What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed by the family members or the estate of a person who has died as a result of someone else’s wrongful conduct. This type of lawsuit is designed to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and to seek compensation for the damages caused by the death of the person.
In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiffs must prove that the death of their loved one was caused by the defendant’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing. This may involve proving that the defendant had a duty of care towards the deceased person, that they breached that duty of care, and that their breach of duty resulted in the death of the person.
The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim may include economic damages (such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost income), as well as non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress). The specific damages that can be recovered will depend on the circumstances of the case and the applicable laws in the jurisdiction where the claim is filed.
It’s important to note that a wrongful death claim is different from a criminal case. In a criminal case, the government prosecutes the defendant for a crime, and if they are found guilty, they may be sentenced to jail time or other penalties. In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiffs are seeking compensation for the damages caused by the death of their loved one, but the defendant is not facing criminal charges.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Weslaco?
In Texas, only certain people are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. The following parties are allowed to bring a wrongful death claim in Weslaco:
- Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased has the right to file a wrongful death claim in Weslaco.
- Children: If the deceased person had children, they may file a wrongful death claim in Weslaco.
- Parents: If the deceased person did not have a spouse or children, their parents may file a wrongful death claim in Weslaco.
- Personal Representative: If none of the above parties file a wrongful death claim within three months of the death, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a claim.
It’s worth noting that stepchildren, stepparents, and siblings are not allowed to file a wrongful death claim in Weslaco unless they meet certain criteria. For example, stepchildren and stepparents can only file a claim if the deceased person legally adopted them. Siblings can file a claim only if they can prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased person.
Steps involved in pursuing a wrongful death claim in Weslaco
- Hire an experienced wrongful death attorney: The first step in pursuing a wrongful death claim in Weslaco is to hire an experienced attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the legal process and help you understand your rights and options.
- Gather evidence: The next step is to gather evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, police reports, witness statements, and any other relevant documents.
- Determine the damages: Your attorney will work with you to determine the damages you are entitled to receive. These may include economic damages (such as medical bills and lost wages) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering).
- File a claim: Your attorney will file a wrongful death claim on your behalf. The defendant will then have an opportunity to respond to the claim.
- Negotiate a settlement: In many cases, wrongful death claims are settled out of court. Your attorney will negotiate with the defendant to reach a fair settlement.
- Go to trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial. Your attorney will represent you in court and present evidence to support your claim.
Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional experience. If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim in Weslaco. However, it’s important to understand who is eligible to file a claim and the steps involved in pursuing a claim. By working with an experienced attorney, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How The Lopez Law Group Can Help
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the Lopez Law Group can help. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys in Weslaco, TX can guide you through the legal process of filing a wrongful death claim in Weslaco and ensure that your rights are protected. We understand how difficult and emotional this process can be, and we are committed to providing compassionate and effective representation to our clients. Contact our Weslaco wrongful death lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you seek justice for your loved one.