Wrongful Death Lawyer in Houston

Get Representation For Expenses Related To A Loved One’s Death

Losing a loved one in any scenario is a harrowing and traumatic event. That pain is compounded when you lose someone because of another person’s negligence. In addition to the emotional pain is the financial setback one experiences.

Besides funeral and burial costs, families deal with many other expenses related to wrongful death. Close family members are placed in tough financial predicaments while still coping with the sudden loss of a loved one. Thinking about suing for damages after the death of a loved one may be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important that you file your wrongful death claim as soon as possible. The financial burden that comes with death can sometimes plunge you into crushing debt. Our wrongful death attorneys are here to fight for you and lighten that burden. The lawyers at The Hadi Law Firm will aggressively pursue all parties responsible for the death of your loved one and get you the compensation and justice you deserve.

What constitutes "wrongful death" in Texas?

The simplest way to define wrongful death is when a person’s intentional or negligent acts caused the death of another. There are laws in place to provide a civil avenue for those suffering the loss of a loved one in such situations.

The following factors are considered in determining wrongful death:

  • An injury causes a person’s death or a fetus’s failure to be born alive.
  • The injury was caused by another person’s or entity’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” and
  • The injured person would have been entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived or been born alive.

To learn more about filing a wrongful death claim in Texas, visit section 71 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

It is important to note that every state has different statutes on these claims. These include how long after the death a survivor can file a claim, who can file a claim, and what damages can be awarded. Texas wrongful death laws are unique, and an experienced local personal injury lawyer is your best resource for information or to file a claim.

Wrongful Death

Damages That Can be Recovered in a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, you may be able to recover compensation for three general types of damages.

  1. Economic damages include funeral and medical expenses related to the death, loss of your loved one’s future earnings, and loss of your loved one’s future benefits.
  2. Non-economic damages are things that have less tangible value. These include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of inheritance, and loss of consortium.
  3. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages to punish the responsible party for willful or grossly negligent acts.

Wrongful Death Claims vs. Survival Claims

Texas law distinguishes between two closely related types of claims: Wrongful death claims and Survival Claims. A wrongful death claim is brought by family members who seek compensation for lost financial support, loss of companionship, and so forth. A survival claim is filed by the deceased person’s estate, who may ask to be compensated for the deceased person’s losses, such as pain and suffering. This is similar to a personal injury lawsuit that a victim who survived the injury might have brought. Both claims are civil in nature, meaning the standard of proof is lower than in a criminal prosecution.

When a loved one passes away due to someone’s negligence or misconduct, you may have grounds to sue for wrongful death. A plaintiff must prove that the tragic loss of life was attributable to someone’s wrongful or negligent conduct.

There are a plethora of such lawsuits that are filed across the country. Some examples include fatalities from medication errors, manufacturing defects, drunk drivers, and stray gunshots. In some cases, the deceased’s estate has sued doctors for not fulfilling their duty to save a person’s life.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of wrongful death due to negligence, contact us to set up a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, Texas allows only certain individuals to file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • The deceased person’s spouse.
  • The deceased person’s children.
  • The deceased person’s parents.
  • The representative of the deceased person’s estate.

A plaintiff can recover monetary compensation for losses including:

  • Loss of financial support.
  • Loss of companionship.
  • The survivors’ mental anguish.
  • The deceased person’s pain and suffering.
  • Medical bills.
  • Funeral and burial costs.

A court can also award a plaintiff exemplary or punitive damages (extra monetary damages designed to punish the defendant) if the death is caused by a willful act or gross negligence.

It’s reasonable to wonder what will happen with any money from a wrongful death lawsuit’s settlement or verdict. A variety of factors influence who receives compensation in Texas based on the facts surrounding the individual situation. Children might be able to claim damages if their parent has passed away. Adopted children may also lay claim to any damages awarded. Most often, it is a surviving spouse who can claim the money. However, it is important to note that siblings and other more distant relatives of a person who has died are unable to file a wrongful death claim in Texas.