The loss of a loved one leaves a hole that will never be filled. Every death is a tragedy, but when that death is unexpected, the financial strain on a family can be just as harsh as the emotional toll. Surviving family members are left with medical bills, therapy bills, funeral costs, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Fortunately, when a death results from someone else’s negligence or intentional act, any surviving family members have the right to seek compensation.
A Houston wrongful death lawyer could help surviving family members pursue compensation from at-fault defendants. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney could fight to collect the compensation needed to provide financial stability and promote peace of mind.
Understanding a Wrongful Death Suit
Not every death can be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. To file a wrongful death claim, a plaintiff must be able to prove that actions taken by a defendant fatally injured their loved one. This can be the product of either an accident or an intentional act. More precisely, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §71.003 indicates that a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate if the deceased would have been able to pursue an injury case had they survived.
Most wrongful deaths stem from unfortunate accidents. In many cases, a defendant did not mean to cause any harm. Common incidents that might warrant a wrongful death claim include:
- Car accidents
- Truck collisions
- Pedestrian incidents
- Slips and falls
- Nursing home abuse
Another common cause of wrongful deaths are intentional acts. Incidents involving death will almost always give rise to criminal charges. It is essential to understand that even if the State brings criminal charges against a defendant and obtains a conviction, a court is powerless to order the payment of any compensation to a decedent’s family. A family’s responsibility is to initiate and pursue a separate civil case. A skilled attorney in Houston is prepared to take the lead in these civil wrongful death cases.
Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In most injury lawsuits, a person demanding compensation is an injured person. Naturally, in a wrongful death suit, a would-be plaintiff is deceased. Instead, under state law, only a decedent’s spouse, children, or parents can serve as a plaintiff in wrongful death cases. Whoever pursues a case must file a suit on behalf of a deceased person’s family. A seasoned Houston Lawyer could help a family understand these rules after the wrongful death of their loved one.
Damages Related to Wrongful Death Claims
As defined by Texas Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §71.010, people seeking compensation in a wrongful death claim could pursue damages through two main strategies. The first strategy involves pinpointing damages that the decedent experienced before their death, such as pain, suffering, and other emotional traumas.
The second path involves determining the economic damages and traumas of family members. These can be more difficult to measure as they concern any lost earning potential and companionship. A compassionate lawyer in Houston could evaluate how a wrongful death case has impacted a family and pursue fair compensation.
Speak with a Houston Wrongful Death Attorney Now
Our dedicated legal team could fight for families that have endured the death of a loved one. A skilled lawyer could carefully evaluate every case to demand compensation for every possible dollar. At-fault defendants should be responsible for their actions, regardless of how a death occurred. The insurance company is not your friend. After your loved one dies, the liable party’s insurance company will likely approach you with a low offer to keep you from a full recovery.
A Houston wrongful death lawyer could help protect the financial future of families who have suffered the loss of a loved one and bring comfort and stability back into their lives. Contact our firm when you are ready to seek compensation from the parties responsible for your loss.
Below are just some of the more common types of cases that Benjamin Roberts represents personal injury clients.
For a full list of the cases we handle, please see the Practice Areas link at the top of the page.