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Wrongful Death: What is a claim of wrongful death? Who may bring an action? Do I need a lawyer?

According to the National Safety Council, the U.S. has seen three straight years of at least 40,000 roadway deaths – from 2016 through 2018. Without a clear understanding of the scope of the problem, regulations, laws, and policies to combat specific issues, like distracted driving, become more difficult to justify.

Every state has now enacted some form of wrongful death act. In some jurisdictions, the personal representative is the proper party to bring the action; in others, the surviving spouse or next of kin herself might be the appropriate party. Under most statutes, the measure of recovery in wrongful death actions is for the monetary injury resulting to the spouse and next of kin. This allows recovery for loss of support, loss of companionship, etc. It does not allow any recovery for the decedent’s pain and suffering; those damages would be an element of a personal injury survival action brought on behalf of the decedent. 

Wrongful death is usually caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional action of another person or business. Under Texas law and the tort of wrongful death claim, a party can move forward with holding the offending party accountable for their loved one’s tragic passing. The three most frequent causes of wrongful death are as follows:

  •  Car Accident 

According to the National Safety Council, the U.S. has seen three straight years of at least 40,000 roadway deaths – from 2016 through 2018. Without a clear understanding of the scope of the problem, regulations, laws, and policies to combat specific issues, like distracted driving, become more difficult to justify. In Texas, 3,800 people died from a car, truck, motorcycle, or bus accident each year. The common causes of these tragic events are persons driving while distracted, aggressively or recklessly, driving while drunk or under the influence, or otherwise impaired. They can be considered moving negligently as they are not upholding their duty of care to others on the road.

  • Medical Malpractice 

Medical Malpractice is another common cause of wrongful death action. When a healthcare worker fails to provide care that meets a certain standard, they can be considered negligent in their duties. Usually, a mistake is made when diagnosing a patient, prescribing medications, determining a treatment method, performing surgery, administering anesthesia, or any other medically related procedure; this can lead to the patient’s wrongful death. Some other common causes of wrongful death in medical Malpractice are injuries during the birth of a child, the abuse or neglect of a patient, and defective or poorly maintained medical devices. It is imperative that you talk to an attorney right away and not wait if you are a victim of Medical Malpractice.  

  • Defective Products 

The basic principle of a “product liability” is the generic phrase used to describe the liability of the supplier of a product to one injured by the product. There are five theories of liability available to Plaintiff’s in a product liability case: (1) Intent (2) Negligence (3) Strict Liability (4) Implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose; and (5) Representation theories (express warranty and misrepresentation) In addition to above there are manufacturing defects and design defects. A manufacturing defect is when a product emerges from a manufacturing process more dangerous than if it had been made the way it should have been. The product is “unreasonably dangerous” as to be defective because of the manufacturing defect. A design defect is when all the product lines are made according to the manufacturing specification but have dangerous propensities because of a mechanical feature or packaging. Thus, the entire line may be found to be defective because of poor design. The manufacturers are legally required to safety test their products, which means they are liable if a consumer dies as a direct result of using their product. It is vital to contact an attorney and understand your rights if you are a victim of a defective product.   

Contact your Injury Lawyer before you settle. 

At Houston Area Injury Lawyers, PLLC, our firm focuses on representing those who have suffered a personal injury through the entire recovery process – physical, emotional, and financial recovery from injuries. We help clients tip the balance of justice into their favor through our years of experience and expertise and our vigorous representation of injured clients. Our care and preparation are the keys to our success. The lawyers at Houston Area Injury Lawyers, PLLC, can help you navigate this issue and answer any questions that you may have. If you would like to speak to someone about your situation or for a free consultation, call our office at (713) 366-HURT (4878)—Tip the Balance in Your Favor. 

* At Houston Area Injury Lawyers, PLLC, we pride ourselves on helping our clients recover fully – physically, emotionally, and financially. Our clients are our family. We stand ready to help your recovery from your injury. Contact us today. https://houinjurylawyers.com/

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