When a person passes away due to someone else’s negligence, their family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit and claim compensation. The money helps to pay for the deceased’s end-of-life expenses, the loss of inheritance, and the mental anguish those left behind suffer from. Today, we’ll examine what you should consider before filing your claim and why hiring a competent Houston, TX wrongful death attorney is almost always necessary.
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Ask a Houston, TX Wrongful Death Attorney: 5 Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is Considered Wrongful Death?
According to the CDC, over 200,000 deaths are caused by unintentional injury every year, making this the fourth most common cause of death in the US. The circumstances vary considerably. While many people pass away due to a car accident or an injury at work, others are harmed by a medical professional or a drug that was not right for them.
For example, over 1,000 petitions seeking compensation for injury or death due to vaccines are filed each year. Family members can also gain compensation if their loved one died because of nursing home neglect or abuse, a defective product or warning label, or violence.
2. What Kind of Compensation Can I Expect?
Without knowing the details of your case, it’s hard to tell how much compensation you will receive from your lawsuit. It all depends on the amount of money you and your family have lost due to the death of your loved one, the emotional pain you are suffering from, and the competence of your wrongful death attorney.
While some families receive $5 million or more in damages, this kind of compensation is rare. Unless your situation is exceptional, it’s more realistic to expect a mid-six-figure sum. Nevertheless, this amount of money is life-changing, and it can allow you to grieve your loved one without having to worry about your financial situation.
3. How Long Will My Case Take?
After the untimely passing of a loved one, you might prefer to delay your lawsuit until you have begun to recover from your trauma. But this isn’t usually recommended because the wrongful death statute of limitations is only two years. You must make your claim before this time, or you risk losing your right to compensation. The duration of your case depends on whether you are able to settle the matter out of court or not.
- The defendant’s insurance company might offer you a settlement, but often, this is too low, and your federal lawyer has to negotiate on your behalf. If the attorney can come to an agreement with the insurance company, your case might be closed within a few months. However, if a fair amount isn’t offered, your lawyer might advise you to take the matter to court, which takes much longer.
4. What Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Do?
Sometimes, it can be hard to know whether your loved one passed away due to someone else’s negligence and if so, whether you are entitled to compensation. If you’re not sure, you should book an initial consultation with a wrongful death attorney near you. They can let you know whether you have a good case and how to best fight for your rights.
After your first meeting, you can decide whether you would like to hire the lawyer. It’s almost never a good idea to file a lawsuit without expert guidance because you won’t have the necessary knowledge and experience to win the maximum amount of compensation possible. In fact, most people who work with an attorney receive two or three times as much as those who don’t.
5. Who Can File a Lawsuit?
People who suffer financially as a result of a wrongful death have a right to compensation. Generally, this includes spouses or children of the deceased, but it could also be parents. For the purpose of a wrongful death claim in Texas, anyone whose marriage is formal or by common law is considered a “spouse”. Even if you were separated from your husband or wife at the time of their death, you can still file a lawsuit.
Similarly, biological children, adopted children, biological parents, and adopted parents can all sue. While brothers and sisters can receive compensation for their siblings in some states, this isn’t usually possible in Texas. If you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to file a claim, you should speak to experienced wrongful death attorneys in Houston.
Every year, thousands of people pass away because of someone else’s mistake. The relatives they leave behind may struggle to deal with the medical bills, mental anguish, and loss of inheritance. If you believe that the death of your loved one was wrongful, you shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in Houston, TX. They can help you figure out whether you should file a lawsuit and, if so, how to best lay out your case.