Houston Lawyers Representing Clients in Severe Injury Claims and Wrongful Death Claims
When a person suffers an injury due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions in Houston or Sugar Land, the injured person has the right to take legal action in the form of a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. However, if the victim suffered catastrophic injuries, they may be unable to pursue legal action on their own behalf. In addition, if the victim does not survive their injury, their surviving family would need to pursue a wrongful death claim instead of the personal injury claim the victim could have filed had they survived.
At Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, we understand that a severe injury can be life-changing, and it’s common for people in this situation to feel uncertain about their futures in the face of mounting medical bills, unpaid household bills, and other losses. When a family loses a loved one unexpectedly due to the negligent actions of another party, this can cause an intense mix of frustration, uncertainty, and despair that makes the resulting financial challenges much more difficult to address. Our team wants to provide the legal counsel you and your loved ones need in challenging times like these.
Understanding Wrongful Death
Losing a beloved family member or unborn child is never easy, but it can be especially devastating when their death is caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act. In such cases, the surviving family of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for their losses. A Houston wrongful death lawyer can assist in understanding the key elements of a wrongful death claim and can help families navigate this difficult situation.
Key Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
To prove a wrongful death case, the following elements must be established:
- Duty of care: The responsible party had a legal obligation to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm to the deceased.
- Breach of duty: The responsible party failed to fulfill their legal obligation and breached their duty of care.
- Causation: The responsible party’s breach of duty directly or indirectly caused the death of the deceased.
- Damages: The surviving family members of the deceased suffered damages as a result of the death, such as loss of financial support, cost of medical treatment, and mental anguish.
Incidents That Can Lead to Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can occur in a variety of situations. Some of the most common incidents that lead to wrongful death include:
- Car accidents: When a driver’s negligence causes a fatal car accident.
- Medical malpractice: When a healthcare professional fails to provide an acceptable standard of care, resulting in a patient’s death.
- Work-related accidents: When an employer’s negligence or unsafe working conditions cause an employee’s death.
- Product liability: When a defective product causes a fatal accident.
- Criminal acts: When a person’s intentional or reckless actions result in another person’s death.
These are just a few examples of incidents that can lead to wrongful death. Each case is unique and requires a thorough investigation to determine the cause of your loved one’s death and the negligent party for wrongful death claims.
Texas Wrongful Death Statute
The state of Texas recognizes wrongful death claims as a way for family members to seek justice for the loss of a loved one caused by negligence or someone else’s wrongful act. If you’ve lost a family member due to negligence, your Houston wrongful death lawyer will help you to understand the wrongful death statute and how it applies to your case.
Overview of Texas Law on Wrongful Death
Under Texas law, a wrongful death claim can be brought by the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. In some cases, the representative of the estate may also bring a claim on behalf of the surviving family. Wrongful death lawsuits in Texas are governed by the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which outlines the legal process and requirements for filing a wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
As mentioned, certain family members are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim in Texas. These include the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. If none of these parties are available, a personal representative of the estate may also file a claim on their behalf.
Types of Damages That Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Suit
Damages in a Texas wrongful death suit can include compensation for a range of losses, including but not limited to:
- Medical expenses related to the deceased’s final injury or illness
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of future earnings and earning potential
- Loss of inheritance
- Mental anguish and emotional suffering
- Loss of companionship and society
Differences Between Criminal and Civil Cases
It’s important to note that a wrongful death claim is a civil case, not a criminal case. While criminal charges may be filed, a criminal case is brought by the state and is intended to punish the wrongdoer in criminal courts. In contrast, a civil wrongful death claim is brought by the surviving family and is intended to compensate them for their losses.
Furthermore, the burden of proof is different in a criminal case than in a civil case. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, while in a civil case, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it’s more likely than not that the defendant was responsible for the wrongful death.
When a wrongful death occurs, it is essential to prove that the responsible party acted negligently or wrongfully. Establishing negligence in a wrongful death case is a crucial step in recovering damages for the victim’s surviving family.
What Constitutes Negligence in Texas Wrongful Death Cases?
Negligence in a wrongful death case is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care that results in the death of another person. Negligence can occur in various forms, such as failing to maintain safety regulations, disobeying traffic laws, failing to provide adequate medical care, or intentionally causing harm. The person responsible must have had a duty of care towards the victim and breached that duty by their actions or inaction.
Steps Involved in Proving Negligence
Demonstrating negligence in a successful wrongful death lawsuit can be complex and challenging. An experienced Houston wrongful death attorney can guide family members through legal proceedings and take the necessary steps to prove negligence, including:
Evidence is crucial in establishing negligence. A skilled attorney will gather evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records to support the claim.
Investigating the Accident
Wrongful death attorneys will conduct an investigation to identify the cause of the accident and who is responsible. They may consult with reconstruction experts and accident lawyers to determine the cause of the accident.
Securing Expert Testimony
In some cases, expert testimony may be necessary to prove negligence. For instance, a medical expert can testify about the standard of care in a medical malpractice case.
