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Death is an inevitable part of life, but this cold truth does not ease the suffering of losing a loved one, especially when our friends and family pass as a result of reckless, negligent, or even intentional behavior. During these trying times, grief is the natural and appropriate reaction, accompanied by confusion, anger, and overwhelming frustration. But if an individual’s death was caused by another person or entity, it is important to determine the facts surrounding the situation in order to seek justice for the departed and closure for the bereaved.

From a legal perspective, wrongful death refers to an individual’s passing based on the willful or negligent behavior of another individual or entity. Wrongful deaths most commonly come as the result of medical malpractice, criminal activity, motor vehicle accidents, defective products, or work-related fatalities. The goal of filing suit is to seek damages related to lost wages, mental anguish, and loss of support. The three primary forms of wrongful death cases include the following:

  • Negligence refers to the fact that a defendant failed to exhibit proper care or behavior, which led to the victim’s death. One example would be a vehicle collision that resulted in a fatality. This is the most common type of wrongful death case that we see at Crosley Law Firm.
  • Intentional wrongful death cases involve the defendant purposefully attempting and succeeding in killing the deceased.
  • Strict liability torts are those in which parties were responsible for the creation, distribution, etc. of a defective product, and use of that product led to the victim’s death. This is another common type of case that we handle at Crosley Law Firm.

The first step in pursuing a wrongful death claim is to hire a qualified law firm to represent the bereaved. Make absolutely sure that you feel comfortable with the attorneys who will be representing you, and look into their track record in cases such as these. There are dozens of specialties within the law profession, meaning that certain firms will be more experienced and adept at handling wrongful death cases. It’s also important to know that most defendants will be far more likely to settle for a favorable sum with an experienced wrongful death attorney who possesses an excellent track record. The attorneys at Crosley Law Firm have a long and successful history of pursuing wrongful death claims.

Once you have retained qualified and skilled representation, your legal team will perform an investigation aimed at determining which individuals or entities bear legal responsibility. They also may assist in arranging the appointment of the proper personal representative for the estate, and ensuring that the probate estate has been opened when required. Your attorney will also create a discovery strategy that lays out which witnesses will be identified or subpoenaed, and what documents or other information will need to be obtained to prove the case.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, a wrongful death attorney may seek the following damages:

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  • Economic loss, including lost earnings, lost financial support, funeral and burial costs, etc.
  • Non-economic loss, such as loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and mental anguish suffered.
  • Survival damages, which include compensation for all damages that occurred between the onset of the incident and the victim’s death.
  • Punitive damages, which in the most egregious cases may seek to punish especially reprehensible behavior financially to discourage other defendants from committing similar acts.

In the state of Texas, the spouse, parents, or children of the deceased can file a wrongful death suit, but siblings may not. It is also important to remember that the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit in Texas is generally two years from the incident that caused the death. Because of the background work involved, however, most attorneys prefer to begin the preparation of a wrongful death case much sooner than this, so the sooner you begin this often lengthy process, the better.

At Crosley Law Firm, our attorneys possess a wealth of knowledge and experience handling wrongful death cases. We empathize with our clients’ unique circumstances and work to mitigate the stress and turmoil of executing civil action while you are already enduring indefinable grief. We offer free consultations and a “no fee” policy so that our clients do not pay legal fees unless a settlement is reached or the case is successfully litigated in court. Please call us at 210-LAW-3000 or submit your case online for a free review to learn more about the Crosley approach or to schedule your free consultation.

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