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Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers

At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™, our experienced Houston wrongful death lawyers have worked on some of the most emotional cases. Losing a loved one in an accident is devastating, especially when it's known that the death could have easily been avoided if the negligent party had acted with care. While we understand that our legal representation can never bring your loved one back, we hope that our services and the pursuit of justice can provide some comfort to the surviving family members.

If you have recently lost a loved one, the Houston wrongful death legal experts at Hilda Sibrian® are here to help you during these difficult times. You can discuss your legal options and ask any questions you may have about the wrongful death claim process when you contact us for a free review of your case. We will work tirelessly to fight for the fair compensation you are entitled to.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death occurs when a person's negligence or intentional action leads to the unjust death of another person. There are laws that allow surviving family members to take legal action through a civil lawsuit for wrongful death when another person is responsible. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §71.002 states that a person is liable to provide financial compensation to the deceased person's family when they cause death through an "unlawful act, negligence, carelessness, lack of skill, or breach of duty." Therefore, if another person's negligence caused the death of your loved one, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against them.

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Injured in an accident in Houston? At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™, we work on a contingency fee basis, so you won't be charged until you win. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas

Many situations can lead to wrongful death lawsuits in Texas, such as:

Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of fatal injuries. Other drivers can be responsible for the victim's death due to negligent driving actions, such as:

Work Injuries

If your family member's death was caused by a fatal accident at work, you may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim against the responsible party, in addition to a workers' compensation claim. For example, many Houston residents work in refineries. If a company fails to maintain equipment in the refinery, leading to an explosion that kills a worker, the worker's family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against that company.

Truck Accidents

Due to the significant difference in size and weight between trucks and passenger vehicles, truck accidents are often fatal. Surviving family members may find it challenging to go up against trucking companies with their substantial resources, but our wrongful death attorneys can assist.

Bicycle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents involving cyclists frequently result in fatal injuries to the cyclist. Our respected wrongful death attorneys can help the loved ones of a cyclist seek compensation through a lawsuit.

Motorcycle Accidents

Victims of motorcycle accidents lack the protection of a steel frame, airbags, and seatbelts, so colliding with a larger passenger vehicle often results in fatalities.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians have little protection when a vehicle collides with them, so these accidents often have fatal consequences.

Slips and Falls

One of the primary causes of wrongful death lawsuits is slip and fall accidents that occur because property owners allow hazardous conditions on their premises.

Why Should You Hire Us and Trust in Our Wrongful Death Law Firm?

At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™, we have extensive experience in handling all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death lawsuits. Our Houston wrongful death law firm has successfully recovered millions of dollars for thousands of individuals since our establishment in 2004. You become part of our family when you walk through our doors. We can assist you with your wrongful death claim by:

  • Initiating an immediate investigation into the death of your loved one.
  • Determining the true cause of the fatal accident and all parties responsible for it.
  • Gathering all vital evidence related to your case.
  • Reviewing all insurance policies that apply to the circumstances and handling all aspects of insurance claims.
  • Negotiating fair compensation on your behalf.

A skilled Houston wrongful death lawyer at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™ can negotiate with an insurance company to reach an agreement that takes into account the current and future needs of your family. If an insurance company refuses to provide a satisfactory settlement offer, we can file a wrongful death lawsuit and take your case to court if that's what it takes to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Who Can File for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?

According to the Texas wrongful death statute found in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §71.004(a), only the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased person have the right to bring a wrongful death action after the death of a loved one. If none of these individuals file a claim within three months of the deceased person's death, the executor or personal representative of the deceased person's estate can file one.

For child claimants, wrongful death claims are not limited to minor children. Adult children can also file a claim to recover the financial contributions their parents could have made, along with other damages.

If you believe that your family member's death falls under the Texas wrongful death law, please contact an experienced wrongful death attorney at Hilda Sibrian® - Accident Attorneys for a free consultation.

Who Can File for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

Under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003 (b), the cause of action in a wrongful death lawsuit is the date of a person's death. The statute specifies that a person has two years from the date of the cause of action to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Two years may sound like a long time to some people. Nevertheless, it is a relatively short window when considering the amount of work that needs to be done before a claim can be filed. In most cases, swift action is crucial to preserve the key evidence necessary to prove the claim. Therefore, if you believe your loved one suffered a wrongful death due to someone else's misconduct, you should seek help from an attorney as soon as possible.

Texas allows certain exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. One particular example is when the plaintiff is a minor. In such cases, when plaintiffs are minors, the statute of limitations is tolled (or delayed) until two years after the minor turns 18. A parent or legal guardian can file a claim on behalf of the child before turning 18, and the court will appoint an independent attorney to ensure that any settlement or award is in the child's best interest.

Another exception also applies to cases involving the so-called "discovery rule," where the defendant's misconduct is not discovered until after the statute of limitations has already expired. A person could be accused of a wrongful death more than two years after the act was committed and could still be held liable as long as the wrongful death lawsuit is filed within two years from the date the family knew or should have known that the defendant was responsible for the death of their loved one.

Other potential exceptions to the statute of limitations include cases where defendants use fraud to conceal their liability for wrongful acts. The limitations period may also be extended when a plaintiff suffers a mental or physical disability that prevents them from filing a claim.

However, generally speaking, you should seek assistance as soon as possible. You should not forfeit your right to seek compensation after the death of a loved one.

