What is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations refers to the time in which you can legally file a suit against the person responsible for a wrongful death. If the statute of limitations has passed, you no longer may take any legal recourse. Filing a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has already passed will likely lead to an automatic dismissal from the court. Most states have their own statute of limitations for various crimes and personal injury claims.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of the death in most cases. This means you should act quickly following the loss of your loved one. It is also essential to use trusted legal professionals who will handle the case in a timely manner to avoid losing the claim because the time limit has expired. Contact us immediately at 713-766-3733 if your loved one is a victim of wrongful death.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Texas Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations?
In some cases, the statute of limitations is longer or starts on a day other than the death of the individual. While these cases are not common, these situations could be applicable in certain circumstances, making it possible to seek compensation after two years have already passed.
Situations where the statute of limitations is other than two years include:
- Accidents involving minor children. If a child experiences wrongful death, the parents may pursue compensation until two years past what would have been the child’s 18th birthday.
- Wrongful death of the family member of an incapacitated individual. In these cases, the statute of limitations would be two years from when the individual regained competency or sound mind.
- Cases of concealed negligence. An example of concealed negligence would be if a medical practitioner concealed evidence that their negligence caused someone’s wrongful death.
In cases of concealed negligence, individuals have 10 years from the date of the wrongful death to file a wrongful death claim. If you would like to learn whether your case qualifies for an exemption from the statute of limitations, contact our office today for legal advice.
How Do You Bring a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death in Texas?
If you are a close family member of a wrongful death victim, including parents, spouse, and children, you may bring a compensation claim. Losing a loved one in an accident can be unspeakably difficult, and you have our deepest sympathies. Family members can file individually, or one family member can file on behalf of everyone.
If a spouse, parent, or child of the victim does not file a wrongful death claim within three months of the death, the representative of the deceased person’s estate can file instead. This cannot happen if eligible survivors unanimously request that the representative not sue.
In a wrongful death claim, an attorney will represent you in court, bringing forth evidence to prove that your loved one died unnecessarily. Photos, videos, witness statements, and documents may all be used to prove negligence or reckless behavior on behalf of the other party. A judge will then determine whether the party is liable for your loved one’s death and, if so, how much they are obligated to pay you and your family members.
Please understand that the best thing you can do is to act quickly to find reliable attorneys who know Texas law and will fight aggressively for justice in your case. The sooner you act, the sooner an experienced team can begin building your case and seeking compensation for you and your family members.
What Kind of Compensation Can be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?
No amount of money will ever make up for the devastating loss that a wrongful death brings about. However, a family member’s death can bring about unexpected expenses that can become a hardship for surviving loved ones. The amount of compensation you can receive depends on the nature of your case.
Typically, family members seek compensation for things like:
- Funeral, cremation, and burial expenses
- Medical expenses to treat fatal injuries
- Lost income the loved one would have been able to provide
- Loss of companionship, comfort, and love
- Pain and suffering due to the loss of a loved one
- Loss of care, maintenance, and support from the loved one
In the case of severely reckless accidents, victims may be able to seek punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are meant to punish the guilty individual to deter similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages are often sought in cases like drunk driving and negligence. These damages can be sought in addition to compensatory damages, both economic and non-economic. If there are other expenses you’d like to seek out because of wrongful death, contact our team today with any questions.
Should You Hire Our Wrongful Death Attorneys?
When you meet with our team, you will instantly feel the warmth and confidence that our attorneys offer. We promise to listen compassionately to your story and fight with all of our honesty, integrity, and dedication for the positive results you need in your wrongful death claim. We understand that no two personal injury cases are alike, which means our legal strategies aren’t, either.
We will examine your unique situation and develop a legal pathway to get you the outcome you deserve.
Please rely on our 50 years of combined experience when seeking justice for your family member who died because of another person’s negligence. While no amount of compensation can bring your loved one back, it can give your family the peace and confidence to move forward. Call Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law today at 713-766-3733.