When your precious loved one has passed away suddenly, your life changes forever. It all happened so fast. You didn’t get to say goodbye, or say, “I love you,” one more time. It just doesn’t add up. Amidst the shock, anguish, and grief you are experiencing, you have questions. Their death was caused by someone else’s negligence, but what does that even mean? What does that mean for you and your loved ones? You are surrounded by ambiguity and it is hard to think clearly. How did this happen? Who do I speak with? Can I confide in doctors, experts, or insurance representatives?
At the Law Office of Hilda L. Sibrian, we know that right now you are going through the absolute worst of times. You need to grieve. You need space. You need answers. Ultimately, though, you need closure. If your loved one has passed away due to the negligence of another person, this is what we call “wrongful death.” This is probably the last thing you are thinking about, but if this has happened to your loved one, you deserve compensation for the negligent acts. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can truly compensate for the incredible loss you are coping with. But by talking with an attorney about the wrongful death you and your family are experiencing, hopefully you can find answers and the closure you’re looking for.
What is Wrongful Death?
“Wrongful death” is when a person dies due to the fault of another person or manufacturer. If you lost a loved one due to the fault of another, you may be able to sue. If the person you lost is an immediate family member, life partner, financial dependent, putative spouse, distant family member, a person that suffered financially, or a parent of a deceased fetus, you may be able to sue.
Losing a loved one can lead to serious hardship. You are probably going through the five stages of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You shouldn’t have to go through these emotions alone. No matter what stage of the grieving process you are in, an experienced wrongful death attorney can help.
Each situation is different. There are many factors that could lead to the wrongful death of a loved one. It’s important to contact a Houston lawyer, even if it is just a gut feeling telling you to. We will walk you through some instances in which a wrongful death suit may be possible.
Is a car accident considered a wrongful death?
Your brother was driving home from the work holiday party. The snow was coming down quickly and he had a few beers in his system. As the snow continued to fall faster and faster, his vision grew blurrier and blurrier. All of a sudden he hit a pothole, causing him to slide on ice to the left side of the road, crashing into an oncoming semi. He died on the spot.
Do not assume that your brother is completely to blame for his death. It is essential to talk to a lawyer first about who is at fault. As mentioned previously, each case is different, and the fault for your brother’s death could be shared by many.
Can lack of sleep cause wrongful death?
We are all guilty of sacrificing sleep. We do it for work, school, and the daily grind. However, sleep is a vital element to our existence. Lack of sleep is a public health epidemic, and more than 50 million people suffer from sleep wakefulness disorder. Over 18 million people relate sleep difficulties with employed or volunteer work.
Sleep deprivation can lead to many problems, both short term and long term. In the short term, it can lead to decreased performance and alertness, memory impairment, stressful relationships, poor quality of life, occupation injury, and automobile injury, to name a few. In the long term, it can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and psychiatric problems, such as depression and other mood disorders.
The question is this: where do lack of sleep due to work and wrongful death intersect? If you know someone who was overworked and you suspect that lack of sleep was a contributing factor to his or her death, you may have a case for a wrongful death suit.
What is Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED)?
IIED is a tort claim for intentional conduct that results in extreme emotional distress. There are four elements: the defendant must act intentionally or recklessly, the defendant’s conduct must be extreme and outrageous, the conduct must be the cause, and finally the conduct must result in severe emotional distress. It must be intentional; if the emotional distress is created by accident, it would fall under negligent infliction of emotional distress claims.
The emotional distress must be caused from extreme and outrageous conduct. In the end, it’s up to the judge to decide what constitutes as extreme and outrageous, but normal bickering would not fall under this category.
Here is an example of a situation that may constitute as extreme and outrageous conduct:
Mary is afraid to go to work every single day. Her boss knows that a car hit Mary when she was younger and constantly plays car accident movie clips in the office to make Mary uncomfortable. Each time she passes a television with a clip playing, she has flashbacks of being rushed to the ER. She loses sleep and begins to feel depressed. She eventually commits suicide, knowing that she was driving when her brother died in this accident. Her husband then wants to know if he can sue for a wrongful death due to the IIED.
In a situation like this, it’s important to contact an attorney right away.
Where to go from here?
We cannot stress enough the importance of reaching out to a lawyer if you believe you have a case for a wrongful death suit. You need an experienced wrongful death attorney who can tell you what options you have available. We know that this is a difficult time, but we want you to be able to find peace, one way or another.
Click here to learn more about wrongful death in Houston, Texas, and find out how the Law Office of Hilda L. Sibrian can help you.