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Do my family members and I have a wrongful death claim?

Do my family members and I have a wrongful death claim?

After losing a family member in a tragic accident, it can feel like life may never be the same. In addition to the grief you’re experiencing, you may have also been left with a stack of expensive medical bills and other costs. While filing a civil lawsuit may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, there is actually a short window of time to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you recently lost a loved one because of the negligence, recklessness, or misconduct of another party, it is important to speak with accident lawyers as quickly as possible. Family members only have three months after the date of death to file a wrongful death claim in Texas—which is also the same, or similar to, the law in other states—at which point only an executor can file a claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate.

Undefeated Personal Injury Lawyers with Over $1 Billion in Verdicts and Settlements

The experienced Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers at Zehl & Associates, PC, have represented hundreds of families who have tragically lost their loved ones due to accidents. In addition to being undefeated at trial, we’ve recovered more than $1 Billion on behalf of clients who were injured or killed in workplace accidents, motor vehicle accidents and other serious accidents.

Contact Our Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers for a Free, No Commitment Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here.

What Kinds of Accidents Result in Wrongful Death Claims?

Not every accident will lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if the accident was caused by another individual’s or company’s reckless or negligent conduct, it’s important that you talk to an experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer as soon as possible.

Common types of accidents include:

Every year, thousands of innocent drivers die in trucking accidents, many of which are caused by overworked and fatigued drivers. There are more than 100,000 fatigue-related crashes every year, making driver fatigue a factor in 1 of 5 major crashes.

Who Can Be Held Responsible in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In addition to the individual who directly caused the accident, another party often shares the blame, like the trucking company that pushes their drivers to stay awake for 36 hours, or the oil refinery plant owner who allows unsafe working conditions to go unchecked.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

First, it is important to remember that every state has its own laws for handling wrongful death cases. For instance, in some states, siblings may file a wrongful death claim, while Texas law only allows certain close family members to bring a claim. It’s also important to remember that a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case, which is completely separate from a criminal trial, where the defendant will face charges like vehicular manslaughter or homicide.

Let’s use Texas law as an example:

In Texas, only immediate family members can file a wrongful death claim, either on their own or as a group. Texas law defines “immediate family” as:

  • The surviving spouse or partner
  • Children, including adopted children, stepchildren, and even adult children
  • Parents
  • Other family members who were financially dependent on the deceased at the time of the accident

In certain cases, ex-spouses who receive child support can also file claims, as can distant relatives acting as the guardian for the deceased. In some states, the parents of a deceased fetus can also sue for damages.

If you have questions about your rights or options, call our Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer at 1-888-603-3636 for a free, no commitment consultation

What Kind of Damages Can You Recover in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Immediate family members can recover damages for all losses and expenses associated with the death of their loved one, as well as damages for intangible losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of support and, in certain cases, punitive damages.

Surviving family members can also be compensated for financial losses, like medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, loss of consortium, emotional suffering, and losses related to a future inheritance.

Once the family member either accepts or settlement or wins a verdict at trial, the financial recovery is divided between the decedent’s family members who participated in the lawsuit and were financially dependent on the decedent before his or her death.

If you questions about your potential case, please contact our experienced team of Wrongful Death Lawyers today.

Contact our Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyers for a Free, No Commitment Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here.