Amarillo Wrongful Death Lawyer
112 SW 8th Avenue, Suite 301
Amarillo, Texas 75219
All of us aspire to a long and healthy life spent with our loved ones.
But unfortunately, as the world’s great religions teach us, death
will eventually come to each of us. When death comes early, and at the
hand of another, our sadness at our loss is made much worse if a death
could have been prevented except for the deliberate actions or carelessness
of another. In such cases, the deceased’s survivors may wish to
consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
The State of Texas considers any death that is caused by the "…
wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default …"
of another person or persons to have been a wrongful death and thus may
be used as the grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against those alleged
to be responsible.
Who has legal standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
The Texas laws that govern wrongful death lawsuits specify who may file
such suits and the time limits under which these lawsuits must be filed.
These laws can be confusing and are best explained by an attorney with
experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Generally, a wrongful death lawsuit
can be filed by:
- The surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased as individuals
or as a group. If any of these, as individuals or as a group, do not file
a lawsuit within three months of the date of death, the executor of the
deceased’s estate or a personal representative of the estate may
file a lawsuit unless asked not to do so by the surviving family.
- The adult children of a deceased parent.
- An adopted child may file a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of an
adoptive parent if the child had been fully and legally adopted before
the date of the parent’s death.
- An adoptive parent may file for the death of an adopted child.
Damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit
In wrongful death lawsuits, damages is the term used to identify some loss
that would not have occurred had the deceased not died prematurely. Damages
that are usually sought in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- All expenses related to the deceased’s medical care that were incurred
prior to death as a result of the fatal injury.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Any wages or other income the deceased would have been expected to earn
over the course of a normal lifespan
- Loss of the deceased’s advice, emotional support, counsel or other care.
- Compensation for the survivors’ emotional trauma and anguish over
the deceased’s death.
If the deceased’s death was caused by a deliberate act, a deliberate
failure to perform an act that could have prevented the death, or by gross
negligence, “exemplary” or “punitive” damages
may be sought and awarded. Such damages are not determined in terms of
a loss experienced by the survivors but are awarded to punish those responsible
for the death and to discourage others from committing the actions that
resulted in the deceased’s death.
In cases where there are multiple surviving family members who are eligible
to be parties to a wrongful death lawsuit, the court hearing the lawsuit
will divide any damages awarded among those surviving family members eligible
to have filed the lawsuit, and in proportion to the damages the court
feels that each family member suffered, even if they were not plaintiffs
in the lawsuit that was filed.
Time limits for filing a wrongful death lawsuit
Texas law states that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two
years of the date of the deceased’s death except in certain narrowly-defined
circumstances. These exceptions are so unusual that they are best discussed
with a wrongful death lawyer.
How an Amarillo wrongful death lawyer can assist the survivors of a wrongful death
The unexpected death of a family member is always a devastating event.
At the Doan Law Firm, our Amarillo wrongful death lawyer understands you
grief and will work with you to bring those responsible for your loss
to justice in a court of law.
When you contact the Amarillo wrongful death lawyer at the Doan Law Firm
– Amarillo, your first consultation is always free of any charge
and does not commit you to hiring our firm. Should you decide to have
our firm manage your wrongful death lawsuit we are willing to handle all
the necessary financial aspects of your lawsuit, such as interviewing
witnesses and arranging for expert testimony, in exchange for a previously
agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we will win for you.
The Doan Law Firm:
112 SW 8th Ave, Suite 301
Amarillo, Texas 79101