What is a Wrongful Death?
Losing a close family member or spouse is a crushing blow, but such a loss can feel even more tragic and crushing when that loss is the result of an avoidable accident or the reckless acts of another. If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s actions, you may have a right to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. For claim, you can get the help of Houston wrongful death attorney.
A wrongful death is a negligent act that results in death due to careless actions — or inactions — by an individual or company. These wrongful deaths can include improper or untimely medical care and defective product distribution and use. Pursuing a Houston wrongful death claim requires proper evidence that the responsible party acted in a careless manner and that the cause of the accident could have been avoided had the other party exhibited reasonable caution.
Who Can Sue For a Wrongful Death in Texas?
In the state of Texas spouses, children or even parents of the deceased have the legal right to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one they have lost. These cases are usually brought by a representative of the estate on behalf of the family seeking monetary damages for their losses.
Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas
Some of the most common types of accidents that result in wrongful death include:
- Car wrecks (including drunk driving and distracted driving)
- Premises liability
- 18 wheeler crashes
- Motorcycle accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Maritime or offshore accidents
- Airplane accidents
- Dangerous or defective products (exposure to asbestos leading to Mesothelioma or Cancer)
- Medical malpractice
An accidental death claim is pursued with the aim of establishing who was at fault and bring justice for those who suffered a loss by seeking compensation. If you or someone you know has died due to the careless actions of another, contact Houston wrongful death attorney, Charles J. Argento to find out how we can help you preserve your rights and seek monetary compensation.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim in Houston
Although there are innumerable causes and scenarios that can result in a wrongful death suit, the following elements must be clearly established in order to sue for damages:
- Duty of Care: There must be sufficient evidence to illustrate to the court that the responsible party used ill caution in the time of the accident and failed to comply with safety regulations. This could apply to vehicle operators, property owners, physicians, workplace supervisors and product manufacturers that weren’t following established standards that resulted in an avoidable and lethal accident.
- For example, a driver has a duty of care to those with whom they share the road to drive as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. This includes driving at a reasonable speed and avoiding dangerous or sudden maneuvers, but it can also include a duty to keep the car in reasonably safe condition with a functioning brake system and tires with a sufficient amount of tread.
- Breach of Duty of Care: There must be proof that the party responsible for the injury breached the mandated duty of care that was in the wrongdoer’s capacity to adhere to. This could include disregarding traffic safety regulations, property or workplace conditions not being up to code, product defects or errors made by healthcare practitioners.
- For example, a doctor who has a duty to care for a particular patient might breach that duty by failing to explore multiple possible diagnoses based on the patient’s symptoms, or by failing to follow established best practices for wound care after a procedure.
- Causation: Not only must the case prove the negligent party acted illegally or acted irresponsibly, but it must also be evident that the oversight directly resulted in the death of another. The negligent action that caused the accident and the resulting death needs to be directly connected in order to pursue compensation for the surviving family.
- For example, if a doctor breaches their duty of care to a patient by failing to explore multiple diagnoses for a patient, but that patient’s death is caused by an infection they acquired in the hospital, the doctor’s breach is not the cause of the patient’s death. However, if a nurse charged with caring for the patient negligently caused the patient to become infected by failing to adequately scrub up between patients, then that nurse’s breach of duty would be the cause of the patient’s death. In this case, a claim for wrongful death would be more appropriately filed against the nurse, not the doctor, as well as the hospital.
The Importance of Hiring a Houston Wrongful Death Attorney
An experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer has the ability to communicate with insurance companies, financial institutions and corporations that may not work with a non-lawyer voluntarily. Simply put, legal individuals and companies respond to legal representatives in a timely fashion, and with clear answers.
Contacting a Houston wrongful death attorney will start the investigation process where research is conducted to obtain the evidence necessary to win the maximum benefits due to you and your family as the result of your loss. An experienced and aggressive Houston wrongful death lawyer will gather all the pieces necessary and walk you and your family through the tedious legal process and inform you of your rights and options.
Damages Recovered in Wrongful Death Cases
When it comes to the type of damages that can be recovered in wrongful death cases, there are a number of components that are taken into consideration by the courts, including:
- Funeral & Burial Expenses
- Lost Benefits (including Retirement, Pension, Medical or Health Insurance Coverage)
- Lost Earnings
- Medical Expense Left Behind by the Deceased
- Mental & Emotional Anguish
The types of damages that are covered include the sum of a complex calculating system the courts use to determine the settlement of a wrongful death suit. The equation is based on the deceased’s individual’s earning capacity and previous life expectancy, among a myriad of additional factors that vary by individual. If there is more than one beneficiary, the settlement will be distributed between them equally.
