The greatest pain that a person can experience is the death of a loved one. No amount of money can bring back a deceased loved one. Unfortunately, most of the wrongful deaths in Texas that we see involve auto accidents. At Funk & Associates our Austin wrongful death lawyers, have handled many types of wrongful death in Texas cases, including medical malpractice claims, product defects and pharmaceutical cases. Our Austin wrongful death lawyers want to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible, but that is not our only goal. We want to send a message to society and the defendant that the wrong has to be stopped, so no one else becomes a victim.

What is a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a term that is used when a person causes someone else’s death. The death can be caused by someone’s actions. It can also be caused by neglect, or failure to act. Wrongful death in Texas is not a criminal action, it’s a civil action. The decedent, or deceased person, is not able to file a suit or collect damages. It is up to the representatives of the estate or the family members to do so. The purpose of filing a suit is to make sure that the family members who have suffered emotionally and monetarily are compensated. Damages can be assessed from emotional suffering and pain caused by the traumatic death, lost benefits and wages and loss of companionship.

Responsibility For a Wrongful Death

A defendant can only be held responsible if it is proved that his or her actions lead to the death of the person. It has to be proven that the death would not have occurred without the actions of the defendant. The time between the death of the decedent and the defendant’s actions does not matter as long as it can be proven that the actions of the defendant lead to the person’s death.

If it can be proven that the defendant is partially responsible for the death of the deceased person, then he or she may be found to have contributory or comparative negligence. Damages could be awarded based on the percentage of negligence that can be attributed to the deceased person. There may not be any grounds for a lawsuit if the defendant failed to get medical care, and that lead to his or her death.

Wrongful Death Damages

There are several ways that damages can be calculated. Because damages can be awarded in a variety of areas, each one has to be carefully examined. The defendant may also be required to pay punitive damages. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate the family members of the victim, but they are designed to punish the defendant. Punitive damages are only awarded if the defendant is grossly or intentionally negligent. Head over to our Types of damages page to learn more.

If a loved one was killed during the commission of a crime, you may qualify from State Assistance, through a fund called the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund. Visit the Attorney General – Crime Victims Compensation to learn more.

More Information

Personal Injury Damages
Types of Damages
Types of Compensatory Damages
Negligence Overview

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The submission of information to Funk & Associates (“The Firm”) or one of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship, and the receipt of said information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  This website presents general information which is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such.  Contacting Funk & Associates does not, and should not, prohibit you in any way from seeking legal advice regarding this or any other matter.  This Firm makes no representations, material or implied, of any statute of limitations which may or may not exist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a statute of limitations on a wrongful death suit?
You must file a suit for wrongful death no later than two years after the death of the injured person. There are some more complicated exceptions to this rule, such as if you only reasonably discovered the negligence after the death, you may be able to begin the two year statute on the discovery of the negligence. There are other exceptions for minors. Contact a personal injury lawyer to understand your rights which are specific to your case.

How do you prove wrongful death?
You have to prove that the Defendant’s wrongful act caused the deceased person’s death and that you are a statutory beneficiary of the deceased person.

How long does it take to settle a wrongful death suit?
Unfortunately, there is no set time frame in settling a wrongful death case.

Can a family member sue for wrongful death?
Parents, children, and the spouse of the deceased can sue for wrongful death. If none of the individuals entitled to bring an action for wrongful death have begun the action within three calendar months after the death of the deceased, then the executor or administrator shall bring and prosecute the action unless requested not to by all those individuals.