McKinney Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Losing a loved one is a devastating experience. However, if someone else was responsible for your loved one’s death, the grief can feel even more overwhelming. In these situations, you deserve justice—and the lawyers at Carew Garcia Bohuslav Law, PLLC can help.

Our McKinney wrongful death attorneys understand Texas laws and have helped hundreds of clients settle their lawsuits against negligent parties. We will advocate aggressively for your family’s right to recovery.

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Why Choose Us for Your McKinney Wrongful Death Claim

Our law firm has over 20 years of personal injury and wrongful death experience. We have the skills and knowledge that you need to hold the at-fault party accountable.

Our wrongful death lawyers in McKinney provide the service and personalized attention of a small firm while delivering large firm results. We are dedicated to securing the compensation that our clients deserve.

Our law office takes all cases on a contingency fee basis. If you do not receive a settlement in your case, you will not be charged any legal fees.

What Is Wrongful Death Under Texas Law?

Wrongful death in Texas is defined by Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code Sections 71.001 to 71.003. According to this law, wrongful death occurs when an injury causes a person’s death or a fetus’s failure to be born alive, and another person or entity’s wrongful act, neglect, unskillfulness, carelessness, or default caused that injury.

If the deceased person had survived the incident, he or she would have been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit over the same incident. Generally, wrongful death cases fall under one of three categories:

  • Incidents that are caused by negligence, such as truck accidents and property hazards
  • Medical malpractice, or a healthcare provider’s failure to uphold a certain standard of care, causing injury to a patient
  • Intentional acts, including crimes like assaults

It can be difficult to understand whether your loved one’s case qualifies for wrongful death litigation. In these situations, trust the McKinney wrongful death attorneys at Carew Garcia Bohuslav Law, PLLC to help. Our firm can carefully review your case and identify whether your family is eligible to file this type of lawsuit. Then, we can help you plan your next steps and identify your optimal path to recovery.

The Difference Between Murder and Wrongful Death

The death of a loved one always feels wrong and traumatic for those left behind, but there are several differences between murder and wrongful death. While murder is never accidental, wrongful death may be accidental or purposeful. The other major difference is that murder is punishable by the criminal court system and charges against the defendant are brought by a state prosecutor with the intention of punishing the wrongdoer. A wrongful death case is brought against the at-fault party by a family member in civil court, not in the criminal court system. A wrongful death claim compensates family members with financial impacts from the loved one’s loss through a monetary payout.

A civil wrongful death case proceeds separately from any criminal charges that might be filed against the party at fault and can move forward with or without a conviction in criminal court.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in McKinney, TX?

Because the deceased person is not alive to collect compensation from a wrongful death claim, Texas enforces strict laws regarding who can benefit from this type of lawsuit. The deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and/or parents can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on his or her behalf.

If these parties do not pursue a claim within three months from the date of death, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file. A McKinney wrongful death lawyer can assess your situation and determine if you are eligible to bring a claim.

Placing limits on wrongful death claims helps to prevent frivolous lawsuits and keeps distant relatives from exploiting a family member’s death for profit. This type of lawsuit is meant to provide compensation for those who sustain financial impacts from the death of a loved one as well as emotional impacts.

Wrongful Death Settlements in Texas

If you’ve lost a loved one in a preventable accident or due to an act of recklessness or wrongdoing, you can gain compensation through a wrongful death claim if the deceased was a close family member and you’ve experienced damages due to the loss. While some wrongful death claims require courtroom litigation in order to obtain full compensation, the majority of claims are settled out of court through negotiation with the appropriate insurance company. Once your wrongful death attorney investigates the circumstances of the death and gathers evidence to prove liability, they can negotiate from a position of evidence-backed strength to maximize the chance of a full settlement without the need for stepping foot in court. Proving liability in Texas requires showing the following:

  • That the party at fault owed a duty of care to keep your loved one and others safe through reasonable measures, such as a doctor’s duty to provide the accepted standards of treatment or a driver’s duty to follow traffic laws
  • That the at-fault party breached their duty of care through a negligent act, recklessness, or purposeful wrongdoing
  • That the negligent or wrongful act directly led to the wrongful death
  • That the family members have experienced economic and non-economic damages due to the death of the loved one

Once the evidence clearly shows liability, it is much more likely that a wrongful death claim ends in an ample settlement.

What Can I Gain in a Wrongful Death Case in Texas?

The sudden loss of a loved one can cause financial distress for those left behind, especially when the loved one was a provider. A successful wrongful death claim can bring a surviving spouse, parent, or child compensation for the following damages related to the death:

  • Medical bills incurred before the death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses
  • Lost income
  • Future lost income
  • Lost benefits including healthcare coverage and pension
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and support
  • Grief and emotional anguish

While monetary compensation can’t bring a loved one back or erase grief, it can provide a financial cushion so family members can focus on moving forward. In many cases, a successful wrongful death claim also helps grieving loved ones achieve a sense of justice, regardless of any criminal charges in the case.

How Long Does a Wrongful Death Case Take?

During the turbulent and emotional days after a loved one’s death, the idea of taking on a complex legal process can be daunting. A wrongful death lawyer in McKinney can help shoulder the burden of complex investigations, evidence gathering, and crafting a compelling case for negotiating a settlement. Depending on the complexity of the case and the ability to prove clear liability, a wrongful death claim can take as little as several months from filing to settlement, or it can go on to courtroom litigation and take several years to resolve. Average wrongful death cases take from one to three years including the possibility of appeals. Much of that time involves investigation, meeting filing requirements, drafting demand letters, and negotiating a settlement. Cases settled out of court resolve much faster than those cases that require courtroom litigation.

Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

Like other states, Texas has a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. After this time limit expires, family members and representatives are no longer able to file a lawsuit in court since the defendant will immediately seek dismissal on the grounds that the statute of limitations has passed. In Texas, family members have two years from the date of the injury that caused the death in which to file a lawsuit.

In the majority of cases, the defendant settles the matter out of court through their insurance company. A case only proceeds to a lawsuit when both parties can’t reach an agreeable settlement. It’s important to file a claim soon after the loved one’s death so there is ample time to gather evidence, file a claim, and negotiate a settlement before resorting to a lawsuit if necessary within the 2-year time limit for wrongful death lawsuits in Texas.

While the vast majority of wrongful death cases are limited by the 2-year statute of limitations, in a few circumstances, the courts may delay the beginning of the 2-year period in a practice known as tolling. Tolling occurs only in the following circumstances:

  • If a minor was under the age of 18 at the time of a parent’s death, they have until 2 years after their 18th birthday to file a claim
  • If the family member wasn’t aware that their loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions until sometime later, the 2-year limit begins on the date they became aware or should reasonably have become aware
  • If the family member was incapacitated or unconscious for a period of time after the death the clock begins ticking on the date that they regain their cognitive capacity. This exception is useful if two family members were injured in an accident and one dies and the other is incapacitated for a period of time

If you have questions about how your wrongful death claim fits into the time limit imposed by the Texas statute of limitations, a McKinney wrongful death lawyer can help.

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in McKinney Today

No one deserves to lose a loved one due to someone else’s dangerous and wrongful actions. If your family experienced a wrongful death, the personal injury lawyers at Carew Garcia Bohuslav Law, PLLC can help you hold the at-fault party accountable.

Call or contact us online for a free case consultation. Our team of bilingual McKinney wrongful death attorneys is here to help you take your first steps toward seeking justice.