Nothing compares to the pain of losing a loved one. Grief can be an incredibly lonely, difficult, and isolating emotion. Processing grief can be substantially more difficult when a loved one loses their life in a preventable accident due to another person’s negligent behavior.
Having to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the passing of a loved one may seem stressful, but it can help relieve some of the financial burden resulting from the loss. Recovering compensation in a wrongful death claim can help cover burial expenses, mental health treatment for surviving loved ones, and more.
If you are filing a claim for damages resulting from your loved one’s passing, you may not know what to expect from the process. Here are some mistakes to avoid in a Texas wrongful death claim.
Waiting Too Long to Take Action
The immediate aftermath of a loved one’s passing can be paralyzing. Loved ones may be in a state of shock and unsure about what to do. This phase of grief can last days, weeks, or even months. Taking time to grieve, process, and begin to adjust to a life that now looks very different is completely understandable, but waiting too long to file a Texas wrongful death claim is a mistake that can result in crucial evidence being lost or destroyed over time. Even worse, the statute of limitations could pass and forever bar your claim. It is better to work with an attorney who can handle your wrongful death claim while you focus on processing your grief.
If you suspect that someone else’s negligence may have caused or contributed to your loved one’s passing, under no circumstances should you publicly discuss the death or your suspicions. This might be easier said than done, especially with the anger and grief that come after a wrongful death, but it is crucial to avoid making any public statement that could be used against you or the decedent later on in a claim for compensation. Such statements could be construed as defamatory, which may damage your case.
Speaking with Insurance
Though talking to the insurance company may sound like a good idea at first, it is sometimes best to refrain from talking to the potentially responsible party’s insurance if you suspect that your loved one’s passing resulted from negligence. The insurance company may try to convince you to accept a settlement that is lower than what your claim is worth. After accepting a settlement, you lose your right to pursue additional compensation – so if it is later determined that the death was in fact caused by negligence, there may be nothing left for you to do about it. Accepting any wrongful death settlement before speaking to a Texas lawyer is a mistake.
Not Talking to a Texas Wrongful Death Attorney
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when filing a Texas wrongful death claim is trying to do it alone. The legal system can be complicated and intimidating It is often best to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands the law inside and out.
A local attorney may be able to guide you through the process and help you avoid mistakes that may negatively impact your Texas wrongful death claim. If you need help pursuing a wrongful death claim in Texas after the loss of a loved one, contact Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. today. We are here for you in this difficult time.