Houston Wrongful Death Attorney
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, medical malpractice 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.
What Is a Wrongful Death Suit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action certain parties can take after the wrongful death of a loved one. Based on Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 71.002, a wrongful death is one that a person or entity causes by a “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” If your family is currently grieving the unexpected death of a loved one, it is worthwhile to consider whether the death was “wrongful” in the eyes of the law. If so, your family could be eligible for compensation.
What to Do After a Loved One’s Death
Wrongful death lawsuits serve to reimburse surviving family members and dependents for not only the deceased person’s losses, but the family’s losses as well. A successful claim can result in compensation for the decedent’s hospital bills and pain and suffering, as well as the family’s loss of consortium, mental anguish, lost future income, and lost inheritance. If you think your family might have a lawsuit on your hands, your first move should be to call an attorney.
A wrongful death attorney can listen to your case and tell if whether it qualifies as a lawsuit. Your family will need the elements of a claim, including proof of the at-fault party’s duty to your loved one, breach of duty (negligence), and causation. You also need to come forward with your claim within Texas’s statute of limitations – two years of the date of your loved one’s death. The sooner you call an experienced wrongful death lawyer, the sooner you can start the journey toward recovery.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
While any death that fulfills Texas’s statutes might be “wrongful,” there are a few common scenarios that most often lead to lawsuits. These scenarios involve someone else’s negligence or misconduct as the proximate cause of death. If any of the following situations sounds similar to what happened to your loved one, you could have grounds to file a claim:
- Car accident
- Commercial truck accident
- Pedestrian or bicycle accident
- Workplace incident
- Job-related illness or medical condition
- Medical malpractice
- Defective or dangerous product
- Accidental poisoning or overdose
- Criminal activity/intent to harm
An example of a situation that could give rise to a wrongful death claim would be if your child passed away in a school bus accident. Upon further investigation, police might discover that the bus driver had been texting at the time of the collision, which caused the crash and your child’s death. Since the driver caused the death through carelessness, the driver (and vicariously, the school) is liable for the wrongful death. Parents could sue the school for compensation.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death?
While losing a close friend, sister, or brother is painful, these relationships do not allow the surviving person to file a wrongful death claim in Texas. The law only permits a surviving spouse, child, or parents of the deceased to file this type of claim. If these parties do not file within three months of the death, the decedent’s estate may file instead, on behalf of beneficiaries. Speak with an attorney for more in-depth information about wrongful death claims in Texas.
Ben Bronston & Associates are trusted Houston wrongful death attorneys that will work with you every step of the way.