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How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas

Losing a loved one can leave a void that is difficult to fill, especially when their death results from someone else’s negligence. In these situations, you may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit to seek justice for the harm that your family has suffered. This process requires meticulous attention to legal details and several steps, from consulting with a lawyer to preparing for trial.

Step #1: Consult with a Texas Wrongful Death Attorney

The first step in pursuing a wrongful death claim is to consult with a McAllen personal injury attorney who specializes in this area of law. Your lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your case to determine its viability and explain the legal options available to your family.

This professional guidance is crucial, as wrongful death claims involve laws that dictate who can file the claim, what compensation may be available, and the timeframe in which you must act to preserve your rights. An attorney can help determine whether your case meets these criteria and initiate legal proceedings on your behalf.

Step #2: Gather as Much Evidence as Possible

Compiling evidence is essential for building a strong wrongful death case. This may include the death certificate, medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and any relevant photos or videos.

Your attorney will assist in this process, working with investigators and experts to establish the cause of death and identify the liable parties. The more comprehensive the evidence, the stronger your case will be when negotiating with insurance companies or presenting in court.

Step #3: Document Your Family’s Losses

Next, you will need to document the losses that your family has suffered due to the death of your loved one. These not only include economic losses, such as medical bills and loss of income, but also non-economic damages: loss of companionship, emotional distress, and other forms of pain and suffering. Your attorney will help you quantify these damages and demonstrate how the death has impacted each of your lives, building a robust case for compensation.

Step #4: File the Lawsuit and Engage in Negotiations

Once your attorney has gathered sufficient evidence and documented the losses, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf. This formally initiates the legal process and sets the stage for negotiations with the defendant. Many Texas wrongful death cases are settled out of court; however, your attorney will prepare to go to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached.

Step #5: Undergo the Discovery Process

During the discovery phase, both sides exchange information and evidence related to the case. This process may involve written questions, requests for documents, and depositions of witnesses and experts. Your attorney will manage this stage on your behalf.

Step #6: Attend the Trial and Hear the Verdict

If the case proceeds to trial, both sides will present their arguments, evidence, and witness testimonies. Your attorney will advocate on your behalf, aiming to demonstrate the other party’s liability and the impact of the loss on your family. The trial will culminate in a verdict, where the judge or jury decides the outcome of the case and the compensation awarded.

Navigating a wrongful death claim is undoubtedly complex and emotionally taxing. However, you do not need to face this challenge alone. A compassionate and competent Texas wrongful death attorney can provide the support and expertise that your family deserves. Contact a McAllen wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your next steps.