Wrongful death, a type of personal injury, is one that is caused by the fault of another. The death of a family member or someone you care about is devastating. When someone else’s reckless behavior or act of negligence causes the death, the unnecessary loss of life is even more difficult to accept.
Texas Wrongful Death Act Provisions
In Texas, the Wrongful Death Act provides the exclusive remedy for wrongful death, compensating the decedent’s spouse, parents and children for the losses resulting from the decedent’s injury and death. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §71.004(a).
Clarifying Wrongful Death
Car, truck, motorcycle wrecks, defective products, medical malpractice, premises liability, oilfield injuries, construction site, boating and amusement park accidents are examples of personal injury accidents that may lead to a wrongful death claim. A death that occurs in the following instances may be a wrongful death claim:
- A doctor misdiagnoses a disease
- A nurse administers the wrong medication
- A drunk driver causes an accident
- A homeowner failed to fence the area around a swimming pool
- A defective product explodes
- An employer does not provide adequate measures for safe operation of equipment
Wrongful Death Defendants May Face Civil and Criminal Charges
In wrongful death cases, the negligent individual, company or government entity may face both a criminal and a civil lawsuit. Prosecutors may file criminal charges for murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. Unlike a criminal suit, which is filed by the government, when wrongful death occurs, surviving family members typically have the right to undertake civil litigation to pursue damages for their loss.
Statutory Guidelines in Texas Wrongful Death Cases
The time limits for taking legal action in a wrongful death lawsuit are critical. In Texas, the statute of limitations is one to three years, depending on certain contingencies. Thus, consulting a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible is crucial. Texas wrongful death statutes provide for the recovery of tangible and intangible damages. Generally, the decedent’s estate has a claim for medical and funeral expenses and damages for pain and suffering. The family members recognized by the statute also have their own individual claims for wrongful death when they lose their parent, child, or spouse.
An Attorney Can Protect Your Legal Rights
The lawyers at Wells, Purcell & Kraatz have substantial experience in wrongful death cases. When you need legal help, they can help you understand the applicable law, fight for your rights and pursue legal remedies to ensure you receive fair compensation that is allowed by Texas law.
Contact a Texas Wrongful Death Attorney
Our law firm offers a free case evaluation to find out if you have grounds for a wrongful death claim. Call our office at (817) 380-8362 or toll free at (800) 882-4529 for calls outside the Fort Worth metro area to arrange an appointment. Our attorneys take wrongful death and other personal injury cases on contingency basis, meaning that if we accept your case, you will not owe us a fee unless we recover damages. Attorney fees are deducted from the final settlement.
Whether you need legal advice and guidance to hold liable parties responsible for personal injury or need litigation expertise to resolve commercial disputes, we invite you to contact our law firm. To arrange an appointment call (817) 380-8362 or toll free at (800) 882-4529. There is no charge for an initial consultation to find out how our attorneys can help resolve your legal matter.
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