Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Midland-Odessa
A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed by the negligence of another person or entity.
Wrongful death claims are handled similarly to personal injury cases, except they are brought by the relatives and dependents of the deceased person. Damages sought in wrongful death claims often include lost wages that would otherwise have been earned by the deceased person, medical costs if the person required treatment before their death, and some measure of compensation for grief (e.g. loss of companionship, loss of consortium). In many cases, wrongful death can also result in punitive damages or damages for emotional distress.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Midland-Odessa, TX?
Not everyone can file a claim. Only close relatives can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Midland-Odessa:
- Parents and grandparents
- The person in charge of the decedent’s estate
Grounds for a Midland-Odessa Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Texas law dictates a wrongful death must be caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” If a person needs to file a wrongful death lawsuit, they must do so within two years of the victim’s death.
There are two keys to a wrongful death lawsuit, which the plaintiff must prove:
- The victim's death was caused by the defendant, through negligence or an intentional act; and
- The victim's family suffered financial and/or emotional damages as a result.
The burden of proof in a wrongful death lawsuit in Midland-Odessa is not as strict as it is for a criminal case. You have probably heard of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but this only applies in criminal court. In civil court, where wrongful death lawsuits are filed, the burden of proof is based on a preponderance of the evidence.
The plaintiff (in this case, the family of the decedent) must prove it is more than likely true that their loss was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of the defendant (the at-fault party). If a jury is involved, the verdict does not need to be unanimous. The wrongful death ruling will be determined by the majority of jurors.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Midland-Odessa
If you want to take legal action after the loss of a loved one, your best bet is to work with an attorney who has experience with wrongful death lawsuits in your area. Trying to deal with the insurance company and other parties can be frustrating, overwhelming, and downright impossible. A competent wrongful death lawyer from Arnold & Itkin will know exactly how to deal with the insurance adjuster and all other interested parties, so you and your family have the opportunity to get the answers you need and the full compensation you deserve. We have recovered billions of dollars on behalf of our clients by never settling for less than what our clients deserve.
To work with a firm that gets results, call (888) 493-1629 to schedule your free, confidential consultation with our wrongful death law firm.