Did you lose a loved one due to another’s negligence? Learn these 5 things to know after a wrongful death claim in Texas, then call us today.
1) Choosing a Wrongful Death Attorney
What we suggest is that you interview at least two personal injury trial lawyers ask the following questions:
1. “Are you board-certified in personal injury trial law?”
2. “What actual experience do you have trying cases to a jury?”
3. “Will you give me your personal cell phone number so we can stay in close communication throughout the case?”
2) Wrongful Death Case Timeline
First of all, can you prove that the apartment complex, in this particular case for example, was legally responsible for the drowning? Is the apartment complex going to accept responsibility for the drowning? If the answers to those questions are yes, the apartment complex is responsible and will accept responsibility, then the case can get resolved in a fairly short period of time. If the apartment complex, however, refuses to accept responsibility or is not legally responsible, then it can take some time to move the case, and a lawsuit will probably be required.
During the lawsuit, it’s the lawyer’s job to establish the apartment complex’s legal responsibility. When that has been accomplished through witnesses, through records that we subpoena, and so on and so forth, then the case can get resolved. If not, a jury will make that decision, and that can take up to 18 months.
3) Wrongful Death Case Value
In order to determine the value in a wrongful death case, we should say at the outset that there is no amount of money that will actually do any good to the family in terms of compensation for the loss of a child, for example.
From a legal standpoint, the way you determine the value of a wrongful death case is to evaluate the loss that that person and the family have suffered as a result of the death. One of the elements is the loss of income to the family. If a husband dies in a wrongful death, then the family has lost the husband’s income, for example. That will be one of the elements that you would look at to determine the value of the wrongful death case.
You have to also consider that there are oftentimes multiple family members who have the right to make a claim. Those claims will be based on the age of the family member and their relationship to the person that passed away, so there are a multitude of variables that come into play in determining the value of a particular wrongful death case.
4) Available Wrongful Death Benefits
It’s important to separate two particular claims. The estate has its own claims. For example, if the person suffered before they died, then the estate is entitled to be compensated for that suffering.
Other compensation that you can ask for are things such as funeral expenses. Maybe the person was taken away in a helicopter from the scene. Maybe the person made it to the hospital and passed away at the hospital. You can recover those expenses, as well.
The family members (e.g., the husband or wife or the children) have their own individual claims. The value of those claims are based on the relationship between the person that passed away and the family member making the claim. Children, for example, typically, because of their age, will have a larger claim, let’s say, because of the number of years that they have lost the affection and the love of their parent in that particular example.
5) Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim
Unfortunately, brothers and sisters cannot make a claim for the wrongful death of a sibling. The people that can make claims in Texas include the children of the person that passed away, the parents of the person that passed away, and of course the spouse of the person that passed away. Keep in mind, however, that when a person passes away, they become a legal estate. A sibling can represent the estate, if that is something that the family thinks is in the best interest of everyone.
Have you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence in Texas and have questions? After reading these 5 things to know after a wrongful death claim, contact our experienced Texas Wrongful Death Lawyers today for a free legal consultation and case evaluation.
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