Losing a loved one is never easy. When that loss is sudden and unexpected, it can be much harder. This is particularly true if someone dies as the result of a mistake or negligence on the part of a third party. Many people go through a series of strong emotions in the wake of such a shocking loss. Denial is common, as is anger or even bargaining.
Unfortunately, nothing you do can change the reality of your situation. However, you may be able to take action to hold the person responsible for your loss legally and financially accountable. Under Texas law, surviving family members may have the right to pursue wrongful death compensation after experiencing a tragic loss.
Only certain people can seek wrongful death compensation
Texas law is very specific about who has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. Typically speaking, the spouse, parents or children of the deceased are the parties that should bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. However, many times these people are often the ones who are grieving the most after a sudden and tragic death.
In the event that none of these family members initiate legal action for a wrongful death claim within three months of the date of death, the executor of the estate may bring the action instead. The person charged with handling the last will or estate plan of the deceased can also seek compensation from the person who caused the death if the family members have not taken steps to initiate such a claim.
Family members can seek compensation for provable financial losses
There are only certain kinds of damages that you can seek in a wrongful death claim in Texas. One of these is pecuniary loss. This phrase refers to the support, services, care and contributions that the deceased would have provided if they hadn't died. It is also possible to seek compensation for losing out on the companionship of the person who died and mental anguish suffered by those who are grieving the loss of the deceased.
Families can also seek compensation through a survival action related to a wrongful death case. For example, the family can claim any medical expenses related to care of the deceased prior to their death. They can also seek compensation for pain and suffering experienced by the deceased between the fatal incident and their death. Finally, families have the right to pursue compensation for funeral expenses.
Wrongful death claims can minimize the impact of a loss on your family
While there will certainly be emotional and social fallout from this loss, your family shouldn't have to bear the burden of financial consequences as well. A wrongful death lawsuit can help you recover some of the financial losses you experienced in the wake of an unexpected death. While this won't necessarily repair the damage done to your family, it can make planning for the future a little bit easier.