Common Misconceptions Regarding Wrongful Death Cases
Interviewer: What are some of the misconceptions that people have about wrongful death cases?
Stephen Boutros: The most irritating misconception to me is when adult children lose adult parents through the negligence of another and the minimal value that insurance companies and defense firms often try to place on that. It’s like that relationship was about to be over anyways or you didn’t see your parents that much so it’s not worth that much. Family relationships are often complicated but when they die, they’re no longer living on this earth.
Insurance Companies Often Tend to Minimize the Loss of an Elderly Parent
You’ll never speak to them again, you’ll never talk to them again, you’ll never see them again and you’ll never hug them again and you’ll never kiss them again, you’ll never be able to talk about joys you had with them again or you’ll never go to be able to seek advice from your parents again. That’s referred to the way I think of it is burying your past but your past is always with you. When the adult children lose adult parents, it’s extremely painful and I despise the way the insurance companies and defense firms try to minimize that.
It’s Negligent Not to Hold the Person Responsible for the Death that They Caused
I wouldn’t equate its value to the value of the spouse and definitely nothing’s close to losing your child but that’s one common misperception. Another misconception is that some people feel like it’s not dignified to seek money for the death of a loved one when it’s not necessarily about seeking money because of personal greed. It’s more about holding the person or persons or companies or corporations responsible for violating safety rules that led to the death of your family member. It’s negligent not to hold that person responsible for the harm that they caused and the death that they caused.
The Statute of Limitations For a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas
Interviewer: What is statute of limitation for filing the wrongful death claims?
Stephen Boutros: Two years from the date of the death, or it could be two years from the date of the injury. Those are complicated rules so I strongly advise anyone who is dealing with an injury that may have led to death to contact our office immediately. These can be complex rules and sometimes different laws apply to different set of facts and an attorney needs to examine those and make a determination of what statute applies and when a lawsuit should be filed.
Cases Involving Catastrophic Personal Injury May Escalate into Wrongful Death Claims
Interviewer: Do cases ever start off as regular personal injury cases that end up being wrongful death cases or if, let’s say, someone actually ends up dying from the injuries sustained from that particular case?
Stephen Boutros: It often happens that someone who’s sustained catastrophic injuries and they’re struggling for medical care to survive and their families want them to survive but they end up passing away. It’s when we talk about the conscious pain and suffering, that’s where that really comes into play with regard to their survival claim for the estate. When someone’s been in the hospital and struggling to survive but they couldn’t overcome their injuries that were negligently afflicted on them and ultimately succumbed to their death.
Punitive Damages May be Recoverable in Wrongful Death Cases
Interviewer: Are punitive damages recoverable in wrongful death actions?
Stephen Boutros: In some circumstances, they are but those are complicated rules and it depends on the fact and scenario related to the case.