Building a Strong Case
Houston wrongful death lawyers will build a strong case on behalf of the surviving family members. They will present the evidence in a compelling manner and argue the case in court if necessary.
Role of a Skilled Wrongful Death Attorney in Proving Negligence
Proving negligence in wrongful death lawsuits can be a complex and challenging process, which is why it is essential to work with skilled Houston wrongful death attorneys. A skilled attorney will investigate the incident, gather evidence, and build a strong case on behalf of the surviving family. They will work tirelessly to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and ensure that the family receives the compensation they deserve.
Survival Claims and Punitive Damages
When a person suffers fatal injuries due to the negligent act of another, it is not just the victim who suffers; their loved ones are also impacted by the loss. In Texas, the surviving family of a wrongful death victim may be entitled to compensation through a survival claim. Further damages may be awarded to punish the negligent party and deter similar conduct in the future.
What Is a Survival Claim?
A survival claim is a type of legal action that allows the estate of a deceased person to claim damages that the victim would have been entitled to if they had survived the accident. The claim is brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate by their representative, and any damages awarded are distributed to the victim’s heirs according to the terms of their will or Texas law.
Types of Damages in a Survival Claim
Survival claims can seek compensation for damages such as the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, personal injury, and pain and suffering incurred by the victim before their death. The estate may also be able to claim damages for funeral and burial expenses, as well as any property damage that occurred as a result of the accident.
What Are Punitive Damages?
These damages are a type of compensation that may be awarded in addition to actual damages in a wrongful death case. Unlike actual damages, which are meant to compensate the victim’s family for their losses, these damages are intended to punish the person responsible for their actions and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
Damages awarded at the discretion of the jury are often a significant amount. The amount awarded varies based on the circumstances of the case, including the severity of the responsible person’s actions and their ability to pay.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Losing a family member is difficult, especially when their death was caused by negligence or wrongful actions. Wrongful death claims can arise from a variety of incidents, including:
Car and Truck Accidents
Sometimes fatal accidents on the road can happen because of driver error, mechanical failure, or even hazardous road conditions. When a car accident results in a loss of life, the responsible person can be held liable for damages. For those who survived and sustained a personal injury, filing a personal injury claim will be necessary.
Motorcycle accidents can be even more devastating than a car accident because riders are often exposed and not as well-protected as those in cars. These accidents can occur when drivers fail to yield to motorcycles, engage in distracted driving, or drive under the influence.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide an adequate level of care, leading to a patient’s death. Examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and medication mistakes.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents are entirely preventable and tragically common. When a drunk driver causes a fatal accident, they may face both criminal charges and a wrongful death lawsuit. Pending criminal charges do not negate the opportunity for civil cases.
Willful Acts and Gross Negligence
In some cases, a person’s negligence can rise to the level of willful misconduct or blatant negligence. This can include actions such as driving under the influence or intentionally causing harm to another person.
Regardless of the type of incident that led to a loved one’s death, it’s important to hold negligent parties accountable and seek compensation for the damages caused. Your Houston wrongful death attorney can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Losing a loved one is a devastating experience, and filing a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. However, it is important to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions and seek compensation for the losses incurred with a Houston wrongful death claim. An experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer can guide you through the process.
How To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The first step in filing a wrongful death lawsuit is to hire a wrongful death attorney. Your Houston wrongful death attorneys will guide you through the process and help you understand your legal rights.
The attorney will start by investigating the case and gathering evidence to establish negligence. They will also help you determine the types of damages you can seek, such as medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, and emotional distress.
Once the investigation is complete, the wrongful death lawyer will file the lawsuit on your behalf. The lawsuit will typically be filed in the county where the incident occurred. The defendant will be served with a copy of the lawsuit, and they will have a set amount of time to respond.
Hiring an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
It is important to hire a skilled wrongful death attorney from a reputable law firm to handle your case. Wrongful death lawsuits can be complex, and there are specific legal requirements that must be met to prove negligence and recover damages.
An experienced Houston wrongful death attorney will have a thorough understanding of Texas law and the process involved in filing a lawsuit. They will also have access to resources such as expert witnesses and investigators to build a strong case.
Additionally, an experienced wrongful death lawyer will provide emotional support and guidance during this difficult time. They will handle the legal aspects of the case, allowing you to focus on grieving and healing.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Damages
Losing a family member due to negligence can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. In case of wrongful death, the family of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for various damages.
How Damages Are Calculated
Calculating damages in a case of wrongful death can be complex, as it involves assessing both economic and non-economic losses. A Houston wrongful death attorney will work with financial experts and other professionals to determine the full extent of the damages suffered by the family.
In general, economic damages are easier to quantify as they involve specific financial losses. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective and can be more difficult to calculate. Factors such as the age, occupation, and earning capacity of the deceased person may be taken into account when determining the amount of damages to be awarded.
