The unexpected death of a loved one is never easy, but it can be especially difficult for families who have lost someone as a result of wrongdoing or negligence.
As family members try to recover, many questions begin to surface: How did this happen? Can we hold someone responsible? How will we replace the lost income? Who will take care of our family? Do we have any rights?
If you have lost a family member and believe that another person may be responsible, you could be eligible for compensation to help cover funeral and burial expenses as well as unpaid medical bills.
At the law offices of Anderson Cummings, our Fort Worth wrongful death attorneys are dedicated to fighting for justice with passion and integrity. With 50 plus years of combined experience, our firm has successfully obtained millions in compensation, including a wrongful death settlement of $5,829,487 for a construction accident.
Request a free, no-obligation consultation to see if you may have a valid claim. We are prepared to help you pursue legal action against those responsible for your loss. There are no upfront fees for our services. If you do not get paid, we do not get paid.
Contact our firm anytime at: (817) 920-9000 to learn more.
How Does Texas Define a Wrongful Death?
The state of Texas defines a wrongful death as one caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or entity. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil matters and not criminal cases. While a person found liable for a wrongful death in a civil lawsuit may be ordered to pay compensation to the family of the victim, he or she cannot be sent to jail through the civil case.
Wrongful death lawsuits are common after accidents where someone was careless or reckless. These cases are normally filed after car accidents, slip and falls, construction accidents caused by unsafe work conditions, or deaths caused by defective products. Some wrongful deaths, however, such as cases involving drunk driving, can have both a civil case and a criminal case.
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Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
In Texas, the immediate family members of a person killed in an accident are usually able to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. This includes the following:
- The surviving spouse
- The surviving children
- The surviving parents
Any one of these family members may be able to file a claim individually or together. This includes the adult children or any legally adopted children of the deceased. However, an adopted child is unable to file a claim for the wrongful death of a biological parent.
Other relatives, like siblings or grandparents, typically do not have the right to sue for wrongful death. Texas law does not allow surviving siblings to file wrongful death claims for the death of a brother or sister, regardless of whether or not that sibling is adopted or biological.
If a wrongful death claim is not filed within the deadline, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate could be eligible to take legal action, unless a surviving family member requests that a wrongful death claim is not filed.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Case
Every wrongful death case is different. The damages available in these cases are paid to compensate the surviving family members and the estate for the losses they have suffered due to their loved one’s untimely death.
Damages in a Texas wrongful death lawsuit could include:
- Funeral and burial expenses (i.e. cremation services, grave markers and cemetery lot costs)
- Medical expenses related to treatment the deceased person had prior to death
- Lost income and earning capacity the deceased person would have contributed
- Pain and suffering experienced (i.e. mental and emotional anguish)
- Loss of love, companionship and comfort from the deceased person
- Loss of care, services, support, advice and counsel provided to family
- Loss of inheritance, including what the deceased person would have saved if alive
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. These damages are issued when a wrongful death is caused by gross negligence or willful misconduct to punish the at-fault party and prevent others from doing the same act.
Dealing with the sudden death of a loved one causes obvious emotional trauma. What families may not realize is that the financial impact from the loss of a loved one can affect the family for years. The attorneys at Anderson Cummings understand that families dealing with an unexpected death need to be compensated.
Our firm has advocated for victims of wrongful death and personal injuries in Texas for more than 50 years, and we are prepared to do the same for you. We will seek to hold the person responsible for your loved one’s wrongful death financially accountable and fight for the compensation your family needs.
Deadline for Taking Legal Action
Texas adheres to a specific time limit that a surviving family member or personal representative of the estate may take legal action for a wrongful death. If the claim is not filed within this time limit, the court will likely dismiss the case and you will be unable to recover compensation.
Wrongful death cases must generally be filed within two years from the date of the deceased person’s death unless an exception applies. A Fort Worth wrongful death attorney from our firm is prepared to determine the deadline that applies to your situation and protect your rights throughout the legal process.
Contact Our Experienced, Knowledgeable Fort Worth Wrongful Death Lawyers
At Anderson Cummings, our testimonials speak for themselves. Our Fort Worth wrongful death lawyers have represented many families who needed support after the devastating loss of a wrongful death caused by another’s negligence. We offer a free and confidential consultation to discuss the merits of your claim.
Our firm is available anytime, day or night, to take your call or chat online. We never ask for upfront fees, and you only pay if we obtain a recovery on your behalf.
Our office is also conveniently located less than four miles from the Fort Worth Municipal Courthouse.
Give us a call at (817) 920-9000 to get started on your claim.