legal 1/14/2020 33.) Wrongful Death – gtg

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit When a Loved One Dies Due to the Negligence of Others

In a legal sense, wrongful death is said to have taken place when the negligent behavior of a liable party causes or contributes to the death of another person. But those are just the cold hard facts. Such an abstract legal definition of wrongful death can’t come close to describing the overwhelming feeling of loss that descends a family when they’ve learned that their loved one has been suddenly taken away from them – often with little if any warning. And if the accident that triggered this unfortunate death is the result of the careless behavior of another person or entity, the devastation to everyone in that family is often quite numbing and creates unbearable and sometimes permanent psychological scars in addition to deep financial distress.

Wrongful deaths happen for so many different reasons and in a number of different ways: from a job-related accident to a vehicle wreck at the hands of a drunk driver or the tragic use of a defective product everyone thought was safe; even a sudden birth injury to a newborn. But they all often occur suddenly, and in the blink of an eye. Such an abrupt, shocking and unforeseen loss can leave a bereaved family reeling, and in an emotional fog, as they grasp to deal with their swirling emotions in light of their loved one’s death. The emotional wreckage suffered by some families after a loved one’s wrongful death can make thinking about seeking legal action seem almost out-of-place in the midst of their grief.

And yet, pursuing legal action through a Texas wrongful death lawsuit can become the most important first-step step in a family’s healing process for a number of reasons. Our respected wrongful death attorneys offer some useful information during your time of loss to help clarify why a family should not dismiss out-of-hand a wrongful death lawsuit. We’ll address some of the issues that wrongful death plaintiffs can expect when they embark on such an action, and how an experienced attorney is able to assist you through your time of loss, sorrow and ultimately, recovery: even though you’re just now taking those first few painful steps.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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Don’t allow Grief to Cloud Your Family’s Thinking: Once Things Become Clear, it Might be too Late

Some might think that considering their legal options so soon after a fatal accident is ghoulish and lacks respect for the deceased. But someone has to look out for your grieving family. And we can think of at least two excellent reasons why a bereaved family should begin quickly laying the groundwork for their pursuit of wrongful death legal action after losing a loved one from a needless fatal accident. Planning your quest for proper financial compensation must be begun quickly because you already have opponents who will deny you that right: even if you don’t know it yet. Also, winning justice for your deceased family member can go a long way to putting this tragedy behind you and the rest of your family so you can recover your lives. Many times our wrongful death clients have told us they were uncomfortable embarking on their legal battle so soon after the sudden passing of their beloved family member. But in the end, they all tell us they made the right choice; even if at the time their deliberations were painful and quite awkward.

The stated purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to enable a grieving family to secure compensation for their loss from those responsible for the fatal accident. And even though no amount of money will ever compensate for your loss, it can greatly relieve you and the rest of your family of the many financial burdens and dire economic need that such unexpected tragedies force on a family, like medical costs, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering (both your loved ones along with you and your family). Seeking compensation for wrongful death in Texas is important under virtually any circumstance. But winning this rightful and just compensation is especially critical in cases where a primary wage-earner has died. The financial remedy a family secures can help ensure that they are financially stable in light of their loss and that the sudden lack of money will not add to their emotional ordeal.

The understandable goal of a wrongful death lawsuit is for the negligent liable defendant (or defendants) who are responsible for the fatal accident to be held fully accountable for their callous behavior. And most of the time, a Texas wrongful death civil lawsuit is the only legal means that an aggrieved party has to bring all negligent liable defendants to ultimate justice. The compensation that must be awarded to a plaintiff-family through a successful wrongful death case or insurance claim is often seen as an effective punitive measure. Some even view it as just desserts. A high monetary award will make negligent defendants painfully aware of their actions that caused the death of your loved one. When we take on a wrongful death lawsuit anywhere in Texas, our clients get our supreme effort to ensure that they are properly compensated in addition to making sure that every liable party is held fully accountable. They may not go to jail for what they did, though sometimes fatal accidents do result in criminal charges. But they will pay. Like you, we don’t want to see a similar fatal accident occur in the future due to the same negligent behavior by the same liable defendants. Everyone who is even remotely responsible must be held fully accountable for the grief and pain they’ve caused you and your family.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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How Valid Wrongful Death Insurance Claims and Civil Cases are Applied under Texas Law

