How Can A Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer Fight For Your Rights?
Losing someone you love upends your entire world. In the wake of a loss, a grieving family already has a host of emotions to process in addition to dealing with the financial concerns that often accompany losing a family member.
When you lose a loved one due to the fault of another, these struggles can become exponentially more difficult. Fighting with lawyers and insurance companies to recover the damages you are entitled to is often the last thing you want to do.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you don’t have to face a difficult legal battle alone. Let one of the experienced Houston wrongful death lawyers at Khattar Law, PC take up your fight. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?
In Texas wrongful death is a legal claim governed by state statute. The statute provides that a wrongful death occurs where:
- A person’s death is the result of an injury;
- That injury is the result of another person’s wrongful act or negligence; and
- The injured person would have been entitled to bring a personal injury suit if he or she had survived.
Which Surviving Family Members Can Bring A Wrongful Death Suit?
The Texas wrongful death statute provides that a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by a surviving spouse, children, or parents. This includes adoptive parents and children where the adoption is finalized. It does not include, however, siblings, step parents, step siblings, or other more distant relations.
How Long Do I Have To File A Wrongful Death Claim in Houston?
A statute of limitations is a law governing the length of time following an accident within which an injured party can bring a lawsuit. In Texas, with some limited exceptions, the surviving family of a wrongful death victim has two years following the date of injury to bring a lawsuit.
A common example of an exception is when the responsible party is a government entity, a plaintiff usually has only six months to file a claim. To make sure you don’t run afoul of this statute, contact an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer today.
What Are The Most Common Wrongful Death Claims?
Unfortunately, families lose loved ones all too often and in a myriad of ways. Sometimes, however, those deaths are due to the actions or negligence of another. These situations can give rise to a wrongful death claim. Some of the most common wrongful death claims include:
- Auto accidents. Whether car, truck, motorcycle, or other vehicle, auto accidents are a primary cause of wrongful death accidents in Texas.
- Medical malpractice. When medical malpractice such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors, or poor care lead to a patient’s death, a wrongful death claim may arise.
- Unsafe premises. Slip and fall accidents resulting from the negligence of a property owner sometimes result in fatal injuries.
- Workplace fatalities. Employers have a duty to provide and keep a reasonably safe workplace. When a fatality occurs due to their failure to do so, a wrongful death claim may be appropriate.
- Defective products. Manufacturers have a duty to their customers to ensure that products placed into the stream of commerce are safe to use and enjoy. A fatal accident involving a defective product can result in a wrongful death claim.
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Auto accidents sometimes involve pedestrians and bicycles. Unfortunately, cyclists and pedestrians are relatively unprotected in a collision with a motor vehicle, increasing their chance of fatality.
- Boating and drowning accidents. While boating makes most of us think of sunny days at the lake, accidents on the water can be deadly.
- Aviation accidents. Although less common than these other causes, when aviation accidents occur, their very nature makes them extraordinarily dangerous.
- Intentional acts. Some wrongful death claims arise not from negligence but rather from intentional acts. When someone is killed as a result of another’s criminal act the surviving family may have a wrongful death case. This is a civil matter that occurs separately from any criminal charges that may or may not be levied. Injured parties do not receive compensation from a defendant’s criminal trial. Further, even if the responsible party is not criminally prosecuted or is found not criminally liable, surviving family members may nonetheless have a viable wrongful death claim.
What Damages Can I Expect To Recover In A Wrongful Death Action?
As in a personal injury case the damages plaintiffs in a wrongful death action may be entitled to depend on the totality of the circumstances. You can take help of a Houston Wrongful Death Attorney if you are in a dilemma about how to proceed in a wrongful death claim.
Generally, however a surviving family member may seek both economic and noneconomic damages that the injured person could have sought if he or she had survived as well as some specific to surviving family. These include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of financial support
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of inheritance
- Pain and suffering of the deceased
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of care and guidance
- In certain situations, punitive or exemplary damages to discourage future incidents
What Steps Should I Take After A Wrongful Death
If you have lost a loved one due to the fault of another, you may feel overwhelmed, stressed, and uncertain about the future. Following a few simple steps may help to preserve your legal rights:
- Obtain a copy of the death certificate
- Gather evidence including pictures of injuries, medical bills, and witness contact information
- Seek necessary grief counseling or therapy for you and your family
Contact our experienced Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, contact our law firm today. We are well-versed in representing clients in personal injury cases. Schedule a free case consultation or call us at 210-791-0817 if you have any queries regarding wrongful death cases.