One of the most difficult things in life is losing a loved one. The pain and frustration can be even harder if the cause of their death was the negligence of another person. When you have lost your loved one as a result of an accident or because of carelessness by another person or a company, the Houston wrongful death attorneys at the Willis Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. While there is nothing that is going to replace your husband or wife, son or daughter, father or mother, the law will still give you the chance of obtaining some sense of justice.
You will be dealing with the heartbreak from the loss, and you might also be asking yourself questions like “what should I do next?” because you have no idea where and how to get started. Willis Law Firm has experienced wrongful death lawyers who will be ready to help you out. We provide FREE consultations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, give us a call at 1-800-883-9858 so you can learn more and ask any questions you might be having. You don’t have to pay anything because the consultation is free. If you choose to hire us, you also don’t have to pay anything for your legal case because we take care of everything. You will only pay us when we win the case.
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What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Texas’ wrongful death laws provide a path to justice for survivors of the wrongfully killed. When they file a wrongful death lawsuit, the family members of the victim are going to get financial security and also get the closure they deserved when they know the person who caused the death of their loved one has been held accountable by the courts.
Who Can Sue?
Some of the people allowed to file for a wrongful death lawsuit include the spouse, children, and/or parents of the deceased. The lawsuit can be filed against and individual or company that caused the wrongful death of a loved one. There are some instances when the case can be filed against the government. You can file the case after any kind of accident, and this includes defective products or medical malpractice.
What Damages are Available in a Wrongful Death Claim?
‘Damages’ is the sum of money the court awards as compensation for someone’s injury or death. There are many different types of damages a victim can claim in Texas, including the income of the deceased and financial support, companionship lost as a result of the wrongful death, loss of expected inheritance, suffering and mental anguish. The family can get compensatory damages and exemplary or punitive damages that penalize or punishes the defendant.
Talking to an experienced Houston injury lawyer can help you understand the type of damages you can seek and the process that needs to be followed when filing the claim.
What is a Survivorship Claim?
According to Texas law, a survivorship claim is one made by the estate of the decedent. The claim allows the estate of the decedent to recover funeral or burial expenses, medical bills, and pain and suffering the estate went before the death. This claim is different from a wrongful death lawsuit. Talk to a wrongful death attorney who will help you in deciding whether this is the right claim for your family.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
There is something known as the statute of limitations that require filing a lawsuit within a given amount of time. The family has to file a lawsuit within two years of losing their loved one. In some instances, the time is going to be measured starting on the date of the untimely death of your loved one.
The two-year time limit can easily prevent you from having your wrongful death case heard, which makes it a good idea to talk to a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible after losing your loved one. These rules are going to be followed, no matter how strong the case is.
How Much Does it Cost to a Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?
One of the reasons to hire a personal injury attorney is that you no longer have to worry about any costs. We work on a contingency fee basis, and this means we are going to get paid if we can recover the money on your behalf. This is the best approach because you will be able to follow up on the claim without having to worry about spending thousands of dollars in legal fees.
These cases can be very expensive, especially when there is a lot of money in dispute. When hiring a wrongful death attorney, it is very important to hire one who has enough resources and money to invest in your case.
When Should I Consult a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
You need to do this immediately, although it sounds bad, what we have seen from the many wrongful death cases we have been able to deal with, the company and insurance company send their people to the site of the incident the same day to gather as much evidence as possible. When you hire a lawyer immediately, they will start taking steps to make sure that the interests of your family have been protected.
What are the Fatal Accidents that Can Lead to a Wrongful Death Claim?
When the death is a result of negligence by another person, then there is a right to make a claim. In Texas, the people who have the right to make a wrongful death include the spouse, parents, or children of the deceased.
Let’s look at a car accident case. Several factors contribute to fatal car accidents, but the most common ones we have observed are:
This is using your phone to text or talk, drinking, eating, or even applying makeup. Texting has increased as a contributing factor over the recent past, and this is according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
A person can get a DWI when they have an alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. There are severe consequences that come with drunk driving.
This will include offense that endangers other people or property such as ignoring traffic signs and signals and speeding.
There is a two years statute of limitations for car accident injury cases. If multiple incidents were occurring among passengers in the same vehicle, an injury attorney and help with the wrongful death lawsuit.
What Makes My Wrongful Death Claim Valid?
Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience. For the wrongful death to be valid, the death must have been the result of the negligence of another person, and these claims need to be filed within a given time frame. The statute of limitation on these types of cases is usually to years from the date of the incident (which is not always the same day the person died)
There are exceptions to the time frame, for example when the injury was minor or wasn’t discovered until later (a good example of an injury that will take long before developing is asbestos exposure). There are no other legal reasons that can cause a claim to be barred. When you work with a wrongful death lawyer, they will start by investigating what happened, the claims you can make, and the parties to be involved in the case.
How Are Damages Calculated?
Below are the types of damages a loved one can recover from a wrongful death claim in Texas:
- The pecuniary loss sustained in the past and future. “Pecuniary loss” is used to define the loss of care, support, maintenance, counsel, advice, services, reasonable contributions of a pecuniary value, excluding the loss of inheritance that you would have gotten if your loved one had lived.
- Loss of Companionship sustained in the past and to be sustained in the future. This is used to describe the loss of positive benefits that come from love companionship, comfort, and the society that you would have gotten if your loved one had lived, and this is to a reasonable probability.
- Mental anguish sustained both in the past and in the future. This means the torment, emotional pain, living and the suffering the person has to go through because their loved one has died.
- Loss of inheritance. This is used to describe the assets the deceased who have added to the estate left behind from their natural death.
When the jury is determining damages, they will put into consideration the relationship between the person, their extended absences from each other, living arrangements, the harmony of their family relations and also common interest and activities.
How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help My Family?
There are a lot of things that need to be put into consideration when it comes to wrongful death cases. It is going to take a lot of experience, knowledge, and resources to properly handle these types of cases. Our attorneys are going to be with you on every step of the process. This can include help with seeking fair compensation through recovering damages for medical bills, burial and funeral costs, loss of income, any future earnings, and pain and suffering.
What is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Murder?
Murder is a criminal term. While it can form a basis for a claim, such claims tend to be complicated because they are intentional. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed when you are looking to recover compensation from another person or company whose action or inaction leads to the accidental death of a person. A civil case or wrongful death claim does not result in incarceration.
Contact the Houston Wrongful Death Attorneys at The Willis Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you think that your loved one died because there was negligence by another person, give us a call so we can start talking about it. You should never sign anything before speaking to us because you can easily end up losing the compensation you and your family deserve.
We at Willis Law Firm are going to do anything possible to make sure you get as much as possible in damages for your wrongful death lawsuit. We take pride in what we do and treat every client like family. Pick up your phone and give us a call on 1-800-883-9858 or reach us through email using the online contact form so we can start discussing the wrongful death claim. Keep in mind that we provide a free consultation, which means you don’t have to worry about spending any money on the case until you have won.