Amarillo Wrongful Death Lawyers
Handling Wrongful Death Cases with Integrity and Care
When loved ones die after a car accident, workplace crisis, or other avoidable tragedy, it’s a devastating blow. During this time, it can be difficult to fulfill even the most basic of your duties. The support of friends and family members is essential to dealing with the big adjustments you’re forced to make.
Filing a lawsuit right after a death may seem thoughtless or even insensitive, but it can bring much-needed financial security—especially after medical and funeral expenses. You shouldn’t have to bear the burden of a loved one’s death on your own. At Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP, we are here to take on the stressful work of challenging the at-fault party. We will handle your case with the utmost care.
We Can Help You Seek Justice for a Loved One
If you are the spouse, child, or parent of someone who died because of someone else’s actions, whether negligent or purposeful, you have standing to bring a wrongful death case. Unfortunately, many fatal incidents occur every day. Wrongful death claims may cover:
- Death after a car, truck, or motorcycle accident
- Death after a bike, scooter, or pedestrian accident
- Cases of medical malpractice that lead to death
- Fatal workplace accidents
- Death caused by a faulty product
- Death from a defective medical device or prescription drug
- Intentional homicide
If your loved one was involved in a fatal accident, we can help you hold the responsible parties accountable. No one deserves to have their life cut short in this way. Our team can help you demand justice for your loved one.
Defining "Wrongful Death" in Texas
Under Texas Statutes section 71.001, a wrongful death action may be brought if the wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default of one party causes the death of another. While some states restrict the right to file a wrongful death claim solely to the personal representative of the deceased person's estate, in Texas, wrongful death claims may be filed by any of the following parties:
- Legally adopted children
The surviving spouse, children, and parents have priority and may choose to file individually or together as a group. If none of these parties have filed a claim within three months of the deceased person's death, the personal representative or executor of the deceased may then file a claim unless a surviving family member opposes. Adoptive parents in Texas may file a wrongful death claim in the event of the untimely death of their adopted child, as well as vice versa. However, surviving siblings are not permitted to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a brother or sister, regardless of whether they are biological or adopted.
Evidence Required in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
To bring a lawsuit forward, you must have substantial evidence to back up your claim. In wrongful death cases, there are certain critical elements involved that can help yo prove the validity of your claim. This includes:
- The responsible party owed your loved one a duty of care
- This duty of care was breached
- The breach of duty directly caused your loved one's death
In criminal cases, an element of intent will likely need to be proven or demonstrated in order to secure a conviction. This may require eyewitness testimony, expert opinions, and a thorough investigation of applicable case law.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Amarillo?
Wrongful death claims in Texas are subject to a two-year statute of limitations, meaning that eligible parties generally have until the second anniversary of their loved one's death to file a lawsuit in civil court. If this filing deadline expires, you will lose your ability to pursue compensation.
The statute of limitations period for wrongful death may only be extended under limited clearly-defined circumstances. Since adhering to this deadline can have such a profound effect on your case, it is important you speak to an experienced Amarillo wrongful death attorney.
Why Should You File a Wrongful Death Claim?
After losing a family member, your life will never be the same. No amount of money can ever make up for your losses, but a judge may award you a settlement to help compensate for the material and emotional hardship you’ve faced. You may be able to recover:
- Medical bills incurred before the death of your loved one
- Costs associated with the funeral
- Recompense for expected future income or inheritance
- Emotional damages that recognize the hardship you have faced, and that will persevere
We want to help you in any way possible during this difficult time. Our team is here to answer your questions about seeking legal remedies in cases of wrongful death.