The unexpected death of a loved one is a tragic event. Your family’s grief may be compounded if they find out the victim’s death was preventable.
Understandably, family members may be looking to hold the responsible party accountable for your loved one’s death. Depending on the circumstances, some surviving family members may be eligible to pursue a San Antonio wrongful death claim.
However, wrongful death lawsuits can be complex to handle on your own. That’s why you need a skilled San Antonio wrongful death lawyer representing your family’s interests.
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., we know that no amount of money will bring back your family member or compensate you for their life. But a wrongful death lawsuit can help bring some closure, hold the negligent party responsible, and provide financial reimbursement for some costs.
If your family has experienced the horrible tragedy of losing someone due to another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts, contact or call our office today at (254) 752-9688 to learn how we can help.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death is when someone dies due to injuries they sustained because of another person’s negligent, reckless, or even intentional action. This type of death is one that could’ve been prevented had the other person acted differently.
When someone causes another person’s death, they can be held financially responsible in a civil lawsuit. In some situations, the State may bring criminal charges against the defendant as well. It’s important to point out that wrongful death civil suits have nothing to do with the State’s decision to prosecute.
Some people mistakenly assume that if criminal charges are brought against the defendant, there is no need to file a civil lawsuit. But these are separate cases, and you have the right to bring a civil lawsuit even when criminal charges are pending.
To successfully bring a wrongful death claim, you need to prove the following elements:
- Your family member’s death was caused in part or whole by someone else’s conduct (can be a person or a company);
- The other party was legally responsible for your family member’s death due to their actions;
- Your family member has a surviving spouse, children, or parents; and
- Surviving family members suffered financial damages or other losses.
In a wrongful death claim, the surviving family members can recover compensation for their losses and pain.
When you have a wrongful death attorney in San Antonio representing you, we can help guide you through the process and fight for the maximum compensation possible for your family.
Common Types of San Antonio Wrongful Death Cases
Our legal team has decades of experience handling San Antonio, Texas personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits. We will work tirelessly to ensure the best outcome possible while providing the compassionate and professional service your family needs.
Some of the most common types of San Antonio wrongful death claims we’ve handled include:
- Car accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Truck accidents,
- Workplace injuries,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Bicycle accidents,
- Boating accidents,
- Medical malpractice,
- Slip and falls,
- Negligent security,
- Dog or animal attacks,
- Swimming pool accidents,
- Dangerous and defective products,
- Construction site accidents, and
- DUI-related accidents.
Every case is different, and various factors will determine whether you can recover compensation for your loved one’s death.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death in San Antonio?
Who can file a wrongful death claim varies by state. In Texas, the law says that spouses, children, and parents have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Texas also recognizes that legally adopted children and adoptive parents have a right to file. These parties have the initial right to file a lawsuit, followed by the estate’s representative. They can choose to file individually or as a cohesive group.
In some other states, siblings have the right to file a wrongful death claim. However, Texas does not recognize siblings as part of the group who can file or benefit from a lawsuit for wrongful death.
Types of Recoverable Damages in a San Antonio Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Damages awarded in a San Antonio wrongful death lawsuit are to compensate the surviving family members for their losses. The types of damages you can recover will vary in each case and depend on who the victim is—i.e., child versus spouse or parent.
Some of the most common types of damages awarded in a San Antonio wrongful death claim include:
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Loss of support, care, guidance;
- Loss of love or companionship;
- Mental anguish;
- Loss of inheritance; and
- Loss of household services.
In very limited scenarios, you may be able to collect punitive damages if the defendant’s actions were considered intentional or grossly negligent.
What Is a Survival Action?
There is an accompanying claim to a wrongful death lawsuit, which is known as a survival claim.
Survival claims can recover the decedent’s damages, continuing a claim they could’ve brought had they survived.
Damages in a survival action can include compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost time from work, and pain and suffering incurred by the decedent before their death.
Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Like other types of personal injury matters, you have only a certain amount of time to bring a claim for wrongful death in Texas.
In most cases, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the decedent’s death. There could be some exceptions to that rule, but do not assume that it applies to your case without first speaking with our experienced San Antonio, TX wrongful death lawyers.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in San Antonio
It’s crucial to retain a skilled San Antonio wrongful death lawyer when you’re looking at pursuing a claim. With decades of experience handling personal injury claims, including wrongful death cases, rest assured you are in good hands when you hire The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., to represent your family for their losses. We are committed to providing you with the highest quality of representation.
Let us put our knowledge and skills to work for you. Let us help you fight for the compensation and justice everyone deserves.