What you Should Do if a Loved One has Died in an Accident
When an individual dies in an accident, he or she can leave significant expenses for his or her immediate family. These expenses can include the victim’s medical bills, his or her funeral costs, and the financial fallout of the death, such as the loss of his or her salary and insurance benefits as well as his or her personal contributions to the household. On top of these expenses, the victim’s surviving loved ones often have to face the mental trauma of losing the victim’s companionship, guidance, and love.
Family members of accident victims can seek compensation for these damages through wrongful death claims. Like with personal injury claims, individuals pursuing wrongful death claims must demonstrate that their loved ones died as the result of other parties’ negligence and that the deaths caused them to suffer specific financial damages.
Determine if you are Entitled to Seek Compensation for your Damages
Texas law permits a victim’s spouse, children, and parents to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. If one of these parties does not file a wrongful death claim within three months of the victim’s passing, a personal representative of the victim’s estate may do so unless the family specifically stated that they do not wish to pursue compensation.
Consider Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Through a wrongful death claim, an individual or multiple members of a victim’s family can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Lost inheritance;
- Lost household income;
- Lost care, household maintenance, and other intangible forms of support the victim provided to the household;
- The loss of the victim’s companionship and comfort; and
- The expenses of psychological counseling to handle the grief of the loss.
With your wrongful death claim, you will need to provide evidence that demonstrates the extent of your damages as well as proof that the death was due to negligence. This evidence can include copies of the victim’s pay stubs and funeral expenses as well as his or her medical bill and details about the accident, such as photographs of the scene and the official police report, if one was filed.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is generally two years from the date of the victim’s death. Certain exceptions do apply.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, remember to take care of yourself physically and mentally while you work through the wrongful death process. Working with a lawyer to pursue compensation following a loved one’s death can add to the trauma of the loss, so be sure to practice self-care strategies like speaking with a counselor, journaling, and focusing on your own well being.
Work with an Experienced Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, it can seem like nothing will truly compensate you for your loss. But if you are experiencing financial damages as a direct result of the death, think practically and consider seeking compensation for these damages through a wrongful death claim. To learn more about filing and pursuing a wrongful death claim, contact our team of Austin personal injury attorneys at Buford & Gonzalez today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.