What You Need to Know About Your Potential Wrongful Death Claim
If you’ve lost a loved one in El Paso due to the negligent actions of another person, you should know that, in addition to a criminal case, you have the right to bring a civil suit against the person responsible. Wrongful death claims often take place after a criminal trial concludes, and these civil suits give family members a means of receiving compensation for damages caused by the loss of their loved one. Some examples of wrongful death claims involve car accidents, drunk or distracted driving, manslaughter, assault and battery, and murder.
The El Paso personal injury lawyers of Carabin Shaw have put together a list of what you need to know about your potential wrongful death claim in to help you decide if filing a claim is the right choice for you.What is a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
A wrongful death claim definition is straightforward: wrongful death is the death of a human being as the result of the unlawful act of another party. Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits filed by surviving family members against the party or parties responsible for the death.Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in El Paso, Texas?
In Texas, the parents, children, or surviving spouse of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.What are the Elements for Wrongful Death Claims?
In any wrongful death claim, your lawyer must prove four things to win your case:
- Duty of Care: The first thing that you must establish is that the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased. What this means is that if someone has a duty of care toward you, you have the right to believe that they will take reasonable measures to prevent causing you harm.
- Breach of Duty: Your attorney must then prove that the defendant breached their legal duty to avoid bringing harm to the person who is now deceased. An example of breach of duty would be a driver operating their vehicle at unsafe speeds or under the influence of alcohol, or a surgeon failing to follow correct operating procedures.
- Fault: Your lawyer must be able to prove that the death was caused—in part or whole—by the negligence or inaction of the defendant.
- Damages: Once you and your attorney have established the three previous elements, you will have to demonstrate that you and your family suffered losses as a result of your loved one’s wrongful death.
There are various types of damages that surviving relatives can receive compensation for after a loved one’s wrongful death. These include, but are not limited to:
- A survival claim for the deceased’s pain and suffering
- Funeral costs
- Medical costs associated with the deceased person’s fatal injury
- Loss of the deceased’s income
- Loss of companionship
In Texas, a person has two years from the date of the death to file their wrongful death claim, unless it meets one of the following exceptions:
- The plaintiff of the lawsuit is a minor
- The defendants’ negligence was unknown during the two-year period
- Mental or physical impairments made the plaintiff unable to file a lawsuit within the two-year time frame
- Fraud occurred
As our clients will attest, Carabin Shaw employs the best attorneys in the state. Our firm specializes specifically in personal injury cases like yours, and our El Paso wrongful death attorneys are compassionate, professional, and skilled in handling even the most challenging lawsuits. Our firm has been handling these cases for more than 25 years, and we’ve helped thousands of families receive compensation and justice.
Call our El Paso office today at 915-779-2301 to schedule a free consultation with a Texas wrongful death lawyer. You can also reach us toll-free at 800-862-1260.