Not every death results in filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Each state has different laws, so it’s best to check with an attorney first about what is required to file such a suit.

There are some circumstances where a personal injury may be severe enough that it results in the death of the person harmed. “This is not easy to deal with and when someone’s life is extinguished suddenly by the negligence of another person, it is a good idea to speak to a seasoned personal injury attorney to find out what legal rights exist in cases like this,” said Beverly Aylmer of Lee, Gober & Reyna, Austin, Texas.

It doesn’t matter how the person died, whether it was as a result of medical malpractice, a trip and fall accident, or in a car crash, those left behind in the wake of a loved one’s death are entitled to seek compensation for the pain and suffering caused by someone else’s negligence. “It’s necessary to speak to a skilled attorney about a wrongful death, as not ‘all’ deaths are wrongful deaths and people need to know the distinction in order to understand how the law works,” Aylmer added.

The first thing to understand is that a wrongful death suit is a “civil” suit and not a criminal action. A civil suit charges another person or entity for being liable for an injury or injuries that ended in a person’s death by “reason of negligent actions or a failure to act, which could foreseeably end in death.”

“Wrongful death suits exist in Texas because the Legislature passed a law allowing them. It is this law that lays out the requirements for filing such a lawsuit. In cases like this, the plaintiff has to prove that the deceased person would not have died but for the negligence of the defendant in the case,” explained Aylmer.

Discuss any possible wrongful death claim with an experienced Austin personal injury attorney, as this will clarify in which of the following areas compensation may be available, such as pain and suffering before death; a lifetime of lost earnings; medical expenses; property damage; death; loss of consortium (spousal services); and/or punitive damages.

The damages are designed to compensate surviving members of the family, such as a spouse, children, or next of kin. Another form of damages that may be awarded is economic damages which may include money for financial contributions that the deceased would have made to the spouse, parents or children had that person survived.

“Other damages usually awarded in wrongful death cases tend to include compensatory damages, funeral expenses, medical expenses, and non-economic damages. A good personal injury attorney will be able to explain how wrongful death lawsuits work, and seek justice when the time comes,” stated Beverly Aylmer of Lee, Gober & Reyna, Austin, Texas.