What Compensation Is Available in an Abilene Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim in Texas seeks to compensate a victim’s family members for the harms caused by the deceased’s death. Damages may include but are not limited to the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the deceased victim’s financial support
- Loss of the deceased victim’s services
- Loss of inheritance
- Emotional pain and suffering (or mental anguish)
- Exemplary damages (in exceptional cases where a willful act or omission or gross negligence causes the death).
The parties can agree how to distribute the proceeds from a wrongful death settlement or ask a court to do it. If a case goes to trial, a judge or jury will distribute the judgment. Two key factors will be the degree to which survivors were financially dependent on the deceased victim and the expenses incurred as a result of the accident and subsequent death.
What is the Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Abilene?
The Texas wrongful death statute of limitations limits the amount of time that you have after a loved one’s death in which to bring a lawsuit. Generally, you must file the lawsuit within two years after your loved one’s death. If you fail to file the lawsuit within that time period, your claim likely would be dismissed.
It is important to point out the difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival claim. The latter is essentially a personal injury claim that survives the victim’s death, and it seeks compensation for damages that the deceased victim suffered as the result of another’s wrongful conduct before the death occurred. For instance, the survival claim may seek compensation for the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Generally, the Texas statute of limitations for a survival claim is two years from the date that the cause of action “accrues,” or when your loved one’s accident and/or injuries occurred.
In some cases, exceptions may apply that extend or even shorten the amount of time that you have to take legal action after a loved one’s death. What is most important is to seek legal help as early as possible in order to ensure that you do not miss the deadline(s) that apply in your case.