The preventable, unexpected loss of a loved one can be devastating for your family. If someone else is responsible for your family member’s passing, you may be ready to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
With help from a Galveston wrongful death lawyer at Loncar Lyon Jenkins, you can pursue civil action against the liable party. Learn more about Galveston’s wrongful death claims process and what to expect from your case when you contact our office for a free consultation.
When Is a Death Considered Wrongful?
Under Texas wrongful death laws, any death that occurs due to the negligent, willful, or wrongful actions of another can be considered a wrongful death.
This means it does not matter whether the liable party intended to cause the victim’s death or the death occurred due to negligence or misconduct. All that matters is that had it not been for the liable party’s actions, your family member would likely still be alive.
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What Are Wrongful Death Claims?
It is common to assume the only way to get justice for wrongful death is when the state’s prosecuting attorney files criminal charges against the person or entity responsible for causing your loved ones’ deaths.
However, you may have an opportunity to take justice into your own hands while following the letter of the law by filing a civil claim against the guilty party. When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you seek to hold the liable party accountable financially.
The liable party should be compelled to compensate you and your family for all the ways your lives and the decedent’s life was affected by their actions. With help from your attorney, you can prove the other party’s liability by using evidence of the other person’s negligence.
Some of the more valuable types of evidence that could be used to support your case include:
- Cell phone records
- Social media posts
- Chemical blood alcohol test results
- Photos of the incident
- Videos of the incident
- The decedent’s medical records
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Police and accident reports
- Safety inspection reports
- Other supporting evidence
Who Has the Authority to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Galveston?
You and your family may be anxious to get started on your wrongful death claim. Determining whether you have the authority to file the lawsuit in Galveston is important.
Under Texas law, only specific parties have the right to file wrongful death claims. This includes the decedent’s surviving spouse, surviving children, and parents. These parties can file claims individually or as one unit as they see fit per Texas Code § 71.004.
If you have any questions about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit or any questions about this process, our personal injury attorneys can help you through this process. You do not have to handle your loved one’s case alone and have enough to deal with during this difficult time. Let our firm help you seek justice and help you avoid any undue stress and burden.
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How Are Damages Awarded in Galveston Wrongful Death Claims?
In wrongful death lawsuits in Galveston and across Texas, any damages awarded will go to the surviving family members of the deceased. This includes the decedent’s immediate family members. Anyone who may have been financially dependent on the decedent may be awarded damages on a case by case basis.
What Damages Are Recoverable for Wrongful Deaths in Galveston?
Although no amount of compensation will change what your family has been through, nor will it bring your loved one back, it may help to ease your financial burden and hold the liable party accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
With that in mind, there are various damages your family could be awarded as part of your Galveston wrongful death claim. Some of the most frequently awarded damages in wrongful death lawsuits include:
- Loss of advice and support
- Loss of love and companionship
- Lost inheritance
- Loss of potential future earnings, including retirement savings contributions, salary increases, and bonuses
- Coverage of the decedent’s medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Emotional distress
- Loss of household services
If the defendant’s actions are found grossly negligent or reprehensible, your family could also be awarded punitive damages. Also commonly referred to as exemplary damages, punitive damages are not something your family is entitled to recover but rather a way for the Texas civil court system to punish the defendant.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Galveston Wrongful Death Claims?
If you hope to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Galveston, you need to take action quickly. Under Texas wrongful death laws, you will only have two years to get your claim filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Suppose your lawsuit is not filed before the statute of limitations runs out, and you attempt to file your lawsuit at a later date. In that case, the court system will have no other choice but to dismiss your case when the attorney files a motion to dismiss based on the expired statute of limitations.
Unfortunately, much of the evidence needed to support your case could be time-sensitive. If you wait to get a lawyer working for you, this evidence could be lost. For this reason, it is critical to get a wrongful death lawyer in Galveston advocating for you and your family as soon as possible.
Get Help From a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Galveston
The wrongful death claims process can be complex. When you should be able to mourn your loss, let a legal advocate help your family bring the liable party to justice.
Contact a Galveston wrongful death lawyer at Loncar Lyon Jenkins for a no-cost, risk-free consultation today when you fill out our quick contact form or call our office.