It is always difficult to lose a loved one. It is much more so when that person is lost because of the negligent or wrongful intentional acts of others. When a person dies due to the negligence or wrongful acts of another person or company, Texas law allows certain family members to bring a “wrongful death” suit against the responsible party.
A wrongful death suit is a way to not only seek civil justice for the deceased person, but also seek monetary compensation for that person’s death. Under section 16.003(b) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, family members have only two years to act after a loved one’s death.
Houston Wrongful Death Attorney
Pursuing a claim for a wrongful death case can help you find closure during this difficult time. It also can help hold the other party accountable for their actions and take steps towards ensuring this situation is never repeated. A Houston wrongful death attorney can help you through this process.
Ben Bronston & Associates has represent the loved ones of those who died due to negligence or intentional wrongful acts. Ben Bronston has more than 20 years of experience defending clients in civil litigation and will fight to get your family the compensation you need.
Do not take a settlement without speaking to an attorney. Contact Ben Bronston & Associates at (713) 225-5236. Ben Bronston & Associates represents clients throughout the Houston area, including Baytown, Spring, Katy, Sugarland, Pearland, Humble, Tomball, Cypress and Pasadena.
What our Clients Say
I was referred to the Bronston Legal office back in December of 2015 during my first car accident. I had no idea what to expect, where to start, or who to even talk to. They made everything very easy and took the time to always make sure my passenger and myself were well taken care of. I would highly recommend them as not many people are willing to fight so hard for you. Continue reading
Information on Texas Wrongful Death Laws
- When a Death is Considered “Wrongful” in Texas
- Key Issues for Wrongful Death Suits in Houston
- Who Can File a Claim for Wrongful Death in Texas?
- Damages for Wrongful Death Claims in Harris County
- Wrongful Death Resources
When a Death is Considered “Wrongful”
A death is considered wrongful under Texas law when it occurs due to the negligence or intentional act of another person. In some cases, the victim could have died while on the job in unsafe conditions. In other instances, the person could be a victim of a violent crime, such as murder.
A lawsuit after a wrongful death is a civil action, which means there is a lower burden of proof than in criminal matters. For example, if your loved one was murdered and the killer was not convicted for the crime, you still may have a case for a wrongful death suit.
Negligence may be involved in deaths related to:
- Negligent security
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Key Issues for Wrongful Death Suits
In order to prove a wrongful death claim in Texas, the spouse or family member of the decedent filing the claim must be able to demonstrate several different factors. Your Houston wrongful death attorney can help you carefully review your information before filing a suit.
- Can I prove my loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of another? In Texas, to file a wrongful death suit a person must be able to prove the death was proximately caused by the actions of another person, business or entity.
- Why should I file a claim for wrongful death? After the death of a loved one, families can have mixed emotions about filing a wrongful death suit. When a person is a caretaker, his or her family relies on the income. Damages from a wrongful death suit can help families continue to provide even with a loss of an income.
- What else do I need to prove for a wrongful death suit? A descendant must be able to prove a monetary loss was sustained as a result of the decedent’s death. For example, if a father of five dies in a wrongful death leaving behind a single mother, she must prove she relied on the income to raise their children.
Who Can File a Claim for Wrongful Death?
Any action to recover damages after a wrongful death in Texas is for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children and parents of the deceased, according to Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. The surviving spouse, children and parents of the deceased may bring the wrongful death suit or one or more of those individuals may bring the suit for the benefit of all within two years of the accident.
However, Texas law does not allow surviving siblings to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a brother or sister, whether biological or adopted. Adult children may file wrongful death claims over the death of a parent.
An adopted child may also file a wrongful death claim for the death of an adoptive parent, if the child was fully and legally adopted by that parent; however, an adopted child may not file a claim for the wrongful death of a biological parent. The adoptive parents may file a wrongful death claim if their adopted child suffers an untimely death.Back to top
Damages for Wrongful Death Claims
Damages for wrongful death claims are paid to compensate the family for the unfortunate and untimely death of a loved one. The damages are divided among all parties who are entitled to recover, according to Chapter 41 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
Damages can include compensatory damages, which are damages intended to compensate the entitled parties for their loss. Damages in a Texas wrongful death case may compensate for losses like:
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost care, maintenance, services, support and counsel the deceased would have provided
- Mental and emotional anguish, pain and suffering
- Lost love, companionship and comfort
- Lost inheritance, meaning what the deceased would have left to surviving family members
In some cases, exemplary damages may be available. Often called “punitive damages,” these are intended to punish the responsible party for a willful act or gross negligence. The goal is to send a message indicating the negligence will not be tolerated.
For instance, if a person is killed while on the job at a manufacturing plant because of unsafe conditions, the demand for exemplary damages is a punishment and a call to have changes to prevent the accident from occurring again.
However, it is important to know there may be limits on the amount of damages in a wrongful death action. For example, if an individual dies as a result of medical malpractice, the economic and non-economic damages their beneficiaries may receive are capped at a little over $1.6 million, plus the cost of any necessary accrued medical or custodial care.Back to top
Wrongful Death Resources
- Texas Wrongful Death Statute: This is the law, found in the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, that gives loved ones the right to death for the death of a person.
- The Compassionate Friends: This nonprofit organization helps grieving parents after the loss of a child.
Finding the Best Houston Area Wrongful Death Lawyer
No amount of money can ease the pain of losing a loved one. However, in some instances, families rely on the financial help that person provided. A Houston wrongful death attorney at Ben Bronston & Associates can help families recover from the traumatic experience. Our experience in complex litigation can be an asset as you fight for justice in the name of your loved one. Call (713) 225-5236 to schedule a free consultation.Back to top