Yes, you should seriously consider filing a lawsuit in the event of a wrongful death. If your family member is suddenly torn away, especially if their passing is due to someone else’s negligence, the emotional and financial impact of this situation is overwhelming.
Wrongful death claims are civil claims brought by the children, spouse, or parents of the deceased against the negligent party which caused that death..Family members can bring a wrongful death claim in situations where, had the deceased survived, he or she could have filed a personal injury lawsuit for damages instead. But because the injury was fatal, and the deceased cannot bring his or her own claim, the family members must bring that claim instead.
Note that in some cases, a personal representative/estate executor can also bring a wrongful death claim.
Why should I file a wrongful death lawsuit in San Antonio?
We also know that death creates untold stress on families at a time when they are at their most vulnerable. Along with the daunting paperwork comes medical bills, funeral costs, on top of everyday expenses like mortgages and groceries.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you protect your family and your home. It can ensure that your family members get the support they need, both financially and emotionally. Your wrongful death claim can provide these necessary supports while offering some level of closure, holding the person or entity whose negligence caused this loss accountable.
Here are some ways in which fatal accidents can impact a family:
Emotional and psychological impact of a wrongful death
- Grief and bereavement: The emotional toll of losing a loved one is immense. Grief and bereavement can affect family members in different ways and may lead to long-term emotional challenges.
- Mental health: Family members may experience long-term mental health issues such as:
- Depression: Depression is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in life-activities.
- Chronic anxiety: Excessive worry or fear about the future are characteristics of anxiety. It can manifest in physical symptoms such as restlessness, muscle tension, and difficulty concentrating.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): After a traumatic event victims of PTSD may suffer symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and a shift to an overly cautious lifestyle.
- Family dynamics: The loss of a family member can result in behavior changes that alter the dynamics within the family, potentially straining relationships if grief is not properly addressed. Furthermore, if the deceased does not have a formal will, family dynamics can be strained in battles for property.
- Impact on children: Children may be particularly vulnerable, facing challenges in understanding and coping with the loss.
- Counseling and therapy: Individual family members, and whole families alike, often benefit from professional San Antonio emotional therapy to develop healthy coping mechanisms and open up vulnerable conversation within a family in the aftermath of their sudden loss.
What is the financial impact of a wrongful death?
According to US Funerals Online, the average cost of a funeral in San Antonio, Texas is $7,775. Aside from the high cost of paying proper respects to your lost loved one, there are numerous costs and losses that must be accounted for in your family’s San Antonio wrongful death lawsuit.
- Loss of income: The death of a loved one who was a household earner will result in an immediate loss of income for the family.
- Education and future planning: The death of a parent may impact the ability to fund children’s education and other long-term plans, posing challenges in setting aside funds for a child’s education and beyond.
- Estate settlement: The process of settling the deceased person’s estate can be complex and time-consuming, especially if there was no will in place, due to the sudden nature of the deceased’s accident.
- Death without a will: When a San Antonio accident leads to a wrongful death and the deceased does not have a will in place, it goes into a process known as intestacy. The surviving spouse may inherit a significant share, but the absence of a will can complicate matters. Financial burdens of not having a will in place will result in necessary probate costs to navigate the complex legal process of Texas intestacy. Furthermore, the absence of a will may lead to higher estate taxes, reducing the inheritance left for loved ones.
- Medical expenses: If the deceased incurred medical expenses before passing away, the family may be responsible for settling those bills.
- Cost of ongoing counseling and therapy: Emotional health may take a long time to heal after a sudden loss of a loved one. According to the Forbes.com article, “How Much Does Therapy Cost in 2023?” The average cost for an individual, with weekly one-hour-sessions, comes out to roughly $7200 (when averaging a $150/hr rate).
For all of these reasons, if you have suffered a wrongful death in your family you should seek a lawsuit to help your family recover from your devastating loss. The Law Offices of Pat Maloney helps families whose lives have been turned upside down by the death of their loved one. We understand that you’re in shock and that you’re grieving; we are here to handle everything about the legal process so you can focus on your family. To schedule a free consultation with a San Antonio wrongful death lawyer, please call us or fill out our contact form.
Pat Maloney, Jr. is a skilled San Antonio personal injury lawyer who has acted as lead counsel and co-counsel in many multi-million dollar verdicts throughout Texas. Pat Maloney represents people injured in car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and more. He is well known for his expertise in representing victims of serious personal injuries and has participated as a lecturer in the field of personal injury litigation. He has been named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” Reference Book every year for the last five years.