In Texas, it is important to speak with a wrongful death attorney right away if you feel that your loved one died due to the action or inaction of someone else. Most states have a statute of limitations, and Texas is no exception. These laws make it so that you don't have an unlimited amount of time in which you can sue someone. They set a precise time limit to file suit in order to ensure that the evidence is preserved as much as possible, and people don't go through life with the fear of a lawsuit hanging over their heads.
A wrongful death claim is a suit in civil court. While a prosecutor may also choose to file criminal charges, those charges would go through the criminal court system with their own statute of limitations guidelines. Civil cases are what you file in order to get financial compensation from the person that contributed to your loved one's death. In these cases, you have two years in order to file a lawsuit before you are unable to sue the other party. The lawsuit doesn't need to be settled by this time, but it must be filed. If you miss the deadline, the other party could use the statute of limitations as a defense and a way to get the case dismissed.
There might be an exception to the two-year rule if it was related to medical malpractice. For example, if someone you loved was treated by a doctor in 2010 and didn't realize they received a life-threatening complication until 2011, the judge would decide which date to use as the start date for the statute of limitations clock. As a wrongful death attorney, we can argue that the statute should be waived if there are extenuating circumstances such as this or in the event that the deceased was slowly poisoned or injured, as is the case with many workplace injuries.
The key is to schedule a consultation and start your case as soon as possible. Time is not on your side and even if you think that you will get to it later, later may be delayed until eventually – you no longer have that option. If your loved one has died due to the negligence of someone else, you deserve to be compensated for your loss. While this will never bring back your loved one, it can help to relieve some of the financial burdens that comes from them no longer contributing to the household or you being too overcome with grief to work. Filing a lawsuit can also help to protect other people. In many cases, the action or inaction that led to their death will continue unless it is stopped. By suing them, you can shed light on the problem and make it financially damaging for them to continue down the same path. You never know how many other lives this could save. To get started, call our office to speak with a wrongful death attorney today.