The unexpected death of a loved one is a shattering ordeal that no one is prepared for. The emotional toll of such a tragedy can be compounded by a sense of injustice when another person or entity is to blame for your loss. Many families are forced to cope with grieving the loss of a loved one while simultaneously struggling with the financial burdens that accompany wrongful deaths, making an already difficult situation more painful.
When these situations arise, there is recourse for family members who suffer such a loss through wrongful death claims. The mental anguish and heartache of losing a loved one should not be accompanied by financial distress.
At Nix Patterson, we understand that a wrongful death claim can be frustrating, and you might not feel comfortable turning the death of your loved one into a legal matter. However, a wrongful death lawsuit, if successful, will help your family obtain the financial compensation needed to withstand the financial fallout of losing a loved one and provide a sense of justice and closure that your family deserves.
Our wrongful death lawyers empathize with clients who lose loved ones in accidents that should have been prevented. We will ensure you’re treated with the compassion, respect, and dedication your family deserves. We are a contingency fee law firm, which means we don’t charge any upfront fees. You have enough to worry about right now.
Wrongful death occurs when it is caused, in part or in whole, by another person’s or entity’s carelessness, negligence, recklessness, or unlawfulness, even if that person or entity had no intention of harming the victim. For example, if a drunk driver causes another person’s death, it is considered a wrongful death.
Wrongful death claims are civil actions for damages brought against the person or entity — business or government agency — responsible for the decedent’s death. To succeed in a wrongful death case, you must establish all the required elements of a wrongful death. Typically, the following elements must be proven in a wrongful death lawsuit:
Wrongful death laws vary significantly from state to state. For instance, the Oklahoma wrongful death statute (Oklahoma Statutes Title 12. Civil Procedure §12-1053) differs from Texas or New Mexico’s law.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle accidents, falls, drowning, and poisoning, are the leading cause of death for Americans below the age of 44. A wrongful death can arise from a wide range of accidents. At Nix Patterson, our wrongful death lawyers have provided compassionate counsel for families and estates after a variety of fatal accidents, including the following:
No matter what type of accident caused your loved one’s death, please don’t wait too long to speak with an attorney. Every state has strict deadlines — statutes of limitations — for filing wrongful death claims. For example, in New Mexico, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the person’s death. In Texas and Oklahoma, the deadline is shorter, and a claim must be filed within two years of the person’s death.
All states have unique laws that apply to wrongful death claims and dictate who can file a wrongful death lawsuit after a death. In some places, such as Texas, the following surviving family members of a deceased person can file a wrongful death case:
Suppose the surviving parents, spouse, and children do not file a wrongful death claim within three months of the death. In that case, the personal representative (or “executor”) of the decedent’s estate is permitted to file the suit unless all eligible surviving family members specifically request that the wrongful death claim not be filed.
In other states, such as Oklahoma and New Mexico, only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. An executor is often a person named in the decedent’s estate plan. If there is no estate plan, or if the executor cannot or will not file the lawsuit, the court will appoint someone to serve.
Compensation that may be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit will vary depending on whether the claimant is a spouse, child, or parent of the deceased. Often, surviving family members could receive financial compensation for:
Are you wondering if the compensation survivors receive in a wrongful death lawsuit is taxed?
The compensation awarded to survivors after a wrongful death is not subject to taxation or the decedent’s debts. Contact our personal injury lawyers if you have other questions regarding a loved one’s unexpected death. Though no amount of financial compensation can ever replace a cherished family member, we can help you hold at-fault parties accountable for the pain, grief, and financial burdens placed on your family after a loved one’s death.
If a family member was killed in an accident because of another’s negligence, the wrongful death lawyers at Nix Patterson are standing by to help you through this difficult time. We understand how hard this is for your family, and we promise to treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve. You can leave the legal headaches to us. Our team is with you every step of the way, and no matter where you’re located, we can always come to you.
Don’t let the idea of filing a wrongful death claim or paying attorney fees scare you. You pay us zero upfront, and we only get paid after you win. Contact our wrongful death lawyers today at 512-328-5333 to schedule a free case assessment. We are here to help.
Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below.
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