DeSoto Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a loved one due to someone else’s irresponsible or intentional actions is an incomparably traumatic experience. Understandably, thinking about civil litigation after an accident like this is most likely the last thing on your mind. However, while civil compensation cannot take away your family’s pain, it could still be key to protecting your financial security and personal well-being in the long term.
Working closely with a DeSoto wrongful death lawyer could greatly reduce the stress of legal proceedings and ensure your rights are protected. No matter what type of accident led to your family member’s death or what losses you have sustained, a compassionate personal injury attorney could fight on your behalf to obtain the restitution you and your loved ones deserve.
Rules for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in DeSoto
Individuals can pursue wrongful death claims when their loved one dies due to negligence, medical malpractice, or an intentional act. For example, a wrongful death claim is appropriate when an individual could have pursued a personal injury claim on their own behalf had they survived the incident in question.
If a wrongful act leading directly to someone’s premature death also results in criminal charges against the prospective defendant, a wrongful death claim can proceed separately from criminal proceedings, with neither case’s outcome having any direct bearing on the other.
Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 71.004, the only people eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas for the first three months after someone’s death are the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, or parents, each of whom may file the claim independently or on behalf of all eligible family members. However, if three months pass without an eligible family member filing a claim, the decedent’s personal representative nominated in their estate plan—or by a court if no such documents exist—may file instead unless surviving family members state otherwise. A local attorney could review a person’s circumstances to determine who can file a negligent death claim on behalf of a decedent.
Recovering Fairly Inside Filing Deadlines
Regardless of who files the suit, no wrongful death claim can be filed more than two years after the decedent’s original date of death, as per Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003. If eligible beneficiaries meet this deadline, they can seek recovery for past and future economic and non-economic losses they suffered because of their loved one’s death, including:
- Diminished future earnings or financial support
- Lost value of inheritance
- Lost household services, care, and maintenance
- Loss of advice, support, and counsel
- Lack of companionship, comfort, and love
- Emotional anguish
A court may elect to impose additional “exemplary”—or punitive—damages against a defendant who causes someone else’s premature death through gross negligence or intentionally malicious conduct. Guidance from a seasoned lawyer in DeSoto can be vital to identifying and ensuring a fair valuation of compensable losses in a careless death claim.
A Wrongful Death Attorney in DeSoto Could Help
Wrongful death litigation is complicated for many reasons. Navigating the boundaries of state law and your emotional response to an unjust loss is something no one should handle alone—and you do not have to. Seek assistance from diligent and hardworking legal counsel.
A consultation with a DeSoto wrongful death lawyer could provide information about your rights and options in a confidential setting. Call today.