What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death cases are often complex. Dealing with the unexpected death of a loved one can be emotionally devastating, yet thinking about how to protect your legal rights by filing a lawsuit is essential. Having capable legal counsel during this time can ensure that the legal aspects of the wrongful death claim are handled by a professional while you focus on your family and grieving your loss.

A wrongful death case is a civil action. What happens in this case is independent and distinct from any criminal investigation into the death of your loved one. This is a special type of personal injury case that aims to alleviate the financial burden caused by the sudden death of your loved one.

The time you have to file a wrongful death action is limited. According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003(b), you have two years from the victim's death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §71.021 provides a separate legal action for a survival claim. This allows the deceased's estate to recover compensation that the deceased could have obtained if they had lived after the accident, such as lost wages and damages for pain and suffering.

Evidence to Support a Wrongful Death
Claim

Pursuing a wrongful death claim requires strong evidence that demonstrates the following:

  • The responsible party acted negligently.
  • Their actions were the cause of the accident.
  • The fatal accident could have been avoided if the other party had exercised reasonable care.

An experienced wrongful death attorney in Houston can gather crucial evidence to establish these necessary elements. They can interview witnesses, uncover documents that point to one party's negligence, consult with experts, and present photos or videos to establish the cause of your loved one's death and how the defendant is responsible for it.

Damages Paid in Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death lawsuits allow loved ones to seek compensation for the full extent of their losses, which can include financial compensation for:

  • Medical expenses related to the death.
  • Loss of the deceased's future earnings.
  • Burial and funeral expenses.
  • Lost benefits such as retirement, pension, and medical insurance coverage.
  • Emotional stress.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Loss of consortium.

In certain circumstances, loved ones may recover punitive damages when the victim's death was due to intentional conduct or gross negligence. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar actions in the future.

You can learn more about the wrongful death damages you may be entitled to by contacting us for a free evaluation of your case.

Contact Our Wrongful Death Attorneys to Help with Your Case

Did your loved one die in a car accident, slip and fall, or workplace incident? Wrongful death laws can provide a means to seek compensation for your damages. Our wrongful death attorneys have the necessary expertise to thoroughly investigate your claim and take legal action to help alleviate the financial burden caused by the unexpected death of your loved one. Call us or contact us online to begin the process. We'll be with you every step of the way.

Legally reviewed by Attorney Hilda Sibrian.

Hilda Sibrian Lawyers

FAQs: Wrongful Deaths

FAQs

Wrongful death is any death that occurs due to the negligent actions of another person. Negligence is the legal concept upon which most personal injury cases in Texas are based. It's a term that refers to the careless or reckless actions of another person. When those actions result in a death, the surviving individuals can file a civil claim to seek compensation for their losses. In Texas, however, only certain individuals can file a wrongful death claim.

No one should attempt to file a wrongful death claim on their own. An attorney will not only streamline the entire process while you and your loved ones are grieving but can also provide you with a better chance of success with your claim. When looking for an attorney, seek one who has:

  • Many years of experience.
  • A successful track record in handling wrongful death cases like yours.
  • Sufficient resources, such as a network of expert witnesses.
  • Trial experience in case the insurance company and you cannot reach an agreement.

In Texas, in most cases, only close family members of the victim can file a wrongful death claim. These eligible family members include the deceased's parents, children, and spouse. These individuals can file an individual claim or if more than one of them wishes to file a claim, they can join together and file a single claim. If none of these family members wishes to file a claim, the executor of the estate can file a wrongful death claim. However, if family members decide, they can prevent the executor from taking legal action.

Wrongful death claims are meant to compensate surviving loved ones for the losses they have suffered as a result of a death. This compensation is known as "damages." The damages available in wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Loss of earning capacity.
  • Loss of services, such as the loss of child care or household services.
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish.
  • Loss of love, companionship, comfort, and society.
  • Lost inheritance.

While these damages cannot undo the tragic losses that surviving loved ones are facing, they can help alleviate the financial burden of the loss.

Wrongful death cases in Houston fall under the realm of personal injury law. As such, they have the same statute of limitations as other personal injury cases. This is the time limit that loved ones have to file their lawsuit. In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the death.

There are some exceptions to this, for instance, when family members only become aware of another person's negligence after death. However, most wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the accident, or loved ones will lose their right to compensation for the death.

The insurance company may contact you shortly after filing a wrongful death claim to offer a settlement. Many people accept this offer immediately because they think they are lucky to receive something or believe it is fair. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.

Insurance companies reach out to the deceased's loved ones shortly after their death, hoping that they won't realize the extent of the losses they will incur as a result of the death. If you agree to the settlement offer, you won't be able to receive any further compensation in the future, even though the settlement is likely not sufficient to cover the total amount of the losses.

Our compassionate wrongful death attorneys can review any settlement offer you receive and guide the actual value of your case. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Most personal injury cases, including wrongful death cases, are settled out of court. However, no one can determine whether your case will go to court without reviewing the facts of the case and attempting to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, you may have to go to court.

Our wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that our attorneys only get paid if the case is successful and you receive compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one. In such a case, our attorney will receive a percentage of your compensation. If your case is unsuccessful, there will be no fee for our services. With payment structures like this, the real question is whether loved ones who have lost someone can afford not to hire an attorney to help them with their case.

If you've lost a loved one, our Houston wrongful death lawyers at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™ are here for you. Contact us for a free case review to discuss your legal options. We'll work relentlessly to secure the compensation you deserve.

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