Without a clear understanding of our state’s laws and civil procedures, many people in your situation may not be fully aware of whether or not they may be able to seek legal action against a negligent party through a wrongful death lawsuit. So, below is a list of basic conditions; all of which must have existed in order for a wrongful death lawsuit to be pursued:

Your loved one must have died as a result of the negligent behavior of another person or entity. This negligent behavior could have been the direct cause or in legal terms, the proximate cause of the fatal accident. Proximate cause means that the liable party played at least a contributing role in the accident.
Your relative must have a surviving family member or beneficiary who has legal standing to pursue legal action.
Your beloved victim and/or your family must have incurred some form of tangible financial loss a result of the fatal accident, which in a civil case is known as legal damages.
If these basic conditions existed as a result of the accident that claimed the life of your loved one, you, and other members of your family are right to seek legal action against the liable parties through a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. If you are unsure whether or not these circumstances may have existed in regards to your current situation, contact one of our Texas wrongful death attorneys to discuss the merits of your wrongful death case.

Did You Know?
Our lead attorney has been fighting for wrongful death victims` rights for decades. Call us to discuss your case. 1(800) 862-1260

Furthermore, you should also be aware that a civil lawsuit can be pursued regardless of whether or not a liable party is also facing criminal charges since the purposes of each type of case are different. And if criminal charges were considered against any negligent parties, but weren’t filed, that has no bearing on your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.

For example, a distracted driver may strike a pedestrian, resulting in a pedestrian’s death. In most instances, criminal charges will not be brought against the negligent driver. But if the same driver had been drunk at the time of the fatal pedestrian accident, then criminal charges likely would be brought against the driver. In either instance, the driver can still be held civilly liable for their actions through a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas, whether criminal charges were filed or not. And if criminal charges are filed against the liable defendant, regardless of whether that defendant is found guilty or innocent in criminal court, the fact that charges were filed significantly strengthens any civil case you might choose to subsequently file.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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Understanding the Types of Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

“Damages” is the legal term for the financial loss that a victim or a victim’s family incurs as a result of a fatal accident. In Texas, damages in wrongful death lawsuits are separated into two categories known as wrongful death damages and survival damages. And because these damages can be viewed differently by a jury, it’s important that both types of damages are sought in a wrongful death lawsuit so that the bereaved family can be properly compensated for their loss, and the liable defendants held properly accountable for their negligence. There are two general types of damages.

Wrongful death damages are those directly incurred by family members who have lost a loved one due to a fatal accident. Recovery of wrongful death damages can be sought by multiple immediate family members such as a spouse, parents, or children, either through separate lawsuits or – more commonly – a single action. Wrongful death damages will often, but not always, include compensation for items such as the deceased family member’s medical bills prior to death and funeral expenses. But wrongful death damages can also include family members’ pain and suffering due to their loss, loss of financial support that had been provided by the decedent and loss of consortium (or unique familial love that is lost). And if the beloved family member was in business with some of his or her survivors, loss of professional consortium can also be sought

Survival damages, on the other hand, relate to the damages that the decedent incurred or would have incurred had they survived the accident. And in this case, only one family member can seek survival damages since that family member effectively acts as a proxy for their deceased relative in a wrongful death case in Texas. It should be noted, however, that the family member who seeks survival damages can also seek wrongful death damages. But only the closest living family member has the first right to seek survival damages: usually the spouse. But if the spouse is absent, or does not file a civil suit, the children (from oldest to youngest) are next in line. However, a son or daughter who files for survival damages must be “of legal age” (18) because minor children do not normally have legal standing in Texas. After that come the parents of the deceased loved one, then maybe a sibling. But again, only one family member can file a survival damage lawsuit.

Survival damages can include financial compensation for things such as a deceased family member’s medical bills that would have been presented to them had they lived, their lost wages due to time off from work while injured, their pain and suffering, their mental or emotional duress in the accident, the compensatory value of their disfigurement or possible long-term injury, and the value of any damage to the decedent’s property as a result of the accident, such as an automobile or anything of value that was in the vehicle at the time of the accident. But computing the value of these amounts is seldom easy, especially for one who is not well-versed in establishing the value of such losses or projected but unrealized amounts.

