Garland Wrongful Death Lawyer
Any time someone passes away as a direct result of another person’s actions, there will be at least some investigation by law enforcement into whether that person acted deliberately or negligently to such a degree that criminal charges may be necessary. Even if someone is arrested, convicted, and sent to prison for their role in someone else’s death, though, the criminal court system cannot compensate the deceased person’s surviving family members for the numerous forms of financial and emotional harm they have sustained.
Recovering for those losses is instead a civil matter that can be resolved through wrongful death litigation, and a seasoned personal injury attorney’s support can be crucial to doing that effectively and efficiently. From start to finish of your case, your compassionate Garland wrongful death lawyer could work tirelessly to protect your family’s rights and future prospects while also minimizing additional stress and heartache that the legal process might otherwise cause.
Civil Versus Criminal Liability for a Wrongful Death
When someone recklessly, carelessly, or intentionally causes fatal injury to someone else, any ensuing criminal charges against them would proceed separately from any subsequent civil litigation against them. The two cases would move forward on different time scales and involve entirely different parts of the justice system, and the outcome of one case may not always have a direct bearing on that of the other.
For this reason, it is actually possible—and not all that uncommon—for someone to be found civilly liable for causing someone else’s death without also being found criminally liable for it. With relatively few exceptions, though, it is not possible to wait until related criminal proceedings conclude to start wrongful death litigation. As a seasoned Garland wrongful death attorney could further explain, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003 typically gives just two years after the date a wrongful death occurs for surviving family members to begin a lawsuit.
Who Can Recover Through Wrongful Death Litigation?
Only certain family members of someone who wrongfully loses their life in Texas are eligible to seek restitution in their name through a wrongful death claim. As per TX Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §71.004, this right belongs exclusively to the decedent’s spouse, children, and/or parents in the first three months after their death. Once those three months have passed, the decedent’s estate representative may start a lawsuit on the estate’s behalf and/or on behalf of all eligible beneficiaries listed above, unless all surviving beneficiaries specifically request that no litigation be pursued.
Eligible family members can seek recovery for both economic and non-economic consequences of their loss, including:
- Lost financial support and future earnings/investments from the decedent
- Lost household services and assistance
- Lost care, support, companionship, and guidance
- Emotional anguish
- Certain out-of-pocket expenses, like medical bills paid for the decedent
A dedicated wrongful death lawyer in Garland could play a vital role in identifying compensable losses and demanding comprehensive restitution for every one of them.
Consider Working with a Garland Wrongful Death Attorney
No one deserves to have their own life or that of a family member cut short through another person’s irresponsible or unlawful actions. If your family has found itself facing this unimaginable situation, professional legal guidance and support may prove crucial to preserving both your financial security and emotional stability.
A Garland wrongful death lawyer could discuss legal options and rights in detail during a confidential consultation. Schedule yours by calling today.