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A loved one passing away before their time is a tragedy under any circumstances, but it can be particularly traumatic if their death was caused by another person’s negligence. Knowing that another person’s reckless, careless, or illegal conduct is responsible for your loved’ one’s death can feel like an impossible situation to handle alone, which highlights the importance of having legal representation.

Seeking compensation with the help of an injury attorney cannot erase what happened, but working with our legal team to recover damages for financial and personal losses can be key to preserving your family’s stability in the long term. During a private consultation, a San Marcos wrongful death lawyer could answer questions about how these cases work and explain what course of action might best suit your family’s needs.

Time Limits for Wrongful Death Litigation

Like other civil cases governed by personal injury law, wrongful death claims are subject to the strict filing deadline established under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003. According to this statute, anyone who wishes to file suit over a family member’s wrongful death has a maximum of two years after that person’s date of death to begin the litigation process.

Importantly, if someone who would be named as a defendant in wrongful death claim is facing criminal charges related to their actions, prospective plaintiffs do not have to wait until related criminal proceedings conclude to begin pursuing a civil claim. Furthermore, as a knowledgeable attorney in San Marcos could explain, a criminal defendant being acquitted of criminal charges related to a wrongful death does not prevent them from being found civilly liable for that passing.

What Damages Could Be Compensable?

In a wrongful death claim, the eligible beneficiaries of a deceased person, such as their surviving spouse, children, and/or parents may demand financial restitution from someone who causes their loved one’s death through negligent or criminal behavior. If none of these family members file a claim within three months of the decedent’s death or specifically object to a claim being filed, the decedent’s personal representative can pursue compensation for certain losses or setbacks through a wrongful death claim. Specific losses that eligible family members can seek compensation for include:

  • Lost future financial support, such as lost earning capacity and lost inheritance based on presumptive savings
  • Lost household services
  • Lost love and companionship
  • Lost support, advice, maintenance, and care
  • The emotional and psychological suffering of surviving family members

In situations where a wrongful death stemmed from overtly malicious actions or particularly egregious negligence, a court may elect to impose punitive damages against the defendant as well. For example, if a drunk driver caused a fatal car crash, punitive damages might be an option for a decedent’s surviving family members. A wrongful death lawyer in San Marcos could provide more information about what losses a specific claim could potentially incorporate.

A San Marcos Wrongful Death Attorney Could Help

No one deserves to lose a family member to a fatal accident or criminal act, and they absolutely should not have to bear the financial and personal burdens that often come with such a loss. Proactively demanding civil restitution in these situations could help ensure you do not have to shoulder any unnecessary burdens by yourself.

Working with a San Marcos wrongful death lawyer may be key to ensuring your unique case has the best possible end result. Call today to discuss your options.


DC Law

DC Law