Working With an Attorney
Navigating a wrongful death case can be overwhelming, especially while grieving the loss of a loved one. That’s why it’s crucial to work with a wrongful death attorney with experience, who can guide you through the process and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
A Houston wrongful death lawyer can help you gather evidence, file paperwork, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court. They can also ensure that all legal deadlines are met and that your case is handled in a timely and efficient manner. While no amount of money can ever truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, obtaining fair compensation can help provide financial security and closure for the family.
Why You Need Legal Counsel from a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Houston
Losing a loved one is one of life’s most painful experiences. When that loss occurs due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, the pain can be even more unbearable. In such cases, the law provides a means for family members to seek justice for wrongful death victims and hold the responsible person accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you have recently lost a loved one in Houston, TX due to negligence, it is crucial to seek the guidance of wrongful death lawyers. A Houston wrongful death lawyer can provide a free consultation, help you navigate complex legal proceedings, recover damages for medical expenses, burial expenses, personal injury, and emotional distress, and provide the support and understanding that you need during this difficult time. With the help of a compassionate and experienced Houston wrongful death attorney, you can seek justice and recover the compensation you deserve.
What Can a Houston Lawyer Do in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful deaths can occur from car accidents, workplace accidents, defective product malfunctions, and a host of other possible causes. If you and your family recently lost a loved one unexpectedly due to the negligence of another party, this is sure to be a traumatic and emotionally challenging time for all of you. A Houston wrongful death lawyer can provide clarity and understanding when you need it most. In many ways, a wrongful death claim is functionally similar to a personal injury claim. However, Texas enforces specific rules for wrongful death claims that outline who has the right to file these claims, the damages available, and additional damages that are not available in standard personal injury claims.
Your Houston wrongful death lawyer will help you and your family navigate the complex legal proceedings that a wrongful death claim entails. At Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, we understand the emotional toll that these types of proceedings entail and will do everything in our power to ensure a swift and fair result. Our team will work closely with you and your family to help you determine the full scope of the damages available to you. While money cannot replace a lost loved one, the financial compensation you and your family receive from a successful wrongful death claim can make everyday life a bit easier to manage in the aftermath of the tragic and untimely death your family experienced.
Damages and Compensation for Severe Injuries and Wrongful Death Claims in Houston, TX
When it comes to the compensation your family can receive in a severe injury claim, the available damages are the same as those in other personal injury claims. However, the severity of the injury in question typically means that plaintiffs will receive much more substantial compensation. For example, you can claim medical expenses as economic damages, including immediate and future medical expenses resulting from your severe injury. You can receive compensation for ambulance fees, surgical costs, and extended hospital bills, but if your severe injury results in a permanent disability or medical complication requiring long-term treatment, these extended medical costs are claimable as well.
Many severe injuries result in the victim being unable to work, at least for a long time, if not permanently. Therefore, your severe injury claim can include lost income during recovery as well as lost future earning potential if you are unable to return to work due to your injury. Your Houston severe injury & wrongful death lawyer will help you calculate how much income you would have reasonably expected to earn in the future had your injury not occurred.
Similarly, a wrongful death claim can provide the surviving family of a deceased individual with lost income compensation for the wages the deceased would have earned in the future had they survived. While a personal injury claim allows a plaintiff to recover pain and suffering compensation, a wrongful death claim allows plaintiffs to receive compensation for their lost affection, care, guidance, and the value of household services provided by the deceased.
Choosing a Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience that can cause emotional and financial distress. In such situations, hiring a Houston wrongful death lawyer from a reputable law firm can provide the necessary support and guidance to help you obtain justice and compensation for your loss. However, choosing the right attorney is crucial to ensure that your legal rights are protected and your case is handled with sensitivity and care.
Questions To Ask Before Hiring an Attorney
Before hiring an attorney, it’s important to ask some questions to ensure that they are the right fit for your case:
- How many wrongful death cases have you handled?
- What is your success rate in settling wrongful death cases?
- How will you communicate with me throughout the case?
- Do you have experience dealing with my insurance company?
Choosing the right Houston wrongful death lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your wrongful death claim. Take your time to research and consider your options, and ask questions to ensure that the attorney you choose is the right fit for your case.
What to Expect From Your Houston Severe Injury/Wrongful Death Lawyer
Experiencing a severe injury or wrongful death in the family is a life-altering experience for everyone involved. If you and your loved one are unsure about what to do after a severe injury or wrongful death, it’s vital to consult with a reliable wrongful death lawyer in Houston as soon as possible to determine your best available options. The serious injury & wrongful death lawyers at Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, strive to provide comprehensive, responsive, and compassionate legal counsel to every client we represent. We know how severely a wrongful death or severe injury can impact the lives of your family and will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome to your legal claim.
Remember, your attorney should not only have the necessary experience and expertise but also be compassionate, communicative, and committed to obtaining justice and compensation for your loss. For a law firm that will do all this and more, call Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC at 936-251-5246.