When a crime or an accident leads to your loved one’s death, you and other surviving family members can sue the negligent party in civil court. Through a lawsuit, your family can collect payments compensating you for the effects of the loss.
Because the law governing these claims is complex, you may benefit from working with an experienced injury attorney. A Beaumont wrongful death lawyer could explain the process and guide you and your family through legal proceedings.
Any event in which someone’s careless, reckless, or intentional actions led to the death of another person could justify a wrongful death lawsuit. Families might seek damages for a loved one’s death in a car accident, building fire, or public swimming pool. A wrongful death lawsuit could also arise from medical malpractice or a criminal act. A knowledgeable attorney in Beaumont could advise the decedent’s family members on whether they have grounds to bring a wrongful death action.
In some cases, the prosecutor might bring a criminal case against the defendant. The prosecutor must meet a high burden of proof to get a conviction, which could result in jail time, a fine, probation, or other criminal punishments.
While the family cannot collect payments from a criminal conviction, they can sue a person, company, or government for their loved one’s wrongful death. To receive compensation, they must prove the defendant more likely than not caused their loved one’s death through negligence or intentional conduct.
A wrongful death lawsuit asks the party who caused someone’s death to compensate their loved ones for the loss. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §71.004 allows a surviving spouse, child, or parent to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of all the surviving immediate family members. When no family members file a lawsuit, the representative of the deceased person’s estate can do so instead.
The decedent’s family members can claim compensation for the losses they suffered because of their loved one’s death, including:
The family members can also seek reimbursement for funeral expenses and costs of burial or cremation. Anyone who moves forward with a wrongful death claim must do so within two years of the decedent’s death. Missing the deadline could make it impossible to recover compensation. A diligent lawyer in Beaumont could help family members file their negligent death claim promptly.
The deceased person’s estate can bring a survival lawsuit against a liable party when their death is not instantaneous. While these suits differ from wrongful death actions, plaintiffs usually file them at the same time. A wrongful death lawsuit seeks compensation for the family members’ losses resulting from the death. A survival lawsuit seeks damages for the losses the deceased person experienced between the accident and their death.
The estate’s personal representative—a family member or someone appointed by the Probate Court—files the survival action. The survival action demands damages for the decedent’s medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering between the accident and their death.
The money from a survival action goes to the estate. The personal representative could use it to pay the deceased person’s debts, taxes, or other obligations. The deceased person’s heirs receive the balance. A Beaumont attorney could explain who can receive proceeds from a survival action in a specific case.
It can be tough to think about practical matters when grieving the unexpected loss of a loved one. Nevertheless, a wrongful death lawsuit could bring your family closure and provide the resources for you to move forward after the tragedy.
A Beaumont wrongful death lawyer could hold the party responsible for your loved one’s death financially accountable for their actions. Reach out today to speak with a compassionate legal professional.