Facts About Wrongful Death Claims in Austin, TX.
Losing a loved one is never easy, but the anguish is compounded when the death was a direct result of someone else’s negligence. Your emotions alternate between sadness, anger, and disbelief, and you want justice. Filing a wrongful death claim is one such way to seek justice on behalf of your loved one. Get some fast facts about wrongful death claims in Austin, TX, and then contact a lawyer for a consultation.
You Must Meet the Requirements to File a Claim
Parents, spouses, and children can legally file wrongful death claims in Austin. That includes legally adopted children and adoptive parents. However, brothers and sisters cannot file claims. If your brother or sister has passed away due to someone else’s negligence, you’ll need to talk to your parents, your sibling’s spouse or child to file the claim.
You Must File a Claim Before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out
Texas law gives you two years from the date of death to file a claim. However, there are four exceptions to the statute of limitations. You will have a longer time to file if you were unable to file due to illness or injury, or you were a minor when the wrongful death occurred. The court will also extend the statute of limitations if the person who caused the death committed fraud or if his or her role in the death wasn’t known at the time. If the statute of limitations has passed, but you think you meet the guidelines for an extension, speak to an Austin wrongful death attorney.
The Court Might Award Three Types of Damages
Plaintiffs can be awarded economic damages, such as burial expenses, and non-economic damages, including mental anguish. In some cases, plaintiffs are also eligible for punitive damages. These damages are awarded when the court determines the defendant willfully caused the death or acted with gross negligence. The damages are awarded to punish the defendant and prevent such actions from occurring again. This is a way for the court to send a message to other Austin residents. Your Austin wrongful death attorney will let you know the likelihood of recovering punitive damages after examining the evidence.
You Might Be Eligible to File a Survival Claim As Well
If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, you might be eligible to file a survival claim as well. A survival claim is similar to a personal injury lawsuit. This claim allows the deceased’s estate to recover damages that the victim would have been eligible for had he or she survived. Survival damages might include pain, suffering, and mental anguish that the person experienced before death. An experienced Austin wrongful death attorney can determine if you are eligible to file a survival claim along with a wrongful death lawsuit.
Speak to an Austin, TX, Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death cases are complicated, so you should seek legal counsel. Schedule a consultation with Austin wrongful death attorney Steven C. Lee & Associates to go over your options.