responsible for a decedent's death, family members can hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions. Additionally, effective wrongful death claims can allow family members to recover monetary compensation for the damages they incurred as a direct result of their loved one's death. The following information can help you better understand Texas' wrongful death laws, including who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim and the ways in which compensation is awarded.
- Reasons for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim - Under the Texas Wrongful Death Statute – § 71.001 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code –a person or entity can be held liable for causing an individual's death when death is caused by their wrongful act, negligence, carelessness, unskillfulness, or breach of duty.
- Who can file a wrongful death claim in Texas? - According to the wrongful death statute, a decedent's surviving spouse, children, and parents are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim in order to recover damages. In the event that these parties do not bring legal action within three months of the decedent's death, the decedent's executor or administrator will be permitted to file the wrongful death claim – unless explicitly requested not to by all eligible individuals.
- How are damages awarded? - Damages will be awarded to and equally distributed among the eligible surviving family members. As each case is unique, courts will take a number of factors into consideration. Economic damages will be awarded to cover any financial expenses incurred as the direct result of a decedent's passing, including medical treatment prior to death, funeral expenses, and a family's loss of financial support. Non-economic damages are awarded to family members for the various emotional and psychological injuries they suffer after losing a loved one. While difficult to equate in monetary sums, courts will focus on a decedent's pain and suffering, the emotional injuries sustained by a family, and their loss of companionship and emotional support when awarding non-economic damages. In cases that involve gross acts of negligence or intentional misconduct, courts may also award exemplary damages to further punish wrongdoers and provide more compensation to families.
If you have lost a loved one as the result of another's negligence or wrongful act, you have every right to explore your legal options. By working with a seasoned Houston personal injury attorney from The Daspit Law Firm, you can find the information, the support, and the representation you need as your navigate these difficult experiences. Wrongful death claims are complex legal matters and even more difficult personal experiences. Allow a passionate attorney to guide you through these tough times and protect your right to fair compensation. Contact The Daspit Law Firm today.