A non-attorney or one with little legal experience may not appreciate the full extent of damages that should be requested of a deceased family member’s survivors. But with over two decades of experience in wrongful death cases throughout Texas, the wrongful death lawyers with our Law Firm have a long reputation for success and depth of knowledge to correctly calculate damages and substantiate their inclusion into a wrongful death lawsuit or insurance claim. If all of those damages suffered by a bereaved family are not properly calculated or included in their civil action, that unfortunate family stands a very poor chance of realizing full and fair compensation for their loss, and a negligently liable defendant may very well escape guilt that would demand they pay, for the part he or she played in a fatal Texas accident.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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On-the-Job Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Texas Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Work-related fatalities involve specific Texas work injury laws. And about half of these tragic work-related events might involve workers’ compensation insurance, in which case your beloved family member’s employer status relative to workers’ comp must be quickly established when planning any wrongful death civil action. An employer covered by workers’ comp in Texas is immune to lawsuits, with one particular exception. If a worker is killed due to gross negligence by their employer, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against that employer.

A Texas wrongful death lawyer’s experience with both wrongful death cases and fatal work accident cases is a vital element when seeking compensatory justice against such a negligent employer. But the standard of proof is quite high if you are to establish a subscribing employer’s clear guilt of gross negligence. In the event that an employee dies while working for an employer protected by workers’ comp in which the employer only exercised standard negligence, a bereaved family can seek direct compensation for their loss only through the workers’ compensation insurance policy. But that amount is not likely to fully reimburse family members for the total lost income, or other damages from the fatal accident.

This is where the fatal work injury attorneys with our Law Firm begin to quickly investigate the accident in order to find other liable parties who may have been involved in some way, even if it was not overt, in contributing to the accident. This “third party” involvement is quite common in fatal workplace accidents. In instances where multiple parties bear liability for the death of a worker, a bereaved family may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit against every one of the “third” liable parties, in addition to filing for compensation through the workers’ comp policy that is carried by your family member’s employer. But there are also times when fatal injury accidents in the workplace are caused by defective products or machinery, which exposes the manufacturers to a possibly defective product lawsuit.

All of these issues can be quite challenging for those with little to no legal experience. But a well well-trained and experienced wrongful death attorney with our Law Firm is ready to use all his knowledge and skill to work for you so your loved one will not have died in vain.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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The Daunting Challenges Posed by Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Civil Actions

Medical malpractice is another sub-category of wrongful death lawsuits. However, recent tort reform in Texas has made it significantly more difficult, but not impossible, for wrongful death survivors to win legal compensation through a malpractice lawsuit. While tort reform was intended to prevent frivolous lawsuits from tying up our state’s court system, it also made it very complicated for legitimate malpractice plaintiffs to win compensation from negligent medical professionals. And if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, damage caps now exist on amounts that may be recovered against one single medical malpractice defendant.

This means that a bereaved family may not be able to secure a fair compensation amount for their loss that is truly commensurate to their actual incurred damages if their lawsuit is limited to one offending healthcare provider. And though damage caps and other complications surrounding medical malpractice do make it more difficult to win fair judgments, there is still a way for families of those who have suffered wrongful death to recover fair recompense Like with on-the-job wrongful deaths, When we investigate a malpractice claim that has resulted in a wrongful death, we work to identify all liable parties. So if there are three identified defendants, the likelihood of receiving a more appropriate total compensation amount is much better.

We also must share with you the fact that many attorneys no longer accept plaintiff medical malpractice claims or cases because of their challenging nature in the wake of recent tort reform, in addition to the many complicated technical aspects often involved in such wrongful death lawsuits. But our Texas wrongful death lawyers are familiar with all of the intricacies that come with medical malpractice cases. And we are fully prepared to help you seek full, fair and proper compensation for your family’s loss due to the negligence of a medical professional that led to the untimely death of your loved one.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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You, Will Face Many Challenges When Pursuing Wrongful Death Civil Action

Most wrongful death lawsuits begin with survivors filing a claim against a defendant’s liability insurance policy. Since wrongful death often results in a large number of damages being incurred by both the decedent and the decedent’s family, the insurance coverage that is likely to pay these damages from a wrongful death lawsuit may be worth a very large amount of money.

