The sudden loss of a loved one is often tragic. You may have anticipated seeing your loved one later or at least talking to him or her soon, but before you could, you received the news that he or she was gone. To make matters worse, someone else’s negligence or recklessness contributed to the accident that resulted in your loved one’s death.
At times, you may still turn around to say something to that person before you remember that he or she is not there. It can take time to find closure after such a life-changing event, and for many Texas residents, filing wrongful death claims against the parties considered at fault for fatal accidents can help them on the way to finding that closure.
What good is a legal claim?
You may think that filing a civil lawsuit against the person who caused your loved one’s death may only bring more burdens to you and your family. However, a successful claim could result in your family receiving compensation for the damages you experienced due to the loss of your loved one. You could pursue monetary restitution for the following damages:
- Mental anguish
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering on the part of your deceased loved one
- Loss of financial support
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
The possibility also exists that the court will award extra compensation if the fatal incident resulted from gross negligence or another person’s willful actions.
Who can file a claim?
Though many family members and close friends of your loved one may experience anguish and loss during this time, everyone does not have legal standing to file a wrongful death claim. The parties who could file a claim include:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s parents
- The decedent’s children
- The representative of the decedent’s estate
Additionally, the applicable party must file the claim within two years of your loved one’s death.
How do you file a claim?
Understandably, you may believe that filing a wrongful death claim could be in your and your family’s best interests, but you may also feel overwhelmed by the idea of taking such action so soon after your loved one’s passing. Fortunately, you do not have to try to navigate this ordeal on your own. You could enlist the help of a Texas attorney who could provide you with more information on this type of civil claim and assist you throughout your case should you file one.