How Does a Wrongful Death Attorney Protect Your Family’s Rights?
While all family deaths are tragic, they are especially devastating when they are preventable. Whether your family member died from a car accident, medical malpractice, oil field accident, product failure, or another case of wrongful death, you suffered a significant loss.
In addition to the emotionally devastating loss of your loved one, your family is likely to have lost money to medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of income. If your family member died wrongfully, it’s important to understand your rights. A wrongful death attorney from Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. can help you navigate your options.
What Is a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death takes place when the actions, or even inactions, of another person directly cause the death of another. Often, this is a case of negligence. For example, if a bus driver fails to stop at a stop sign and causes a fatal collision, that could be a wrongful death.
Wrongful death cases can also be instances of medical malpractice, defective products, and workplace accidents. To make a wrongful death claim, you must prove your family member wouldn’t have died had it not been for the actions, inaction, or negligence of the liable party.
Wrongful death suits are civil cases. This means you can pursue compensation from the negligent party, but this is separate from any criminal charges they may face.
Which Family Members Have Rights?
Every state has laws determining who can file a wrongful death claim. This right is limited to specific family members. For example, in Texas and New Mexico, those eligible to file a wrongful death claim may include:
- Surviving children
- Surviving spouses
- Surviving parents
Note that in some states stepparents, foster parents, and grandparents cannot file a wrongful death claim, while biological, adoptive, and divorced parents can. Surviving friends, unmarried partners, and siblings of the deceased cannot file a wrongful death claim in Texas.
When these parties are unavailable or unwilling to file a wrongful death suit, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file the claim and collect compensation on behalf of the estate.
What Damages Do Families Have the Right to Receive?
When eligible family members file a wrongful death suit, they may do so together or separately.
It is impossible to put a monetary value on the loss of life, but a wrongful death attorney can guide you through calculating and maximizing your damages.
- Economic damages are calculable financial losses. This might include medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, and loss of inheritance of income.
- Non-economic damages, on the other hand, account for intangible losses. This includes emotional distress, loss of companionship, grief, and loss of care or services.
In cases where an individual intentionally caused the death of your family member, you can also pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages punish the liable party rather than compensate you for particular losses.
How an Attorney Protects Your Rights
When a family member dies wrongfully, contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. You don’t have to take on the burden of pursuing compensation alone. With a skilled attorney at your side, you can simplify this otherwise complex process.
A wrongful death attorney will help you collect evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and file a wrongful death lawsuit if the insurance settlement is too low.
Contact a Skilled Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
When negligent behavior leads to wrongful deaths, families suffer. Work with a wrongful death attorney from Faddoul, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. to pursue compensation for your losses. With over 30 years of experience, this legal team uses its vast industry knowledge to help you hold the negligent party accountable for your family member’s death.
Call 800-433-2408 today to schedule a free consultation.