Losing a loved one is never easy. However, this loss can be particularly difficult when the death of your loved one is sudden and could have been prevented. If you lost a loved one because of another party’s negligence or willful act, you may have the right to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation.
While money might not be the first thing on your mind in this situation, losing a loved one can be a significant financial blow, especially if they were the primary earner for your household. Recovering compensation can be essential to staying afloat. At The Buzbee Law Firm, our team of wrongful death lawyers in Plano can help get you the money you need.
Who Is Liable for a Wrongful Death?
Before pursuing compensation for a wrongful death, you must first determine who is liable. Liability can be challenging to sort out depending on the circumstances surrounding the death. Fortunately, an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help.
When you hire a wrongful death attorney, they will immediately investigate your case and determine who is at fault.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Plano, call 844-349-9196
Do You Need to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?
While you can technically pursue a wrongful death claim without the help of an attorney, it is likely not going to be in your best interest to do so. Wrongful death cases can be complicated, and recovering fair compensation on your own can be near impossible.
Unfortunately, the other side will probably not want to pay out the true value of your claim. Going up against experienced professionals on your own is almost guaranteed to end up with you receiving far less compensation than you deserve and may even result in you failing to recover compensation altogether.
Plano Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 844-349-9196
Damages You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
After losing a loved one due to a wrongful death, you will likely be able to cover a variety of damages. These damages can be divided into three primary categories.
Economic damages cover all of the financial losses resulting from the death of your loved one. Some common economic damages in a wrongful death case include:
- Medical expenses incurred while trying to keep your loved one alive
- Projected lost earnings that the deceased would have earned over their lifetime
- Lost wages from work you missed due to the death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Property damage
All the rest of the losses you suffer after a wrongful death fall into the category of non-economic damages. While not financial losses, the impact of non-economic damages tends to be far more profound. Because of this, the money awarded for non-economic damages often makes up the largest portion of a settlement or court-ordered payout.
Some common non-economic damages in a wrongful death case include:
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one, you may also be able to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are only awarded in extreme circumstances, where the liable party acted in a criminally negligent manner or with the willful intent of causing harm.
File Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit Before the Statute of Limitations Expires
In Texas, family members have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Failure to file within this timeframe will likely result in the loss of your right to recover compensation from the liable party.
However, there are many exceptions to the statute of limitations, which may apply to your case. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one, you may be able to file a lawsuit after the two years have passed.
At the same time, conditions may further reduce the amount of time you have to file. By hiring a wrongful death attorney shortly after the death of your family member, you can ensure that all deadlines are met.
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Wrongful Death Lawyers Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
Many lawyers charge their clients expensive retainer fees and high hourly rates no matter the outcome of their case. However, wrongful death attorneys tend to work a bit differently. These lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they charge a single fee based entirely on the results they get for their clients.
When you hire a wrongful death lawyer, you will agree to pay their fee as a set percentage of the money recovered from the liable party. Therefore, the more money you receive, the more your attorney earns. Alternatively, failure to secure compensation on your behalf means that your lawyer does not collect payment for their services.
This fee system ensures that your lawyer’s interests are tied to your own and that they will always work to get you as much money for your losses as possible.
Settling Vs. Going to Court
The majority of wrongful death lawsuits end up settling out of court. The reason for this is that a settlement is often in the best interest of both parties, since it means a quicker resolution to the case and allows everyone to avoid the unpredictability of a trial. However, it is critical to always be prepared for a courtroom battle if necessary.
You may find in some cases that the other party is unwilling to settle out of court. If this happens, a trial will be unavoidable. Additionally, if opposing counsel realizes you are unprepared for a courtroom battle, they will be in a much stronger negotiating position.
Speak With a Wrongful Death Attorney in Plano Today
When pursuing compensation for the death of a loved one, it is never a good idea to go it alone. These cases can be complicated, and filing a wrongful death lawsuit without the help of an experienced attorney is unlikely to yield a favorable result.
At The Buzbee Law Firm, our team of Plano wrongful death attorneys has the experience needed to put you in the best possible position for recovering fair compensation after a wrongful death. Fill out our online contact form or call us to schedule a free consultation today.