Pearland Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence–say, a car accident caused by a drunk driver–you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against that person and seek compensation. But what happens when a victim dies as a result of negligent or intentional misconduct? A deceased individual cannot file a lawsuit.
But the victim’s surviving immediate family or estate may pursue a special type of personal injury claim known as a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced Pearland wrongful death lawyer can provide you with additional information about such claims. Attorney Keith B. French is an experienced Texas personal injury litigator who has helped many families obtain justice following their loved one’s untimely and unnecessary death.
What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Claims in Texas
With some exceptions, Texas law requires a wrongful death lawsuit be filed within 2 years of the victim’s death. This may sound like a lot of time. But in practice, a wrongful death claim often requires extensive preliminary investigation, especially when multiple parties may be responsible for the victim’s death. So the sooner you engage an attorney, the better position you will be in to pursue a successful wrongful death claim.
The law also determines who can actually file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Texas, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased have the right to bring such an action. One of these individuals may also file a wrongful death lawsuit for the benefit of all of these persons. In the event there is no spouse, children, or parents, or none of these people have filed a wrongful death claim within three months of the victim’s death, the executor or administrator of the victim’s estate may do so. (The estate can also bring what is known as a survival action, which is basically the personal injury lawsuit the victim would have filed had they lived.)
Damages in wrongful death cases are meant to compensate the family for the loss of the victim’s financial support and companionship, as well as any medical, funeral, and burial costs. In some cases, a court may also award punitive damages to punish a death caused by gross negligence or a willful act.
Indeed, many wrongful death claims arise from criminal acts such as homicide. It is possible to bring and win a wrongful death lawsuit even if the defendant is never tried or convicted of a felony in connection with the victim’s death. A wrongful death claim is a civil matter, so the burden of proof is much lower for the victim’s family than it is for a prosecutor in a criminal case.
Contact Keith B. French Law Today
A lawsuit can never replace a loved one or undo the damage caused by their death. But a successful wrongful death claim can bring a family some measure of peace and financial security. So if you need to speak with a qualified Pearland wrongful death lawyer, contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC, today to schedule a free initial consultation.