If a loved one dies because of another party’s negligence, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. In Texas, a deceased person’s spouse, children or parents may have standing to file such a suit. In addition, the personal representative of the deceased may also take legal action.
Types of damages available
If your lawsuit is successful, a jury may award compensation for the cost of a funeral or any medical bills incurred because of a wrongful diagnosis or other negligent acts. Compensation may also be available to account for any physical or mental anguish the deceased party incurred prior to dying because of a defendant’s negligence. You may receive money to make up for a loss of financial support or to account for your own anguish. Finally, punitive damages might be available depending on the facts of your case.
Proving negligence occurred
There are several ways that you might be able to prove that the defendant was negligent in causing your loved one’s death. For instance, you may argue that your family member’s doctor failed to run a simple or common test to confirm or negate an initial diagnosis. If your loved one was killed in a car crash, you might use toxicology reports or witness statements to establish that the defendant was impaired when the wreck occurred.
You typically have two years from the date of a loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death suit. However, filing a lawsuit doesn’t mean that the matter has to be resolved in court. In fact, the judge in your case may request that settlement talks commence or continue before setting a trial date. A wrongful death case may take several months to several years to resolve depending on whether it is settled through mediation or litigation.