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San Antonio Wrongful Death Lawyer

The life of a loved one is the most important thing in this world. If you have lost a loved one, first, let me say I am truly sorry for your loss. It is not an easy thing to handle and it is an emotionally wrenching experience.

Have You Lost a Loved One Due to Wrongful Death?

If you have lost a loved one due to the carelessness or negligence of someone, Cesar Ornelas Law Firm will be able to fight for you in your time of need.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death can take many forms. It can include car and motorcycle accidents. Perhaps a school or care facility did not take the care they should have for your loved one. It could be someone showing a reckless indifference for the safety and health of your loved one. Let me put my experience to work for you during this painful time. You have too much to deal with alone. Your grief and loss should be compensated by those guilty.

What Types Of Claims Are There?

  • Wrongful Death – Claim made by the heirs of the deceased due to the death of their loved one
  • Survival Claims – Claim made by the estate of the deceased due to their death
  • Bystander Claims – Claim made by family members that experience trauma due to witnessing the death of a loved one

Here are some of the most common questions we get about wrongful death lawsuits:

Why File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Your loved one deserved to live the life they always dreamed of. Someone took that dream away and shattered it. By taking action now you cannot only help some other poor person from losing their life but also you can get some closure and compensation for your loss.

How Do I Know If A Death Was Wrongful?

Get the advice of an experienced attorney that is on your side. Remember, the sooner you get in contact with a caring and tough attorney like Cesar Ornelas, the sooner you get justice for your loved one.

By talking to an experienced wrongful death attorney you will be able to find out what your path to justice is as well as what legal remedies you have available. Sometimes filing a wrongful death lawsuit is the right path, sometimes it’s a matter of having an attorney like Cesar Ornelas talk to the other party in order to get justice.

Who Can Sue For Wrongful Death?

Usually, it is a spouse who can sue for wrongful death, but it can also include the children deprived of the love of their parent(s). However, to be sure, you need to contact Cesar Ornelas Law Firm today to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney.

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004 establishes that a wrongful death action is for the exclusive benefit of a surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person. When none of the individuals entitled to bring an action begin an action within three months of the person’s death, their executor or administrator can bring and prosecute the action unless all of those individuals request that they not do so.

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Is There A Time Limit On When I Can Sue For Wrongful Death?
Yes! Every state has well-defined statutes of limitations that can rob you of your right to justice. Usually, you have less than two years to sue after the passing of your loved one, but there are many exceptions to that rule.

What Potential Damages Are There For Wrongful Death?

  • Lost Income – Income that your loved one should have earned before they passed away
  • Lost Future Earnings – Replacement for earning that your loved one should have to earn in the future
  • Lost Inheritance – Assets that would have been in an inheritance if the deceased had not died prematurely
  • Lost companionship and parental guidance – The cost of the loss of the emotional support that a loved one or parent would give
  • Medical Costs – Direct medical costs associated with the passing of the deceased
  • Funeral Costs – Costs associated with burial
  • Pain and Suffering – Costs associated with aiding the recovery for the general pain and suffering placed on loved ones of the deceased
  • Punitive Damages – Damages that can’t easily be calculated and are meant to punish the person or company that caused the death

It should be noted that punitive damages, referred to in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code as exemplary damages, are quite rare. Such damages are only awarded in cases of particularly gross negligence and are often awarded specifically to punish people for their conduct and hopefully deter others from engaging in similar conduct.

When it comes to damages, each state allows a court to award you for your loss in different ways. Depending on your relationship to the deceased, you may have access to different compensation such as the recovery of the loved one’s salary, pension, estate holdings, and other assets.

Having a lawyer you can trust to counsel you in your time of need is critical. Talking to Cesar Ornelas is something you should do, today.

Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims in San Antonio, Texas

Some of the most common causes of wrongful death claims in Texas and New Mexico include, but are not limited to:

  • Car Accidents
  • Rideshare Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Dog Bites
  • Commercial Truck Accidents
  • Defective Product Incidents
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Maritime and Offshore Accidents
  • Premises Liability Incidents
  • Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
  • Aviation Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Oil refinery and pipeline accidents
  • Bus accidents

A wrongful death claim will require you to prove certain claims. First, a negligent party must have owed the deceased person a duty of care, the negligent party breached that duty, and that breach of duty caused the person’s death.

You will then have to demonstrate that the plaintiffs are the beneficiaries of the deceased person’s estate and the beneficiaries have suffered some kind of measurable loss because of their loved one’s death. A wrongful death claim could also involve a survival action, which is a completely separate claim. 

A survival action compensates the estate of the deceased person for the losses they suffered prior to their death. Compensation can include pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and property damage costs for damages the deceased person would have received had the accident not resulted in their death. 

Following any kind of wrongful death, the insurance company for the negligent party may very well reach out to contact you and try to sound compassionate while speaking to you. Do not be fooled because insurers are only concerned about their bottom lines and they always have the goal of paying as little as possible to resolve these claims.

This concern is the primary reason you should simply avoid speaking to any insurance company until you have legal representation because insurers will often engage in nefarious tricks to try and get you to say certain things that may be used against you later on. You should instead let a lawyer deal with an insurance company on your behalf because they will know how to speak to the insurer and also know what your case is truly worth, so you will have a much better chance of receiving the settlement that truly covers every single expense you are now facing.

It is important for people to understand that wrongful death claims are civil proceedings, not criminal, meaning there is a completely different burden of proof. Whereas the guilt of a defendant in a criminal case needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a very high and difficult standard to satisfy, a civil case only involves proving a case by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning essentially that there is a better than 50 percent chance that a person’s claims are true.