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Abilene Wrongful Death Lawyers

wrongful death attorneys in abilene tx

Losing a loved one is never easy. If another person’s negligence causes the loss, it can be particularly hard to bear. The Abilene wrongful death lawyers at Ketterman Rowland & Westlund understand the emotional and financial repercussions of a family member’s untimely passing. Funeral expenses, hospital bills, lost wages and other unforeseen costs can add a great deal of stress to your life. However, you should know that Texas law allows you to pursue damages through a wrongful death claim.

Our wrongful death attorneys in Abilene help victims and their families to pursue compensation for the harms done to them. As one of the largest personal injury law firms in Texas, we have extensive experience, unwavering dedication and extensive resources that we can use to seek justice for you and your family. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can serve you.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim arises when a person dies due to the careless, reckless or intentional wrongdoing of another individual, company or government agency. A wrongful death claim seeks to compensate eligible surviving family members of a deceased individual for the harm caused by the loved one’s untimely passing. Some of the more common causes of wrongful death in Abilene are:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
  • Dangerous property conditions
  • Construction site accidents
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Asbestos exposure (mesothelioma)
  • Oil field accidents.

If a person dies because of the negligence of another person or entity, his or her death is considered wrongful and, in turn, compensable. In these instances, it is always wise for the victim’s family members to consult with an Abilene wrongful death attorney regarding their options for a recovery.

Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim in Abilene?

Texas law establishes who can file a wrongful death claim after a loved one’s death. The victim’s surviving spouse, children or parents may file a claim – either individually or as a group. A child may file a claim following a parent’s death even if he or she is an adult, or age 18 or older. A child who was legally adopted is also eligible to file a claim based on an adoptive parent’s wrongful death, and adoptive parents may file a claim based on the adoptive child’s death. Siblings and grandparents cannot file a claim.

Timing is important in a Texas wrongful death claim. If the surviving spouse, children or parents do not file a claim within three months after a loved one’s death, then the executor of the victim’s estate (or personal representative) may file the claim. However, family members who are eligible to file a claim can move to block that lawsuit.

Because of the timing concerns, you should contact the wrongful death attorneys of Ketterman Rowland & Westlund through our Abilene office as soon as you are ready to act after your loved one’s untimely passing.

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.

Our Abilene Wrongful Death Attorneys Are Here for You

If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, our Abilene wrongful death compensation attorneys understand that you may feel angry, upset, hurt and afraid for your future. Our goal is to protect your rights, pursue all compensation you deserve and make the recovery process as easy on you as possible. We can review your case in a free and confidential consultation, and we will charge no costs or legal fees unless we secure a financial recovery for you. To learn more, call or reach us online today.