Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer
100 Congress Avenue, Suite 2000
Austin, Texas 78701
Losing someone you love due to a case of wrongful death is painful enough, but it is made even worse when the bills start mounting with no financial relief in sight. It is time to seek out competent and experienced legal advice in the Austin area to see if you can file damage claims and get your life back on track.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?
When a person dies as the result of negligence, misconduct or criminal actions perpetrated by another it is considered a wrongful death. There is legal recourse for this in the civil courts, even if the individual responsible is not convicted in a criminal court of law. Bringing evidence to the court in a civil matter is similar to criminal, but the bar is set much lower in regards to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This lower standard makes it much easier to get financial relief for the families of victims.
There are a variety of cases that can brought, such as:
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle and vehicle accidents
- Homicide or manslaughter
- Work-related deaths
- Supervised activity death
- Public transportation accident
- Amusement park death
The case has to be brought before the court by a member of the decedent's estate. A parent, child or spouse are the most likely candidates, but it can be anyone that depends on the decedent for income and support.
Pecuniary and Punitive Damages
Pecuniary damages are simply the financial damages taken on by the survivors and can be anything from:
- Loss of income
- Loss of possible inheritance
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
The jury is expected to award damages based on the recent earnings of the decedent. Punitive damages are only awarded in certain states and must meet very specific standards. The death has to have been caused by such a breach of protocol, procedure or criminal act that it serves as a deterrent for future incidences of a similar nature. An Austin wrongful death lawyer can determine if this damage award is available to you.
How Are Damage Awards Determined?
There are several factors that are looked at to get a complete picture and award a damage amount. A jury will have to look at:
- Income level
- Spending habits
- Dependency claims
- Overall character
Any one or several of these items can make a huge difference in what the jury believes is fair to award in the case of a wrongful death. The court can override an award if they feel it is too little or too much and even set it aside for retrial. This is why it is nearly impossible to give any real estimates as to what will be the actual award.
Survival Actions and Personal Injury
In cases of criminal acts, such as murder, or where the negligence was so serious there can be a personal injury suit brought against the offender for the decedent. The damage award will go to the estate and given to all that are eligible.
How an Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
Every area and case have specifics that can be dealt with best by a local lawyer. A lawyer experienced in wrongful death cases will be aware of time limitations and can get all of the necessary paperwork done correctly. Missing an important document or date can cost you the entire case. Take the time to make sure the lawyer you hire is qualified and has a good track record. You need to feel comfortable that they are putting every effort into helping you and your family financially recover from a devastating loss.
Call the Doan Law Firm at 512-806-0000 and discuss your case with an expert Austin wrongful death lawyer. We have a local office at 100 Congress Avenue, Suite 2000, Austin TX, 78701 and we will take the time to explain the process and find out if you can seek financial recovery for the wrongful death of your loved one.
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