Accidents happen every day, and some cost people their lives. Wrongful death describes any time a person dies due to the negligence of another person or entity. Wrongful death is different from homicide – which is the intentional killing of another person – and is usually the result of negligence or recklessness. When the negligent actions of another kill someone in Texas, their surviving loved ones may wish to hire an Austin wrongful death lawyer and seek compensation to help ease their loss.

Money can’t replace a lost loved one. Wrongful death cases are filed in order to hold the responsible party accountable. The survivors may be able to obtain compensation to make up for the income the deceased would have provided, for the loss of love and companionship, and other losses. Sometimes a jury may award punitive damages. If you’ve lost a loved one due to the irresponsible actions of another person or entity, such as a defective product manufacturer or careless property owner, having reliable legal counsel will be invaluable to your claim.

How Do You File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

The person filing the wrongful death claim must be a representative of the survivors. In some cases, it will be the executor of the deceased person’s estate. The candidates for a representative in a wrongful death claim vary by state, but usually include immediate family members – spouses, children, or life partners. If no immediate family exists, then a sibling, parent, or grandparent may file the suit.

Once a representative is appointed, those filing the wrongful death claim will have to determine the guilty party. Some cases are filed against multiple parties.  For more information regarding the process of filing a wrongful death claim in the state of Texas, reach out to the Austin law firm of Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers.

What Compensation Is Available When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

The survivors are left without their deceased loved one’s income, companionship, guidance, and services provided. All are possible damages that can be addressed by a claim filed by your Austin wrongful death attorney. Damages are usually divided into three categories:

  • Economic damages. These would include any financial assets compromised or lost due to the wrongful death. Economic damages may include lost future income, lost benefits and pensions, a compromised inheritance, the value of services or goods provided by the deceased, final medical expenses, and funeral costs.
  • Non-economic damages. The greatest losses from a wrongful death aren’t financial. Non-economic damages describe the intangible, nonfinancial assets lost because of the death. These may include the loss of companionship, love, guidance, training, and the loss of relationship for the surviving spouse or partner.
  • Punitive damages. While not available in wrongful death cases in some states, punitive damages are awarded when the defendant committed seriously heinous offenses, such as nursing home abuse or other illegal behaviors that contributed to or caused the victim’s death.

Determining the appropriate amount of compensation to pursue in a wrongful death claim is difficult, and may require the testimony of industry experts to determine the value of damages. If you’re filing a wrongful death claim, your Austin, TX personal injury attorney should know how to achieve the maximum amount of compensation for you and the other survivors.

Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers | Wrongful Death Lawyers in Austin, TX

Wrongful death cases are never easy and can be some of the most time-consuming and stressful legal battles one can undertake. It’s important to retain the services of a reliable, compassionate legal team that can provide an aggressive pursuit of your rights and will fight to exhaust every avenue of compensation for you and your loved ones. Call the office of Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers at 512-474-7677 or contact us online if you have any questions about wrongful death or would like to schedule an initial consultation.