Wrongful Death FAQs for Pleasanton, TX Residents
Pleasanton residents that have suddenly lost a close family member are often at a loss for what course of action they should take. Family members may know that their loved one’s death could have been prevented but may still be unsure of whether they can make claims on behalf of the deceased. A knowledgeable attorney who understands Pleasanton wrongful death cases can better discern what information families need.
Still, there may be hundreds of wrongful death frequently asked questions for Pleasanton residents, many of whom may be uncertain as to whether they even have the right to hire a Pleasanton wrongful death attorney. Hopefully, this FAQ helps answer some of the more common questions for those needing answers.Common Wrongful Death FAQs for Pleasanton, TX, Residents
- First and foremost, what is considered a wrongful death?
Wrongful death is any death resulting from the negligence of another, ranging from deaths caused by workplace accidents to those caused by product liability, to those caused by criminal intent.
- What could be considered negligent behavior?
A person can be considered negligent if they fail to uphold a duty owed to another person, perform responsibilities to prevent harm, or behave in a manner that puts others at risk.
- What are some examples of wrongful death claims?
- Medical malpractice: A mistake made by a medical professional could result in a wrongful death. A physician could fail to get adequate background information before prescribing medication or may carelessly perform the wrong procedure.
- Unsafe driving: Death resulting from a person’s unsafe or negligent driving could be considered wrongful death.
- Faulty or defective products: Companies that produce and distribute defective products, such as seatbelts or airbags, to companies that sell contaminated fruits and vegetables could be liable for wrongful death suits.
- Unsafe work environments: When employers do not have adequate safety measures in place especially in places working with hazardous wastes or heavy machinery, workers can be fatally injured resulting in an unnecessary death.
- Homicide: Criminal behavior where an intent to commit murder resulted in death can also be filed as a wrongful death suit separately from a criminal suit by the family of the deceased against those responsible.
- Who has the right to file for damages on behalf of the deceased?
- Spouse: Married couples and couples who have a common law marriage may make claims. Separation does not disqualify a spouse from filing claims on behalf of the deceased. Texas does not allow same-sex couples to make claims for deceased partners.
- Parents and children: Parents may make claims for their children and vice versa. Texas law also allows for adoptive parents and children to make claims in wrongful death cases. However, children must be legally adopted and may not claim their biological parents once adopted. Claims cannot be made by foster parents or grandparents who do not have legal guardianship.
- Siblings: In Texas, siblings may not make a wrongful death claim.
- What types of damages can be claimed?
Much of this depends on a person’s relationship to the victim (i.e. parent, spouse or child) but damages can cover loss of income, loss of potential income, loss of potential inheritance or even, mental anguish.
- A Pleasanton judge will also need to determine the value of other losses experienced by family members, such as loss of companionship or loss of the day to day essential tasks performed by the individual that affected the quality of life for the family.
- A victim’s family members may want to speak with their attorney about the costs associated with the kind of time that survivors must expend to fill out and submit proper paperwork needed to settle their loved one’s various affairs. This may include taking time off of work, school, or other obligations.
- How are the damages distributed?
Again, this would depend on the relationship each family member has to the victim and would be determined by the judge. The types of losses claimed by a spouse would be different from those claimed by a parent.
- How long do I have to file a claim?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of the death’s discovery.
While Pleasanton families may be overwhelmed with their loss, they may also find themselves wrestling with mounting financial stresses due to medical bills, unpaid financial debt or funeral costs. Additionally, the paperwork and time needed in tying up of loose ends can have economic repercussions that add to the list of wrongful death frequently asked questions for Pleasanton residents.
Having an attorney from Carabin & Shaw to assist with these issues can bring you the peace of mind needed after suffering such a great loss. Our bilingual attorneys are standing by to listen to your case. The initial consultation is free; do not hesitate to call us in Pleasanton at 830.569.7050.