This is why an insurer that holds such a large policy will likely do whatever it can to avoid being held financially responsible for paying out such a sizable sum. This coldhearted behavior, even if the evidence clearly proves the insured party was negligent in causing the wrongful death rarely changes; regardless of the bereaved family’s obvious need for proper compensation. This is a prominent reason why your wrongful death case requires aggressive legal representation in order to work against a liable party’s insurer.

These insurers (along with their adjusters and the lawyers who defend the insurance companies in court) typically attempt to pass the blame for a fatal accident onto any other party that may have been involved in the accident. They will even resort to calling your loved one’s actions, or lifestyle, into question in the hopes of having the claim completely denied. Unless you and your Texas wrongful death lawyer have meticulously built a strong case with relevant evidence that can speak on your loved one’s behalf, an insurer may be able to wiggle out of liability for a fatal accident and get them off the hook of paying no compensation whatsoever. This means justice against the insured negligent defendant who is denied, and he too is off the hook for the accidental death of your loved one. With over two decades of experience in taking-on these types of insurers, our Law Firm is well-acquainted with their methods and tactics and knows how to counter every one of them. This means that you’re treated fairly by the insurance companies that have no interest at all in anything other than keeping their money.

Additionally, as we’ve already told you, the longer you wait to contact an experienced local wrongful death lawyer, the more harm you may unintentionally be doing to your case. Evidence can disappear, or can even be removed by those who wish to avoid being held accountable for their actions. Witnesses can become increasingly difficult to track down. Or they may forget critical details in connection to the fatal accident. Or they may have been “encouraged” by defendants to forget, or they might disappear altogether. This is why it is critical for investigators to be on the scene of a fatal accident as soon as possible after it has occurred, which is why it is equally important that you not hesitate in calling a Texas wrongful death lawyer if you want to build a strong legal case toward fair compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death..

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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Texas Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Legal Actions

Time itself can also be a challenge to wrongful death lawsuits. For instance, the statute of limitations for a Texas wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. While this timeline can be extended in certain situations surrounding gross negligence, or if criminal charges have been filed against the liable party, a victim’s family most often only has two years to seek legal action against that defendant. While this may sound like a long time, it really isn’t, when a thorough investigation must be conducted. It is not unusual for a full investigation to take as long as a year in some circumstances, or if there is a large number of liable parties who must be investigated before determining which ones are truly liable. In addition, all defendants need to have their assets researched in order to assure that they can pay the damages they will owe you and your family once they have been judged to be guilty.

However, there are some exceptions to this statute. But they all involve unusual circumstances. Below is a brief explanation of some of them.

A wrongful death claim on behalf of a minor child can not begin until the child is of legal age. The two-year statute of limitations, therefore, does not start to count down until the child’s 18th birthday. For example, if a 15-year-old child lost their father in a work-related accident, that child’s claim would be extended until two years after they are of legal age (their 30th birthday). Generally, a minor child has no legal standing to file any civil suit in Texas until they turn 18. There are is an exception where a minor child’s case can be heard before he or she is of legal age. A parent can file a civil case on behalf of the child. But the court will appoint an ad litem (a non-biased, third-party attorney) who will review the terms of the settlement or jury verdict to determine that the resolution was fair and in the best interest of the child. This keeps family members and other parties from appropriating the child’s damage award for their own interests.

Texas wrongful death cases are subject to the “discovery rule” which states that the two years do not begin a reasonably prudent person would have known that they had a cause of action. A perfect example if such differences would be to compare a fatal construction accident injury and a fatal injury in a pharmaceutical case. Liability in a construction accident usually doesn’t take very long to determine if someone’s negligence leads to the death of a loved one since the discovery process (investigation) begins relatively quickly.

