CONROE Wrongful Death Attorney
Offering Compassionate Guidance & Tenacious Representation
Nothing is more painful and disruptive for a family than the unexpected loss of a loved one. If your family member was killed due to the negligence, misconduct, or willful wrongdoing of somebody else, you could have a wrongful death claim. Although no amount of money can bring your loved one back, legally, you may be able to recover damages from the person or company responsible for your family member’s death.
On This Page:
- What Is Wrongful Death?
- Wrongful Death Causes
- Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
- Texas Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
- Evaluating a Wrongful Death Case
- Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is Wrongful Death?
In short, wrongful death claims are legal actions brought by certain individuals if a close relative's death was caused by the wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, or failed action of another person or party. Wrongful death claims are similar to personal injury claims with the main difference being that the plaintiff has died, requiring the claim to be brought on behalf of the deceased by those they left behind.
To bring a wrongful death suit forward, you must have substantial evidence. Most wrongful death claims revolve around satisfying the legal concept of negligence. To prevail in court, plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits in Texas typically must prove the following:
- The responsible party owed your loved one a duty of care
- The duty of care was breached
- The breach of duty directly caused your loved one's death
Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths
Listed below are just a few common causes of wrongful death that may require you to hire an attorney:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Medical malpractice
- Defective and faulty products
- Workplace accidents
- Dangerous premises
- Criminal acts
Wrongful Death in Car & Truck Accidents
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. Nearly 2,400 teens in the United States aged 16-19 were killed, and about 258,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes in 2019 alone. The same year, an estimated 36,000 people lost their lives to car crashes.
In cases involving dangerous or recalled vehicles, it may be possible to hold automobile manufacturers responsible. Fatal accidents involving commercial vehicles also need to be fully investigated. Trucking companies and commercial truck drivers may be held accountable for fatal accidents that occur as a result of violating federal safety regulations or other traffic safety laws.
Wrongful Death in the Workplace
Companies, businesses, employers, and supervisors have a duty to ensure their workplaces are safe for workers, laborers, and employees. If your loved one was killed in an on-the-job accident, it’s possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against an employer or company. Work in the roadway, construction, and oilfield industries is particularly dangerous, so it’s essential to find out if the employer was following all state and federal safety regulations at the time of the accident.
Wrongful Death in the Hospital
Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, 251,000 people die due to preventable medical errors. More people die due to preventable medical malpractice than die of respiratory disease, accidents, stroke, and Alzheimer’s every year. Approximately 9.5% of all deaths annually are due to preventable medical errors. We’re losing 700 people a day in hospitals and medical centers due to preventable causes.
Medical errors can occur as a result of a wide variety of problems, including communication breakdown, systemic issues, wrong medications, and negligent procedures or medical techniques. At this time, there really isn’t any kind of standardization of investigations or procedures associated with medical error detection and prevention, so if you suspect your loved one died as a result of negligent care in a hospital or medical setting, you need to speak with a Conroe wrongful death attorney who has medical malpractice and wrongful death case experience immediately.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
Every state has different laws that govern who can recover compensation for the death of a loved one. In the state of Texas, parents, spouses, and children of a victim may receive compensation in a wrongful death case. Additionally, if the deceased person financially supported you, you may be entitled to more compensation than someone who was not being supported by the deceased. Your attorney can evaluate your case and determine if you have a wrongful death claim.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims
Damages associated with wrongful death claims include:
- Medical care expenses prior to death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Immediate and long-term loss of income
- Loss of benefits
- Spousal companionship loss
- Loss of parental guidance for children
- Pain, suffering, and grief from loss of spouse, children, or parents
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Texas?
Your time to take legal action for the wrongful death of a loved one is limited. Wrongful death lawsuits in Texas are subject to a two-year statute of limitations, meaning you typically have until the second anniversary of your loved one's death to file a lawsuit against those responsible. While the law provides for some limited exceptions to this time limit, you could lose your right to compensation if you do not take action before the filing deadline. For this reason, it is in your best interests to act quickly and and discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible.
Evaluating a Wrongful Death Case
If you have lost a loved one in any type of accident, whether it was in a hospital or on the job, you need to have your claim evaluated by an experienced personal injury attorney. Unfortunately, we sometimes see the person or company responsible for a person’s death attempt to convince the family otherwise. They might say that the accident was not preventable or that your family member was somehow at fault for his or her own death. Only an attorney experienced in handling wrongful death cases will be able to determine if the accident could have been prevented and if you have a valid wrongful death claim.
It is necessary to obtain various official government documents, OSHA investigation reports, and medical records to piece together what happened in your loved one’s case. Additionally, your lawyer can obtain any necessary experts who can critically review and help to evaluate your wrongful death case.
Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit is a highly emotional, unsettling, and oftentimes frightening experience that comes with many questions. While it may be difficult, know that you are not alone during this time. Our compassionate attorneys have compiled some answers below to some of the most common questions regarding wrongful death and are ready to stand by your side every step of the way.
How much does it cost to hire a wrongful death lawyer?
The last thing you should have to worry about after losing a loved one is how you'll be able to afford an attorney. Our lawyers accept wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront costs to retain our services and we will only require payment if we are successful in handling your case. Instead of a traditional retainer, our fee will be a percentage of any verdict or settlement we secure on your behalf. If we do not win, you will not owe us anything.
Can siblings bring a wrongful death claim in Texas?
Unfortunately, no. Texas law does not allow biological or adopted siblings to bring a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of a brother or sister.
What is the difference between a wrongful death case and a criminal case against someone who caused a death?
A wrongful death case is a civil case brought against a responsible party for the purpose of securing monetary compensation to a deceased person's family. Criminal cases can only be brought by the government and carry consequences like prison time or some other form of punishment if the defendant is convicted.
When are punitive damages awarded?
Punitive damages, also known as "exemplary claims," are an extra monetary penalty against the party found legally responsible in a wrongful death lawsuit. These types of damages are typically reserved for cases where the defendant’s behavior was particularly reckless or malicious and are meant to make an example out of the defendant to deter others from committing the same acts. Some, but not all, jurisdictions allow plaintiffs to seek punitive damages in wrongful death cases. It is recommended you speak to an attorney to find out if punitive damages are applicable in your case.
If you have lost a loved one due to negligence or willful wrongdoing, contact our dedicated wrongful death lawyer in Conroe for a free consultation.
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