Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Do you want legal guidance for filing a wrongful death claim? Our Houston wrongful death attorney talks you through what you need to know.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim | Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a loved one does pass, and the family comes in, they always want to know who’s going to bring the cause of action. They ask, “Who can file a wrongful death claim?” Especially if there are multiple parties affected by the loss. If he or she was married, it’s going to be the spouse. If they’re not married, then surviving children. If they don’t have children and they’re not married, then the parents. It’s important that the family comes to a lawyer together, as one unit, to figure that out and make sure that process is done properly.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim | How Do I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
When families come to our office after a loved one has died from the negligent act of a third-party, sometimes there’s not a surviving spouse who can take charge. Perhaps you have a bunch of children, siblings, and so on. It is important that the family come together as a unit. Identify the one person who’s going to be responsible for filing a wrongful death claim and bring the claim on behalf of everybody. That makes the process more efficient in selecting the lawyer and, together in terms of gathering the information necessary, to bring the lawsuit forward.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim | What Kind of Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In a Texas wrongful death case, there are two categories of monetary damages available for recovery. The first type is punitive damages. These are designed to punish those responsible for the death. These are only available when the person responsible acted willfully or the death was the result of his or her gross negligence.
The second is compensatory damages. As its name implies, these compensate the surviving victims in a wrongful death action. Common types of compensatory damages include:
- Loss of future earnings.
- Funeral expenses and medical bills.
- Loss of companionship.
- Emotional pain and suffering (sometimes referred to as mental anguish).
- Loss of inheritance.
- Loss of services (such as the support, care and advice the victim may have continued to receive if their loved one survived).
If you want advice filing a wrongful death claim, please call our Houston wrongful death attorney Hector Longoria today for a free consultation.