However, imagine that someone takes a prescription drug for a long period of time and dies due to complications from that drug. Then, a few years after this death, it is determined that the drug was defective and caused that loved one’s death. One of the decedent’s family members – typically the spouse – would more than likely be able to file a claim even though the standard two-year statute of limitations window had closed. The idea behind this is that the plaintiff did not know that they had a case until years later: which rightfully extends the statute.

In cases where the defendant deliberately concealed involvement in wrongful death, the statute may be extended to allow the family of the deceased to pursue civil action against the defendant once this concealment comes to light. In some situations, concealment may be criminal. Or the concealment may have been part of a larger conspiracy among two or more defendants. And when a defendant must answer criminal charges for wrongful death, it regularly strengthens your wrongful death civil case, even if the defendant is ultimately exonerated in criminal court.

If a plaintiff has suffered some physical or mental incapacity that keeps them from responding within the standard two-year statute of limitations, the statute may be extended to accommodate the defendant if there is a prognosis for future recovery. For example, if a man and his wife are involved in a car accident and the man dies but the wife goes into a coma for three years, her statute of limitations would likely be extended due to the fact that she was mentally or physically incapacitated and unable to participate in her wrongful death claim on behalf of her husband.

There are a few even more obscure exceptions to our state’s wrongful death statutes. So when you are in the process of interviewing potential attorneys to represent you, reserve a few moments to visit with each lawyer and ask them to help you understand how the statute of limitations might apply to your specific wrongful death claim or case, and if any exceptions might apply.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Are Waiting to Help You – Now

We truly understand why you and your family’s suffering after the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death is probably the most devastating experience you will have to endure. The pain and heartbreak of your family, the loss of income, the avalanche of bills and the fact that life still must go on (and those bills still need to be paid) always make a tragic wrongful accidental death to a family member overwhelming to the survivors. We know that you’re going through a very dark period right now, and we want to help you make sure that the negligent behavior – whether it’s by one, or several liable defendants – does not create even more emotional and financial stress for your family: today or in the future. And we know you also don’t want another family to have to endure the same sad fate in the future because these negligent parties are not called to legally account for their actions.

With a successful track record in wrongful death cases across the state, our wrongful death lawyer and his associates at our Texas Law Firm can help you win fair compensation and seek justice for your loved one’s untimely death. Our reputation is both respected and well-known by both insurance companies and their defense attorneys. This means that once we’ve taken the case and created strong arguments that can be used in court to justify your full, fair compensation claim, the insurance companies will often decide that it’s better to negotiate in good faith with us and pay a fair out-of-court settlement. That means your wrongful death suit won’t have to go through a painful ordeal of a trial, and your family can begin to put its life back together, but with greater financial security. And yet, if a trial is the only way to fully defend your and your deceased loved one’s rights, we are always prepared to fight for you in court as well. And the insurance companies know that too.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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What is the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations? The Texas Attorneys from our Law Firm Explain

Our Attorney is equipped to work within the framework of the law to bring those who are responsible to justice, in a timely matter. The grieving process is important, too, but there is a limited amount of time that person or family will have to file a wrongful death claim and it is vital to file such a claim as soon as possible after the loss is suffered.

Simply stated, a statute of limitations spells out the period of time during which legal action can be taken. In most wrongful death cases the plaintiffs have a two-year statute of limitations. Essentially, that means that the claim must be resolved within that two year period from the time of death or a lawsuit must be filed within that two year period, since filing a lawsuit will extend the deadline further.

One event that affects your chance to recover damages occurred when the Texas legislature passed another round of Tort Reform in the spring of 2011, which became law on September 1 of that same year.

The law also creates a new procedural rule for Texas courts. For the first time, there will be a “motion to dismiss” for meritless claims before parties can go through the often expensive and time-consuming discovery process. Such a rule already exists in federal court. If a judge grants that motion to dismiss, the losing party will have to pay the other’s attorney’s fees.

