Wrongful Death Attorney in Houston, Texas
The sudden and unexpected death of a loved one creates many emotional and financial difficulties for an entire family. When the person’s death is the result of another party’s wrongful conduct, the family has the right to seek justice through a civil claim that is separate and distinct from any criminal case against that party.
If your loved one was killed by the negligence or wrongful act of another party in Texas, you should know that you are not alone. You have legal rights and options. The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian represents clients throughout the greater Houston area. Our experienced, compassionate attorneys are here to help you and your family to seek justice on behalf of your loved one. Call or reach us online today to learn more in a free consultation.to set up your free consultation.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.002(b) establish that a person is liable for damages arising from another individual’s death when the death was caused by the person’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default. This is what is commonly referred to as “wrongful death.”
A wrongful death claim is a civil claim. Families should understand that the burden of proof in a civil case is much different from criminal trials. While a criminal case will require a prosecutor to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, civil claims are established by a preponderance of the evidence.
Because wrongful death cases can be very complicated, many families are reluctant to become involved in the court process. However, at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, you can count on our highly dedicated, bilingual legal team to stand behind you and guide you through the process.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004(a), a wrongful death action can be pursued by the person’s surviving spouse, children or parents. Children can file wrongful death claims even when they are over 18 years of age. Siblings, grandparents, and other relatives of the deceased cannot file wrongful death actions in Texas.
If a surviving spouse was separated from the deceased, the spouse could still recover damages in a wrongful death claim. However, if the surviving spouse remarried, defense attorneys might use the marriage to try and bar or reduce recovery.
If a spouse, child, or parent of the deceased dies before a wrongful death case concludes, the right to recovery dies with them. Beneficiaries of those parties do not have any legal rights to wrongful death damages.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.021 also allows for the heirs, legal representatives and estate of the deceased to file what is known as a survival action to recover damages the deceased could have sought if he or she had survived, including pain and suffering damages.