Frisco Wrongful Death Lawyer
An untimely death is never a simple matter. Friends and family are distraught, emotions are running high, and yet there is much to be accomplished. From the outset, a decedent’s family needs to plan for a funeral, pursue any potential criminal charges against the perpetrator, and take the appropriate time to grieve. All the while, family, and friends often forget to keep in mind perhaps one of the most important items: their future. A dedicated Frisco wrongful death injury attorney can help a family navigate the legal system during this difficult time.
Sometimes decedents provide the sole source of income for a family. Others provide care for children or elderly family members that is difficult to measure monetarily. A civil case filed against the person, company, or organization responsible for the death can be a means to provide financial stability for the family. A Frisco personal injury lawyer can represent the families of the deceased in cases designed to hold the responsible parties liable in a civil court.
Wrongful Deaths Under Texas Law
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 71 provides the framework for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. It describes who may bring the suit, what damages they may pursue, and which deaths are considered wrongful.
All deaths are not wrongful under the law. Many times, people die from natural causes or acts of nature that are no one’s fault. Even deaths that are connected to the actions of other people are not necessarily wrongful. A wrongful death is any death that is connected to an unlawful act, neglect, carelessness, or unskillfulness. Examples of these include:
- Death by murder
- An at-fault car or truck accident that leads to a death
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
All of these situations can lead to a wrongful death suit. The next concept needed to be considered is who may be the plaintiff. Texas’ statute also answers this question by naming a spouse, child or parent as a potential plaintiff. The executor of the deceased’s estate may file the lawsuit for the injury leading to death, but only the spouse, child, or parent is able to file a wrongful death claim in Texas. In addition, anyone eligible beneficiary (the spouse, parent or child) may file for all beneficiaries with the help of a Frisco wrongful death attorney.
Intersections of the Law
Unlike other personal injury cases, many wrongful deaths can lead to both a criminal case and a civil case. Whenever a death is caused by a wrongful act, the State of Texas may file criminal charges. While the family members may be an integral part of this case as the family of the deceased, it is important to remember that a criminal case will rarely directly benefit the deceased’s family. Even in situations where the defendant is convicted at trial, the court is powerless to order the defendant to fully compensate the decedent’s spouse, child or parent from the wrongful death damages. Only through pursuing a civil claim, upon their own initiative, may a family recover any sort of compensation from a defendant. These civil suits are precisely the service that a local wrongful death lawyer can provide.
Forms of Compensation
Potential compensation for families can be separated into two main categories: Personal injuries before death and statutory damages because of death. Economic damages are all costs that are directly associated with the death. Let us consider a death from a car accident. In this case, the decedent was likely transported via ambulance to an emergency room. At the hospital, they may have undergone surgery in an attempt to save their life. Despite this, the decedent died. These costs are all considered economic before death.
Another potential compensation is considered non-economic. This can include pain and mental anguish leading up to death. Oftentimes, these damages can be difficult to precisely calculate. Every case has its own precise group of facts and circumstances. These determine exactly how much compensation may be possible for the injury leading to death.
Wrongful death damages are statutory damages that the spouse, children, and parents are suffering because of death. These include loss of companionship and society, mental anguish for the death, reasonable contributions that the decedent would have contributed to maintaining the beneficiary and loss of potential inheritance.
How a Frisco Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
A Frisco wrongful death lawyer can work with families during difficult times to secure their financial futures. Nothing can replace the decedent’s place in a family, but obtaining compensation for their loss can make the future easier. However, clients should be aware that all cases alleging wrongful death must be filed in court no more than two years from the date of the injury leading to death and some must be filed sooner. When a death has occurred, there is no reason not to file the case quickly. Evidence disappears with time. As soon as you are ready, contact our Frisco wrongful death lawyers. We are here to help you.