What this means to your case can be summed up thusly:

If you wait before beginning any personal injury legal process, the clock could begin ticking from the day the accident that caused the fatal injuries to your loved one occurred. So let’s say you wait a year while you and your family arduously debated whether or not to file a wrongful death negligence suit. Then, at the beginning of that second year, you retain an attorney who must immediately begin an investigation: one that will be very complicated because the trail has already grown cold and it ends up moving at a snail’s pace. Then, as the date in which your statute of limitations runs out, there are still vital details that remain unknown or still undiscovered. This forces us to quickly file a lawsuit based on incomplete evidence, just to get your case heard, even if it’s weak.

Your opponents can ask the court to file a summary judgment based on our still-incomplete discovery process. Then the court reviews the evidence collected so far and rules that the suit has “no merit on its face” and dismisses (but without prejudice, which means if new evidence comes in you can re-file). But that option becomes moot shortly thereafter since the statute of limitations runs out. Even if you come up with “smoking gun” evidence a day after it expires, you cannot re-file PLUS, you (and we) are forced to pay any legal expenses of the defendants for their time and effort in fighting the weak case we were forced to file.

There are other aspects of the most recent rounds of tort reform that could also affect your case should you delay your decision to request wrongful death (or other personal injury damage relief) through a civil suit. Our injury attorneys can explain them to you. But the bottom line is this: if you wait to make up your mind, your mind will be made-up for you. And that’s never good.

Put our experience to work for you, today! If you want to know what your rights are, and how Texas Statute of Limitations laws affect you and your surviving family members after the accidental death of a loved one, even if the events or time-frame for filing your lawsuit are unclear, we can help you understand the best way to proceed with your claim, how much compensation you can reasonably expect to secure, and the right time to spring into action against the negligent defendants and their well-funded insurers and attorneys.

We can answer every one of your questions and share the likely strategy to produce the rightful compensation you have a right to claim, in addition to “hanging back” and waiting for the right moment. In the words of Sun Tsu, “Make no battle until the outcome is foregone and favorable.” Because sometimes, waiting and preparing is the best strategy.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our Texas Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you and your family during your time of grief and doubt.

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Exceptions to the Two Year Statute of Limitations
There are, however, exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations:

When the Plaintiff is a Minor Child.
A wrongful death claim on behalf of a minor child can not expire until the child is of legal age. The two-year statute of limitations, therefore, does not start to count down until the child’s 18th birthday. For example, if a 15-year-old child lost their father in a work-related accident, that child’s claim would be extended until two years after they are of legal age (their 20th birthday). Generally, a minor child has no legal standing to file any civil suit in Texas until they turn 18.

Even so, a minor child is not restricted to waiting until they turn 18 to pursue a wrongful death claim. A parent or guardian can pursue the claim on behalf of the minor child. This is usually a better idea than waiting because the evidence necessary to win a wrongful death case will usually vanish long before the child becomes of legal age.

When a parent or guardian pursues a wrongful death case on behalf of a minor child, the court will appoint an ad litem (a non-biased, third-party attorney) who will review the terms of the settlement or jury verdict to determine that the resolution was fair and in the best interest of the child. This keeps family members and other parties from helping themselves to the child’s claim. Once the case is resolved, the money is put into the court’s registry and is made available for the child when they come of legal age. The ad litem legal representative is also allowed to invest this child’s money, under certain clear circumstances and only with the supervision (and at the discretion) of the court.

When the Defendants or Their Negligence Were Unknown

Wrongful death cases in Texas are subject to the “discovery rule” which states that the two years do not begin to run until the time that a reasonably prudent person would have known that they had a cause of action. A perfect example if the differences in this discovery rule would be to compare a fatal construction accident injury and a fatal injury in a pharmaceutical case. Wrongful death from a construction accident usually doesn’t take very long to determine if someone’s negligence lead to the death of your loved one. So the discovery process usually begins relatively quickly.

But on the other hand, imagine that a person takes a pharmaceutical drug and dies due to complications from taking that drug. Then, ten years after this death it is determined that the drug was defective and that this defect was a direct cause of that loved one’s death. One of the decedent’s family members – typically the spouse – would more than likely be able to file a claim even though the standard two-year window had expired. The idea behind this is that the plaintiff did not know that they had a case until years later: which would, therefore, extend the statute of limitations.

