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Wrongful Death FAQs

Any time there is a death, it’s traumatic for those who are left behind. When that death happens suddenly and unexpectedly, it’s even harder for family members to move on. When a death occurs due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, it’s important that family members understand that they can take legal action. 

Family members can file a wrongful death claim to help make up for their losses, such as the loss of income the deceased earned that others in the household were dependent on. Family members can also achieve a sense of justice for their loved ones by holding the negligent party accountable.

Unfortunately, these wrongful death claims are complicated, and individuals who wish to file them often have many questions. Below are just a few of the most common questions our Houston wrongful death attorneys answer. We encourage you to contact us directly to discuss the specifics of your case in a free consultation.

What Is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death is any death that occurs due to the negligent actions of another person. Negligence is the legal concept that most personal injury cases in Texas rest on. It’s a term that refers to the careless or reckless actions of another person. When those actions cause a death, individuals left behind can file a civil claim to collect compensation for their losses. In Texas, however, only certain individuals can file a wrongful death claim.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Texas, only close family members can file a wrongful death claim, in most cases. These family members include the parents, the children, and the spouse of the deceased. These individuals can file an individual claim or, if more than one of these individuals wants to file a claim, they can join together and file just one claim. If none of these family members wants to file a claim, the executor of the estate may file a wrongful death claim. If the family members choose, though, they may block the executor from filing a claim.

What Damages Are Recoverable in Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Wrongful death claims are intended to compensate surviving loved ones for the losses they have suffered as a result of the death. This compensation is referred to as damages. The damages available in wrongful death lawsuits include:

● Loss of earning capacity

● Loss of services, such as loss of childcare or loss of cooking and cleaning

● Emotional anguish and mental distress

● Loss of love, companionship, comfort, and society

● Lost inheritance

Although these damages cannot undo the tragic losses that surviving loved ones are coping with, they can help ease the financial burden of the loss. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death cases in Houston fall under the area of personal injury law. As such, they have the same statute of limitations as other personal injury cases. This is the time limit loved ones have to file their lawsuit. In Texas, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the death. 

There are some exceptions to this, such as if family members only learn of someone else’s negligence sometime after the death occurs. However, most wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years or loved ones will lose their right to receive any compensation for the death.

Should I Accept a Settlement from the Insurance Company?

Shortly after filing a wrongful death claim, the insurance company may contact you to offer you a settlement. Many people immediately accept this offer because they think they are lucky to receive anything, or because they believe it is fair. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. 

Insurance companies contact loved ones shortly after the death, hoping they don’t realize how many losses they will incur as a result of the death. If you agree to the settlement offer, you are barred from receiving any compensation in the future, even though the settlement will likely not be enough to cover the full amount of losses.

Our compassionate wrongful death attorneys can review any settlement offer you receive and provide guidance on what your case is truly worth. Contact us not to set up a free consultation.  

 

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What Is the Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death cases in Houston fall under the area of personal injury law. As such, they have the same statute of limitations as other personal injury cases. This is the time limit loved ones have to file their lawsuit. In Texas, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the death. 

There are some exceptions to this, such as if family members only learn of someone else’s negligence sometime after the death occurs. However, most wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years or loved ones will lose their right to receive any compensation for the death.

Should I Accept a Settlement from the Insurance Company?

Shortly after filing a wrongful death claim, the insurance company may contact you to offer you a settlement. Many people immediately accept this offer because they think they are lucky to receive anything, or because they believe it is fair. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. 

Insurance companies contact loved ones shortly after the death, hoping they don’t realize how many losses they will incur as a result of the death. If you agree to the settlement offer, you are barred from receiving any compensation in the future, even though the settlement will likely not be enough to cover the full amount of losses.

Our compassionate wrongful death attorneys can review any settlement offer you receive and provide guidance on what your case is truly worth. Contact us not to set up a free consultation.  

If I Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Will I Have to Go to Court?

The majority of personal injury cases, including wrongful death cases, settle out of court. However, no one can determine whether your case will go to court without reviewing the facts of the case, and without trying to come to a fair settlement with the insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, you may have to go to court.

What Should I Look for in Choosing a Wrongful Death Attorney to Represent Me?

No one should ever try to file a wrongful death claim on their own. An attorney will not only make the entire process easier while you and your loved ones are grieving, but a lawyer can also give you a better chance of success with your claim. When looking for an attorney, look for one who has:

● Many years of experience 

● A successful track record of handling wrongful death cases like yours

● Proper resources, such as a network of expert witnesses

● Experience at trial, in case the insurance company doesn’t settle

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer?

Our wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that our attorneys only get paid if the case is successful and you receive compensation for the wrongful death. When that is the case, our attorney receives a percentage of the compensation you are awarded. If you are not successful with your case, there is no fee for our services. With payment structures like this, the real question is whether loved ones who have lost someone can afford not to hire an attorney to help with their case.

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Call Our Texas Wrongful Death Attorneys Today

If you’ve lost someone, don’t try to take your case alone. Our Houston wrongful death lawyers at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian will review your case for free and advise you of your legal options. If you have a valid claim, we will work tirelessly to collect the evidence and prove that someone else’s negligence was the cause of death. 

When you need help with a wrongful death claim, our attorneys are here. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with one of our lawyers so we can get started on your case.

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