Losing a loved one is devastating and extremely painful, especially if the reason behind the death is the mistakes of others. Not only do you have to handle grief, but you also have to deal with legal issues.
Surprisingly, it is a common occurrence; according to statistics, Houston has around 4000 to 7000 car accidents. In fact, in a week, an average of 11 fatal car accidents occur, and the most common cause is reckless driving.
If you file a claim, wrongful death attorneys will guide you in getting compensation from the negligent party. This will at least help you ease your financial burden. But before you file the lawsuit, a few factors affect your claim; these are mentioned below:
Statute of Limitations
Each state has a statute of limitations and a deadline for filing a lawsuit for wrongful death. If you file a lawsuit after the deadline, your case will be dismissed. It can be complicated to keep a check on the statute of limitations or understand it.
However, in this scenario, if you hire a wrongful death attorney, they will guide you through all the legal steps. Also, in Houston, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident.
To Prove the Defendant is Legally Responsible
You have to prove that the defendant is liable for the death of your loved one. So, if your claim is based on the defendant’s negligence in that scenario, first, you have to prove that it is the defendant’s duty, say, to drive carefully. Then you have to show that the defendant failed to fulfill their duty. The attorney works hard to gather all the evidence to prove the at-fault party’s liability.
To Prove You Suffered Damages
Complications can occur in obtaining compensation if you fail to prove that you suffered damages. These damages can be anything, such as your medical bills, therapy, pain and suffering, etc. Loss of intangible assets, such as companionship, care, etc., are also covered in these losses. But, you have to prove these economic and non-economic damages.
Speaking Publicly About the Event
In some situations, the local news, newspaper, etc., might cover the wrongful death case. However, you mustn’t speak with anyone except your lawyer. Any statement you make can be used against you. Also, speaking publicly can damage the integrity of the deceased and affect your credibility.
Talking With the Insurance Company
Insurance companies try hard to avoid paying compensation or offer way too little. So, it is vital to remember that they are not on your side. Any conversation you have with them can be used against you. That is why it is essential to hire a wrongful death attorney, as they ensure that you do not say anything wrong. They handle the negotiations on your behalf.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death Claim in Houston?
In Houston, Texas, the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents can file a lawsuit. Siblings and other relatives are not eligible to file the lawsuit. Also, if the eligible family member does not file the claim within the statute of limitations, then the deceased person’s estate can also file the claim unless the deceased’s family is asked not to.
Summing up, losing someone will always be a difficult thing to handle. And if the death is the result of someone’s negligence, it becomes more difficult to accept. However, working with a wrongful death attorney increases your chances of getting the right compensation. They collect the evidence, investigate, and work hard to get justice.