When you discover that your spouse or close relative died before their time because of someone else’s carelessness, knowing that fact magnifies your grief. If you are a legal beneficiary, you can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit under Texas law.
We understand that after the untimely death of a close loved one in Odessa, it can be a challenge merely to get through the day. However, you should not have to battle insurance companies and defense lawyers during this difficult time. Instead, an Odessa wrongful death lawyer from Loncar Lyon Jenkins can fight for your right to financial damages for the loss of your spouse or close relative.
The Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim in Odessa, Texas
According to state law, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.002(b), says that wrongful death is when a person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” causes an injury that results in an individual’s death. A wrongful act can be intentional or accidental. A default means that someone did not perform a task that they were supposed to do.
Wrongful death in Texas can result from criminal conduct or simple carelessness. Texas law allows you to sue the defendant for compensation for the loss of your loved one if there was a crime involved. The criminal case is entirely separate from the wrongful death case. A wrongful death case is a civil action that usually takes place in a different courtroom and in front of a different judge than the criminal matter.
For a free legal consultation with a Wrongful Death lawyer serving Odessa, call 877-239-4878
Situations That Can Lead to the Wrongful Death of a Loved One
Most wrongful death cases result from negligence rather than an intentional act, but both categories can lead to the untimely death of an innocent person. Some of the more common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents and other motor vehicle collisions. Most wrongful death cases from crashes involve negligence, like driving while intoxicated, being distracted, or speeding.
- Medical malpractice causes a surprising number of deaths every year in the United States. When in the hospital, a patient could contract an infection, have the wrong medicine dispensed to them, or die from any one of several other types of preventable mistakes.
- Neglecting the responsibility to provide adequate nutrition, hydration, and medication or to prevent falling accidents in nursing homes could lead to the untimely death of a resident.
- Criminal conduct like assault or robbery can cause fatal harm to an innocent victim. Unfortunately, the criminal courts do not pursue financial compensation for the legal beneficiaries for the death of your loved one. Still, you can seek financial damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
These are only some examples of ways that wrongful conduct, whether accidental or intentional, could lead to the loss of the life of an innocent person, which can be the subject of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004 allows the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the decedent to file a wrongful death claim. However, other relatives of the person who died, like the decedent’s brothers and sisters, do not have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim in Texas. In addition, unmarried partners do not have a right to pursue a wrongful death action in Texas.
If none of the eligible relatives file a wrongful death action, the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate can file the legal action, with the proceeds going to the legal beneficiaries.
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Compensation Available in Wrongful Death Cases
The types of money damages Texas allows in successful wrongful death cases include both actual damages and exemplary damages. The actual damages can include:
- The funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the services and care the deceased person provided to the family
- Loss of financial support the decedent provided to the family as well as the loss of earning capacity and inheritance
- The surviving loved ones’ emotional suffering
- Loss of the decedent’s affection, companionship, guidance, advice, comfort, and counsel.
In addition to these losses, if gross negligence, a willful failure to act, or an intentional act caused the death, the legal beneficiaries can request exemplary damages, also called punitive damages.
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The Texas Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death
You only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. However, if you miss the deadline, Texas law will forever bar you from going after financial damages from the person who caused the death of your loved one.
Simply negotiating with the defendant or that party’s liability insurance carrier does not satisfy the statute of limitations. Therefore, if the wrongful death claim does not settle before the two-year deadline, you will need to file a lawsuit to protect your right to compensation.
There Are No Upfront Legal Fees When You Hire Our Wrongful Death Lawyers
You have enough to deal with right now without paying a deposit for legal fees. We do not charge any upfront legal fees to handle wrongful death cases. Instead, we take these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that we wait patiently until the end of the matter to get paid.
We receive a portion of the settlement proceeds or jury award for our legal fees. In other words, we do not get paid until you do.
Get Legal Help with Your Claim By Contacting a Wrongful Death Attorney Today
We understand that no amount of money can bring back your loved one, but the compensation you might receive in a successful wrongful death claim could ease some of the financial hardship you could be facing because of the untimely death of your relative. We have helped thousands of families seek compensation for personal injuries and wrongful death.
You do not have to fight this battle alone. You can Call in the Strong Arm of Loncar Lyon Jenkins to handle your wrongful death lawsuit or claim so that you can focus on dealing with your grief and rebuilding your life.
We are happy to offer a free initial consultation with no obligation. You can call a wrongful death lawyer in Odessa today at (800) 777-7777 to get started.
Call or text 877-239-4878 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form