Wrongful Death By Negligent
In Texas, exemplary damages are achievable and can be recovered when wrongful death is caused by a reasonable person acting in an irresponsible or grossly negligent manner. Exemplary damages are also referred to as ‘punitive damages.’ This is a process intended to hold the responsible party accountable for their gross negligence and to punish the culprit offering justice for the party that was wronged.
At Charles J. Argento & Associates, Our Law Firm in Houston, TX Also Focuses on The Following Practice Areas:
Compassionate and Aggressive Representation By Houston Wrongful Death Attorney
With nearly three decades of experience in representing individuals in accidental death cases, our Houston wrongful death lawyer works tirelessly to uncover the truth behind the loss of your loved one, while allowing you and your family to receive compensation for the immense emotional and monetary loss you suffered. While no amount of money can bring back a precious loved one, these funds can help alleviate the financial stress that can follow from losing a wage earner or paying high end-of-life medical costs, allowing you to focus on healing and rebuilding your life rather than how you’ll make ends meet.
Wrongful Death Content:
- Accidental Death Claims
- Frequently Asked Questions about Texas Wrongful Death Cases
- Causes of Wrongful Death
- Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Texas
Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyer in HOUSTON, TX
At Charles J. Argento & Associates, our compassionate and accomplished staff understands the pain and suffering that comes along with the unexpected loss of a loved one. We work tirelessly as a team to prepare the best case possible for you and your family, so you and your family can focus on emotional healing. Contact our Houston wrongful death lawyer today at (713) 225-5050 for a free consultation. Our Houston wrongful death attorney works solely on a contingency basis, so we recover absolutely no fees unless we win your case first. Allow our staff to help you through this difficult time by handling communication with the insurance agents, Houston wrongful death attorneys and the personal or corporate entity that you believe is responsible for the loss of your loved one.
Charles Argento Wrongful Death FAQs
What is the Definition of Wrongful Death in Texas?
The Texas Wrongful Death Statute states that claims can be filed by certain parties if the death is caused by the negligence, carelessness, wrongful act, unskillfulness, or default of another person or corporation. Discussing the loss of your loved one with a Houston wrongful death lawyer will provide the details you need to make an informed decision regarding your eligibility to pursue a case.
Can Siblings File Wrongful Death Claims in Texas?
Under Texas law, the surviving siblings of a decedent, whether biological or adopted siblings, cannot file a wrongful death claim. Our Houston wrongful death attorney designs strategic claims on behalf of the parents, children, or surviving spouse of the decedent; all of whom are eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim.
What is the Difference Between a Murder Charge and a Wrongful Death Claim?
Murder charges are designed to criminally punish another person who killed a decedent. These cases take place in criminal courts and are prosecuted and defended by the State and criminal attorneys, respectively. Wrongful death claims are civil cases, represented by a Houston wrongful death lawyer, to pursue compensation to the grieving family for their economic and non-economic losses.
Is a Fatality Caused by a Drunk Driver Considered Wrongful Death?
If your loved one has been killed by a negligent drunk driver, their legal troubles may unfold in both criminal and civil courts. Our Houston wrongful death attorney will review the evidence in your case and provide the solutions that are available to you under our wrongful death statutes. The criminal and civil cases will be tried separately, focusing on very different outcomes.
What is the Texas Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
Two years. The clock starts ticking from the date of your loved one’s death. While our Houston wrongful death lawyer understands how important it is to grieve fully after a traumatic loss, we also know that time is of the essence when filing a claim. Civil courts rarely, and only under extenuating circumstances, will allow an extension when filing a wrongful death claim.
How Can a Houston Wrongful Death Attorney Prove My Claim?
At Charles J. Argento, our Houston wrongful death attorney must prove the negligent party was liable for the loss of our client’s loved one, showing that if it were not for their behavior, their spouse, child, or parent would have survived the wrongful act. For example, if the deceased was killed in a car accident, we would have to prove the collision was the result of someone else’s negligence, which could include a drunk driver or a manufacturing defect on the vehicle.
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