Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one, we understand that no amount of compensation will ever make things right. However, protecting your legal rights is important, and you deserve to secure the financial resources you will need now and in the future.
The grief you experience when a loved one dies is compounded when you discover the death was due to an accident caused by another’s negligence. The Austin wrongful death attorneys at Eric Ramos Law, PLLC understand how difficult this time is for you. We know that no amount of money can make up for your loss.
We also understand that if you were dependent on the income of your loved one, you may be struggling to pay your mortgage or rent, struggling to buy groceries, struggling to survive financially. We may be able to help. Contact us for a free consultation so we can help you determine your legal rights and what can be done to secure your financial future.
What is a Wrongful Death and Who Can file a claim?
Texas law defines a wrongful death as one that is caused by an “act of neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party against another. The surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim for damages due to their loss. They can file as a group, one can file on behalf of them all, or each one can file a claim for themselves.
If no family member files a claim within three months after the death, then the personal representative or executor of the decedent’s estate may file a claim. Unlike other states, Texas law does not allow the decedent’s siblings to file a wrongful death claim.
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We Understand What You’re Going Through
At Eric Ramos Law, we are committed to fighting for the legal rights of grieving families. We also understand that most families do not want to get involved in a legal battle — and the last thing most people want to do is to deal with insurance adjusters who are not sympathetic to their grief. To help our clients avoid reliving their tragedy over and over again, we handle all aspects of the process and let family members choose their level of involvement to the extent possible. We work tirelessly to recover just compensation. In many cases, this involves negotiating a favorable insurance settlement without going to trial, but we are prepared to go to trial if justice demands it.
Damages Available for a Wrongful Death Claim
The deceased’s parents, spouse, or children who are eligible to file a claim for wrongful death may seek compensation for:
- Medical bills the decedent incurred due to the accident which caused the death.
- Burial and funeral expenses.
- Loss of income provided to them by the decedent.
- Loss of earning capacity due to the death.
- Loss of inheritance, which is an estimated amount the decedent would have saved and left to the survivors if he or she had lived the normal expected lifetime.
- Loss of care, comfort, companionship, society, and support.
- Emotional trauma and mental pain and suffering.
Difference in a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Action
Wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is brought by the decedent’s living family which only includes spouse, children, or parents. The family members seek compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the negligent act that caused the death. Damages are paid directly to the ones who file the claim.
Survival claim. A survival action is brought on behalf of a decedent in order to compensate the estate for the losses the decedent personally suffered prior to his or her death. The damages are similar to what the decedent would have been able to collect if he or she had lived and sued the negligent person or business in a personal injury lawsuit. The damages available include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Damages are paid to the estate for distribution according to estate law, not to individual family members.
Punitive Damages May be Available in a Wrongful Death Claim
Texas law allows an award of punitive damages when “the death is caused by the willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant…” Punitive damages are also referred to as exemplary damages since they are designed to punish the defendant and make him or her an example to others of what not to do.
Although it is sometimes difficult to prove willful intent or gross negligence, Attorney Eric Ramos will do what is necessary to be sure you receive all the compensation to which you are legally entitled.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases We Handle in Austin
Any negligent act that results in the death of another can lead to a claim for wrongful death. Some of the most common types of accidents are:
- Car accidents.
- Truck accidents.
- Slip and fall accidents.
- Motorcycle accidents.
- Work-related accidents.
- Pedestrian accidents.
Some people or entities that may be responsible for their negligent acts include:
- Any person, business, or municipality whose negligent act was the cause of the unfortunate and untimely death.
- Drivers and their employers.
- Designers and builders of faulty roadways.
- Municipalities that fail to warn of or correct hazardous road conditions or fail to properly maintain the roads.
- Manufacturers of defective products.
- Health care providers when the death was the result of medical malpractice.
Our Austin Wrongful Death Law Firm Can Help
At Eric Ramos, PLLC, we offer a free, no obligation consultation. If you cannot come to us, we can arrange to come to you. If we decide to work together, you will not pay any legal fee or costs unless we recover compensation for you.
The law requires you to bring your claim within a certain period of time of your loved one’s death. If you miss the deadline, you will be barred forever from receiving the compensation you deserve. Contact us as soon as possible to schedule your free confidential consultation. You can reach us at (512) 648-4311.
Fill out the form to get started with a free Austin wrongful death case evaluation today.