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If your loved one died because of someone else’s recklessness or negligence, you may be able to take legal action. A wrongful death claim against a negligent company or person can recover compensation to help cope with unforeseen expenses, lost wages, medical bills, and other losses suffered by the family. This kind of lawsuit is designed to provide compensation for relatives who depended upon the lost one for financial and emotional support.
Wrongful deaths are a result of an intentional, reckless, or negligent act. How do you know if a wrongful death claim is possible? If the decedent (the person who died) had not died and could have sued for the wrongful act, then the decedent’s estate or certain survivors may bring a wrongful death claim.
There is a huge variety of circumstances that can result in wrongful death cases, among the most common are:
Drunk driving accidents
In Texas, the Wrongful Death Act provides the elements you must prove to win your case. They are:
You are the surviving spouse, parent, or child of the person who died;
The defendant is a person or a corporation;
The defendant’s wrongful act caused injury to the decedent;
That injury resulted in the decedent’s death;
If the decedent had lived, he could have brought a personal injury lawsuit for his injuries; and
You suffered actual injuries or damages.
There is a related claim called a Survival Action that is brought on behalf of the person who died. These are sometimes called Estate Claims because the lawsuits are styled “Mary Smith, as Representative of the Estate of John Smith, Deceased.” The requirements are that the person who brings the suit is the estate’s lawful representative, the decedent had a reason to sue, if the person had lived he could have sued, and the defendant’s wrongful act cause decedent’s death.
Wrongful Death Damages
The jury will consider a number of factors when determining the amount of damages to be awarded in a wrongful death case. These factors include the relationship between the survivor and the person who died, the amount of the decedent’s net income available to the survivor, the replacement value of the deceased’s services, and the life expectancy of all parties. Your relationship to the decedent may entitle you to certain benefits.
All: Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest; as well as the future loss of support and services from the date of death, reduced to its present value. All plaintiffs have claims for mental anguish (mental pain and suffering) from the date of the injury. In addition, the person who paid for medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may recover those expenses.
Spouse: In addition to the damages listed for All, a surviving spouse may recover compensation for the loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and loss of inheritance. A surviving spouse can also recover punitive (exemplary) damages.
Children: In addition to the damages listed for All, minor children may seek compensation for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for loss of inheritance. A child can also recover punitive (exemplary) damages.
Parent: In addition to the damages listed for All, each parent may recover compensation for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. If the child provided substantial economic support for the parent, there may also be claims for loss of care, maintenance, and support.
Punitive, also called exemplary, damages are appropriate in situations where the wrongful at that resulted in death was intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent. These damages serve to punish the offending party, as well as discourage others from behaving similarly in the future. Punitive damages are limited to the surviving spouse and children’s claims.
Survival Action Damages
Damages are limited to those suffered by the decedent before they died. These are things like: pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, medical expenses, and funeral expenses. Punitive damages are also possible.
Did your loved one die as a result of someone's negligence?
AmblerLaw is ready to fight for you. The family, spouse, and children left behind after a loved one's wrongful death have many concerns. With the financial impacts of loss of household income, medical and funeral expenses, and loss of your loved one, engaging a wrongful death law firm may be an important part of securing your and your family’s future.
We know how to protect your family. The person or company that caused your loved one's death will have lots of lawyers and big insurance companies to protect them. You need someone to protect your and your family's interests.
AmblerLaw knows how to help and how to fight. Rachel Ambler knows how to figure out what went wrong, what experts to call, who's to blame, and how to fight for you.
CALL AMBLERLAW TODAY
Rachel Ambler has been in Midland/Odessa since 2001. She knows it. She gets it. She's been called a "pitbull in the courtroom," because she won't stop fighting for you. When your family has been impacted by wrongful death, that's exactly what you want. Call AmblerLaw today.
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