Wrongful Death – Frequently Asked Questions
An accidental death is a tragedy that strikes far too many families in East Texas. When that loss stems from factors that could have been prevented, the emotional impact can be devastating. Along with the emotional scars, many families must deal with the financial hardships that come with such a loss, especially if the family loses its primary income earner.
At The Flowers Law Firm, we hope to provide victims of wrongful death an open ear and a sense that justice will prevail. As your wrongful death attorney in Tyler, Texas, we work with clients to ensure that they receive full justice for such an avoidable loss.
Q1: What exactly is a “wrongful death”?
A1: Texas law (Section 71.001) states that a wrongful death occurs when the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party leads to the death of another party.
Q2: Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
A2: The parents, spouse, or children, including adult children, of the deceased are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Adoptive parents can also file wrongful death cases for the loss of their adopted children, and vice versa. An experienced wrongful death attorney in Tyler, Texas, can inform you if you are eligible to start a case.
Q3: Is there a time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
A3: Texas law requires that any wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the deceased person’s death, with very few and very specific exceptions. A wrongful death lawyer in Tyler, Texas, who is well-versed in these exceptions can tell you if you qualify.
Q4: How does a criminal case against the party affect my wrongful death lawsuit?
A4: A criminal prosecution against the parties responsible for a wrongful death often has very little impact on a civil wrongful death lawsuit. Each case is handled by different attorneys, different judges, and different court systems. However, the evidence revealed in a criminal case can be highly useful in a civil lawsuit. Your wrongful death attorney in Tyler, Texas, can show you how this works.
Q5: What’s the difference between a wrongful death claim and a “survival” claim?
A5: The intent of a wrongful death claim is for the deceased’s family to receive compensation for a preventable death due to another party’s negligence. The intent of a survival claim is to recover damages that the deceased incurred between the time of their injury and their death. A survival claim can include factors such as pain and suffering and funeral expenses. A wrongful death attorney at the Flowers Law Firm can explain the differences in greater detail.
Q6: My spouse died on the job. Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit against their employer?
A6: Maybe. The laws surrounding wrongful death claims against employers depends on several factors, such as who was at fault and whether the employer had worker’s compensation insurance. For instance, if the deceased’s employer participated in a workers’ compensation plan, you may not be eligible to file a wrongful death suit. Your wrongful death attorney in Tyler, Texas, can determine if you are eligible to pursue a case against the employer.
Q7: My child was injured when they were hit by a drunk driver. The family filed a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. The child later died from their injuries. Can I still file a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver?
A7: Yes. When a person dies from their injuries, a wrongful death lawyer in Tyler, Texas, can help to change the status of the case from a personal injury lawsuit to a wrongful death case. The process can be complicated and emotionally harrowing, so you should count on an experienced attorney to guide you through it.
Q8: I keep getting letters and phone calls from insurance companies telling me that I should follow their processes and avoid talking to an attorney. Why do they say that?
A8: Insurance companies, like all businesses, live by their bottom lines. When an insurance company faces the possibility of paying out a large wrongful death claim, they put their adjusters and attorneys to work to fight it. When you call a wrongful death attorney in Tyler, Texas, you have someone who will fight on your side.
Q9: What kinds of damages could I possibly get from a wrongful death lawsuit?
A9: The types of compensation vary by the relationship between the deceased and the survivors. For instance, a spouse can sue for damages such as:
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earnings
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
You can get answers about your specific case when you call the wrongful death lawyer in Tyler, Texas, at The Flowers Law Firm.
Q10: How do I pay for a wrongful death lawsuit?
A10: The wrongful death attorney and staff at The Flowers Law Firm are only compensated when we get money for our clients, either through a jury verdict or an out-of-court settlement. We also offer a FREE initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.
If you have lost someone you love due to a wrongful death, call The Flowers Law Firm at 903-965-2000. Our friendly staff will ask you a few questions about your case and connect you to an attorney who can help you with your wrongful death lawsuit.