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Wrongful death in Texas is the death of a loved one that is brought about from the negligent or bad/wrongful actions of another person, business, organization or entity. If your loved one has suffered a wrongful death, you are probably in a lot of pain and have a lot of questions. Wrongful death can occur at any moment, but can almost always be preventable. Some common reasons for a wrongful death include a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident, medical malpractice, and dangerous or defective products. While the pain of losing someone close to you will never go away there may be a way to help with the financial burdens on those left behind. The law provides for money damages to help families bridge the gap by compensating them for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost earning, pain and suffering, and even loss of companionship to name only a few.
In a wrongful death situation, there are are factor/conditions legally referred to as elements that should be met before a law suit can be brought against another party. These elements include:
In Texas, there are two cause of action (types of lawsuits) that may be available to help families who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. Generally, the people that can sue for a wrongful death case are the surviving spouse, children, and parents or representatives of individuals who have died as a result of someone else’s negligence, wrongful acts, or a defective product.
When a representative of the individual that died brings the suit, this is under the Texas Survival Statute. It allows an estate, heirs or legal representative to bring a survival action. Any recovery available from such a suit will be given as part of the decedent’s estate. The estate in turn provides for those who survived the decedent. Unlike the suit that is brought by surviving spouse, children, and parents of the decedent. Under such a suit the survivors recover personally for the damages they incur as a result of the loss of their loved ones and not the actual injuries sustained to the deceased as in a survival action.
In many cases, a beneficiary of a wrongful death action and a survival action may be the same and two lawsuits may be brought for the same conduct.
While no amount of money can make the death of a loved one easier, some of the financial burden of their death can be reduced through a wrongful death suit. In a wrongful death suit the plaintiff may be entitled to:
Financial loss damage would include compensation for any lost earning capacity, lost care, maintenance, support, advice and counsel that the deceased could have provided. Under the lost inheritance definition this could include what the deceased could have saved during their lifetime. The savings would have included what they saved during a normal lifetime and would have passed on to their family members.
Furthermore, in Texas they allow punitive damages, which can be recovered when a wrongful death is caused by malicious, violent, fraudulent, or reckless act. An exemplary damage is found often with the intent of setting an example and also giving the plaintiff a reward. While they are not necessarily common, Texas law allows them. Ultimately, what can be recovered will vary case by case and depends on a large number of factors that try to place a monetary value on benefits that were lost as a result of the death of your loved one.
With wrongful death cases, each case is different and there is no way to predict what will happen. This area is very complex. At The Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C., our personal injury attorneys promise to completely exhaust all possible efforts on every case. With every wrongful death case, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. This means that the plaintiff or party bringing the suit, has to prove that the defendant or party being sued is liable for the decedent’s death. Therefore, they must prove that the defendant had a duty to care for the deceased person. In the case of a car accident, it must be proven that the defendant had a duty to follow the rules of the road. Another example is a person injured on the job. They may end up suing their boss. In this instance, their boss had a duty to follow safety procedures and take the necessary precautions to make sure everyone was safe.
Next, they must prove that the defendant breached this duty of care. For example, in a car accident, it must be proven that the defendant did not follow the rules of the road. They might have run a red light or sped. In the case of a boss, it needs to be proven that they knew about the safety violation and chose not to do anything about it.
Finally, they must show that the defendant’s particular action directly resulted in the wrongful death. It is not enough to simply state that running a red light automatically caused the death.
After a wrongful death, our attorneys understand that you’ll be confused and distraught. The death of a loved one is not an easy thing to comprehend. Reach out to a Houston wrongful death attorney so that you can pursue compensation you need and deserve.
The Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C. works hard so that you get the compensation that you deserve. Along with wrongful death claims, the firm will fight for you after a car accident injury, truck accident injury, dog bite injury, workplace accident injury, and more.
Reach out today to get the compensation that you deserve from attorneys who understand that you’re going through a very difficult period in your life. Attorneys at our firm will fight for you each step of the way. Call The Law Offices Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C. today to set up your free consultation.