Put our experience to work for you, today! If you want to know what your rights are, and how Texas Statute of Limitations laws affect you and your surviving family members after the accidental death of a loved one, even if the events or time-frame for filing your lawsuit are unclear, we can help you understand the best way to proceed with your claim, how much compensation you can reasonably expect to secure, and the right time to spring into action against the negligent defendants and their well-funded insurers and attorneys.

We can answer every one of your questions and share the likely strategy to produce the rightful compensation you have a right to claim, in addition to “hanging back” and waiting for the right moment. In the words of Sun Tsu, “Make no battle until the outcome is foregone and favorable.” Because sometimes, waiting and preparing is the best strategy.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our Texas Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you and your family during your time of grief and doubt.

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Fraud and How the Statute of Limitations Can Be Extended Once it is Discovered

In cases where the defendant deliberately concealed their involvement or culpability in a person’s death, the statute may be extended to allow the family of the deceased to pursue civil action against the defendant. In some situations, this concealment may be criminal. Or the concealment may have been part of a larger criminal enterprise. When this happens, the defendant may also be subject to criminal charges in addition to civil charges. And when a defendant must answer criminal charges as well, it invariably strengthens that criminal case, even if the defendant is ultimately exonerated in criminal court.

If a plaintiff has suffered some physical or mental incapacity that keeps them from responding within the standard two-year statute of limitations, the statute may be extended to accommodate the defendant. For example, if a man and his wife are involved in a car accident and the man dies but the wife goes into a coma for three years, her statute of limitations would likely be extended due to the fact that she was mentally or physically incapacitated and was unable to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of her husband.

Getting Past the Opposition to win Your Damage Case or Claim

Aside from the fact that the defendant is walking a tightrope during the period of risk between the negligent accident, so too is the defendant’s insurance company. But if circumstances suspend that statute of limitations longer than the two years, your opponents have even more time to prepare their defense during a time when they know they are at-risk, while you and your attorney don’t. Given enough time, they can make a lot of evidence go away, misplace vital documents and further cloud the evidence you need to create a strong negligence case against the defendants.

The insurance companies are usually the ones who will pay injury damages. And they can hide behind excellent lawyers: either on-staff or on permanent retainer. They know many tricks in the legal-book to avoid paying accident victims’ legitimate damage claims. And in cases that might not be argued for several years, they’ve had plenty of time to prepare for their day in court. So their strategies will be well-thought-out and their tactics perfected. When their insurance clients are forced to pay, they fight just as hard to make that compensation check due you – the plaintiff – is as small as possible.

Having a wrongful death lawyer on your side, as soon as possible, increases your odds of a successful wrongful death lawsuit because time-and-again, effective investigations are the keys to that success. And it should begin as soon as you suspect negligence in this wrongful death. Since our Law Firm collects its fees on a contingency basis, the cost of this investigation, and other legal services in the interest of your case is nothing. And we don’t take the case unless we believe there is a reasonable chance of success. So what do you have to lose: even if it will be a long time before you receive your damage award? It’s better to have a wrongful death lawyer on your side and not need one, than the other way around.

The Wrongful Death Attorneys at our Texas Law Firm Stand Ready to Help You: and we can Patiently Wait with You for our Day in Court

Wrongful death cases should not be handled by inexperienced law firms. The wrongful death lawyers of our Law Firm have decades of experience in successfully litigating wrongful death claims: even if it takes years to do it, with the permission of the court to extend your statute of limitations.

Put our experience to work for you, today! If you want to know what your rights are, and how Texas Statute of Limitations laws affect you and your surviving family members after the accidental death of a loved one, even if the events or time-frame for filing your lawsuit are unclear, we can help you understand the best way to proceed with your claim, how much compensation you can reasonably expect to secure, and the right time to spring into action against the negligent defendants and their well-funded insurers and attorneys.

We can answer every one of your questions and share the likely strategy to produce the rightful compensation you have a right to claim, in addition to “hanging back” and waiting for the right moment. In the words of Sun Tsu, “Make no battle until the outcome is foregone and favorable.” Because sometimes, waiting and preparing is the best strategy.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at our Texas Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free consultation, and find out how we can help you and your family during your time of grief and doubt.

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