Wrongful Death Lawyers in College Station, Texas
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There is no greater tragedy than losing someone you love or deeply care about. However, there is comfort in knowing that there may be options to recover relief and justice for those who have passed. Thankfully, surviving family members may be able to seek compensation from the responsible party.
Wrongful Death Defined
You may have a wrongful death claim if your family member has died as the result of the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of another person. This type of claim is different than a regular personal injury claim because of the person who is bringing suit. Personal injury claims are brought by an injured party against the person who hurt them. Unfortunately, in a wrongful death suit, the victim is deceased and cannot sue on his or her own behalf. Thus, surviving family members or the deceased’s estate may bring a claim against the individual who is legally liable for their death.
Common Wrongful Death Cases
The following is a list of the common types of wrongful death cases:
Car crashes are one of the most common ways a person can be killed due to the negligence of another. Most roadway fatalities occur due to distracted driving, speeding, or driving under the influence. The responsible party is the person who was negligently operating their vehicle.
Truck accidents occur for similar reasons that regular car accidents do. These accidents can be attributed to the negligence of the driver when a driver is distracted or not following roadway rules. However, truck accidents can also be attributed to the company that employs the truck driver if that company has been negligent in its procedures and policies.
Certain professions, such as construction, hold a higher risk for dangerous accidents to happen that can ultimately lead to the death of an employee. However, all jobs, even those that don’t seem dangerous, have the potential to cause the death of another person. A wrongful death claim brought about by a workplace accident can occur any time an employer puts an employee in a situation that could either directly or indirectly cause them harm.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other licensed medical professional fails to follow proper protocol or procedures and causes harm to another. In the case of wrongful death claims, this harm is the death of another individual. Deaths happen as the result of medical malpractice most often because of surgical error, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose a condition altogether.
When a person dies as the result of a product that is defective in design, the manufacturer who created that product will most likely be held responsible. This can occur with anything from toys, to tools, to medicines, and foods.
Wrongful death claims based upon premises liability are brought about when the owner or occupier of a home, business, or other property has negligently failed to keep that premises safe, and that negligence causes the death of another person. If the owner of the premises was negligent, then they are liable.
Wrongful Death Claims Involving Children
The accidental death of a loved one is devastating enough, but the accidental death of a child is even more heartbreaking. A child’s life cannot be reduced to dollars and cents, but you may be able to receive legal compensation for certain damages, such as funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and the loss of your child’s love and companionship.
Close family members such as parents, siblings, and grandparents have the option to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a child.
What to do after an Accidental Death
Get the Medical Attention You Need
The most important thing to do after an accident, whether it be an accident that happened to you or a loved one, is to get help. In the event of an accidental death, it is important to take care of yourself emotionally to make sure that you are okay and getting the care you need. In order to fight for your loved one and get them the justice they deserve, you need to be both physically and mentally healthy.
Preserve Evidence and Document What You Can
The best way to ensure that you have a successful wrongful death claim and receive the compensation that you and your loved one deserves, it to preserve any relevant evidence you can. No detail is too small. Take the time to take photos of any injuries or get the contact information of anyone you know has knowledge of the accident that happened.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
If you or someone you know has lost a loved one, the best way to ensure you receive justice and get the compensation you deserve is to contact a wrongful death attorney. Our College Station wrongful death attorneys at Zinda Law Group will fight tirelessly for you and your loved ones.
Elements of a wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim that is being brought on behalf of the injured person because they are now deceased. Therefore, to state a claim for wrongful death you must be able to prove the same elements the deceased person would have to prove if they were alive and suing on behalf of themselves.
For example, if someone has died as the result of another person’s negligence, then you must show the responsible party owed a duty to the deceased, breached that duty, and that the breach of that duty caused the death of another person.
Determining who is at Fault
The person at fault is the one whom you can prove was negligent or reckless. The American Bar Association (ABA) defines a negligence claim as one arising from an accident in which someone failed to exercise reasonable care. This liability could fall on a single person, a group of people, or even a business. Essentially, the key is to ask yourself whether the person you believe to be liable had a responsibility to act in a certain way and failed to act in that way. Most of the time, people have a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person would, however, this duty may be different depending on the circumstances.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have made the decision to pursue legal compensation for the accidental death of a loved one, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. The legal process of filing a wrongful death claim can be complex and having a caring attorney fighting for you can ease this burden.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
Once you hire an attorney, they may begin an investigation. This will include discussing what happened, reviewing and collecting evidence, and talking to witnesses.
Consider Your Options
Essentially, you will have two options when trying to obtain legal compensation for the death of a loved one. You can either settle the lawsuit by accepting a settlement offer, or you can refuse a settlement offer, if there is one, and go to trial. Your attorney will be able to advise you on your options.
Wrongful Death Settlement
An individual filing a wrongful death suit may receive both economic and non-economic damages for the death of another person. In short, economic damages compensate an individual for the expenses that can be quantified with an exact dollar amount. This would include costs such as medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of the deceased’s income, etc. Non-economic damages, however, compensate you for things that aren’t so clearly quantifiable. This includes costs such as the loss of love and companionship and the deceased person’s pain and suffering before their death.
Legal Time Limits
In a typical personal injury lawsuit, the clock starts ticking on the statute of limitations the second you are injured, not when you decide you want to sue for those injuries. However, wrongful death suits are a little bit different. The clock starts ticking on a wrongful death action once the party bringing the suit has discovered, or should have discovered with reasonable diligence, the cause of death of the victim.
In Texas, you have two years from the day you have discovered or should have discovered the death of the victim to file a lawsuit. After two years, you are likely to be barred from recovery.
TRUST THE ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP
The process of filing a wrongful suit can feel overwhelming and painful, and you should never have to go through it alone. To make sure you are receiving justice for the deceased victim and that you are receiving the compensation both you and your loved one deserve, it is best to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. The College Station attorneys at Zinda Law Group may fight tirelessly to make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.