Did you know that there are about 4764 fatal work injuries in a single year? Many of these deaths were preventable if the employer took necessary hazard prevention measures.
If this describes a situation that resulted in your loved one passing away, a wrongful death lawsuit may be a good next step towards getting justice and compensation. Read on to learn all about wrongful death and how you can begin assessing your claim.
What is a Wrongful Death Law Suit?
“Wrongful death” is a term referring to fatal injuries that were a direct result of the negligence or carelessness of a third party. Opening a wrongful death lawsuit provides you with the chance to prove that this party was at fault so that you can get financial compensation after the incident.
There are many types of wrongful death. Workplace injuries are extremely common, but you also might file a suit after an auto accident, medical malpractice, or complications from a defective consumer product. If you think that a third party is at fault for your loved one’s death, it’s better to consult with a lawyer than not.
Generally, the monetary compensation you receive from filing your suit will be from financial damages. You will get awarded money to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, and the lost income that the deceased brought to the family. In some cases, you may also be awarded compensation for emotional damages such as anguish and grief, but this will not always happen.
Can Anyone File for Wrongful Death?
Unfortunately, not just anyone can file a wrongful death suit. A Texas wrongful death attorney can only accept claims from:
- The victim’s surviving spouse
- The victim’s children (biological or legally adopted)
- The victim’s parents (whether or not they are dependants)
Texas does not allow siblings or close friends to sue for wrongful death. Regardless of emotional anguish or economic losses, those not listed above cannot file these suits.
Filing Your Wrongful Death Claim
The first step in filing a wrongful death claim is speaking with a personal injury lawyer. An experienced professional will evaluate your claim to see whether or not pursuing it is a lucrative endeavor. If it is, the attorney will begin proving fault.
There are several steps to this. The first is assessing the site of the incident.
Attorneys will go to the location of the accident and see if there are any obvious hazards. The responsible party legally should not have tampered with the scene. However, we will compare the current setting with images of how it looked prior to the accident.
In some cases, accident reconstruction experts may be called in. These professionals will recreate the scene and figure out exactly what happened. Attorneys can then compare these findings to eyewitness reports.
Once we have a clearer picture of what took place, we can begin the process of settling your claim.
The Wrongful Death Lawsuit Process
The settlement process can begin as soon as we have the appropriate documentation for your wrongful death claim. These documents might include insurance information (from both you and the party at fault), medical documentation and receipts, and the health information of the victim.
Wrongful death cases generally are settled outside of court. Your lawyer will engage with the insurance company of the party at fault to get you the best possible compensation.
Generally, insurance companies and at-fault parties want to give you the lowest possible compensation. They don’t want to shell out your actual due. They will rely on the fact that you are grieving, view their company as an authority, and have no settlement negotiation skills.
They also will often ask you trick questions to try to get you to admit some fault. Accidentally saying the wrong thing can be detrimental to your case.
Hiring a top-notch lawyer stops them from successfully shortchanging you. We talk with them on the phone and negotiate to get you the highest possible compensation. The actual figure will depend on the circumstances of your case, but our experts won’t accept lowball offers.
In some rare cases, your wrongful death suit will go to court. Attorneys are also tasked with representing you in the litigations process if that happens. You won’t be charged with representing yourself and therefore won’t have the chance to be tricked into saying things that will be held against you.
Choosing the Right Attorney
In order to get ahead in the settlement process, you will need to hire the right Texas personal injury lawyer. Make sure that you choose someone experienced and passionate about helping victims of third-party negligence and recklessness. This is the first step toward beginning the wrongful death lawsuit process.
Some questions to ask your attorney before hiring them include:
- Do you have an experienced team?
- What is your educational background?
- How many years have you been practicing personal injury law?
- How many cases like mine have you taken on?
- What is your percentage of success in wrongful death suits?
- How much time will you dedicate to my specific case?
- Will the same person that I talked to during my consultation handle the case?
- If not, who will be handling my case?
- How much communication do you typically have with clients?
- What fees do you charge and when do I pay them?
Getting clear and transparent answers to these inquiries can let you know that you’re making the right choice.
Talk About Your Case Today
While losing a loved one is always painful, you aren’t alone. Our team will work tirelessly to ensure that you get the financial compensation that you deserve and a sliver of justice that your loved one is owed.
We’re committed to helping you file a case and begin the settlement process. Schedule a consultation to get a claim evaluation prior to opening up a wrongful death lawsuit.