What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is anyone who is killed due to the negligence of another person or company. If your parent, spouse, or child has been killed and you suspect that their death was due to the necessary consequence of someone else’s negligence, you should consult a wrongful death lawyer today.
The Lawyers at Adley Law Firm, understand that your life has been severely altered by the actions of some careless individual or corporation that placed your loved one in harm’s way. We understand your loss.
The sooner you find a lawyer and discuss your case the sooner you give the lawyer the opportunity to investigate why your loved one was taken away from you, before the parties responsible try to destroy or dispose of the truth.
We understand that no amount of money can ever replace the loss of a loved one. We can help you recover the truth of why your loved one was taken away from you, and obtain recovery for future and past costs, and income loss.
The Types of Incidents That Qualify as Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can be broad, since it does not cover just any kind of incident that causes the death of a loved one. The negligent and recklessness of another has to lead up to the tragedy. Some incidents are much more obvious than others.
The following would qualify as wrongful death claims:
- Assault, attacks, or other criminal actions that led to the death of another
- Car accidents caused by texting, drunk driving, or other issues
- Workplace accidents caused by lack of supervision or training
- Defective drugs or products that caused the user to lose his/her life
- Malpractice by a doctor who failed to identify or treat an ailment correctly
- Drowning accidents due to premises liability/ property damage
Texas Wrongful Death Claims
Two of the most common examples include:
If your loved one was killed on the job, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the party responsible, and pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
For example, if a company failed to main the safety of equipment in a refinery, and was responsible for the explosion that killed a contract worker, a wrongful death claim can be brought against that company.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
If your loved one was killed in a crash by someone who ran a red light, a wrongful death claim can be brought up against the driver who violated the traffic laws.
In this same incident, If the vehicle’s airbag was defective, and failed to deploy, an auto product liability claim may also be used against the manufacturer of the airbag and vehicle. In a unique situation like this, you should consult with your attorney as there may be multiple parties involved in your case.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Under Section 16.003(b), the parents, children and spouse, or the estate’s representative, have two years from the time the wrongful death occurred to file a claim. There are situations in which a claim can be delayed. Contact an experienced lawyer to discuss whether you can still file a claim.
Wrongful Death Compensation
Under Section 71.004(a), an action of collected damages for a wrongful death lawsuit is for the surviving spouse, parents of the deceased, and children. Other family members and loved ones, grandparents, cousins, siblings, romantic partners are not typically entitled to recover compensation.
Compensation the family members may recover:
- Burial and funeral costs
- Mental anguish and physical pain
- Punitive damages, meant to punish the one at fault, only available in certain situations.
- Medical expenses
- Loss of inheritance from that family member
- Loss of the family member’s financial contributions
- Loss of the family member’s companionship, love, and comfort
- Loss of the family member’s support, care, advice, maintenance, and counsel
Speak with our lawyers today about the compensation you and your loved ones might be able to recover.
Who Can Make a Wrongful Death Claim?
Parents, children, and spouses have the right to claim a wrongful death in Texas. Under the Texas Wrongful Death Statute, a three month window exists to make a claim. After the three months is up, and none of the family members listed above have filed a claim, then the executor of the state can file a lawsuit in behalf of the family members. In addition, the decedent’s estate has the right to bring a lawsuit.
Other Relatives, and Former Spouses
Sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, and former spouses of the deceased are not granted the same rights by the Texas Wrongful Death Statute. Siblings are granted a cause of action under another states wrongful death statutes.
Under Texas common law, these relatives and former spouses do not have the rights to take action. However, some of these people might qualify as an heir to the estate, in this case they have the right to pursue action. Our Houston Wrongful Death lawyers can help you understand this in more detail.
Claims of Parents for Unborn Children
Parents of an unborn child are included under the protection of the wrongful death statute, and may bring an action for the unborn fetus that dies, or fails to be born due to the negligence of another. However, it does not allow for anyone else to bring forward this claim against the mother of unborn child or against a physician under the following circumstances:
- If the death was the result of a lawful medical procedure performed by the physician or healthcare provider with consent;
- A person who dispenses, administers a drug in accordance with the law, if the death is the result of the dispensation or administration of the drug; or
- A physician or health care provider licensed in this state, if the death indirectly or directly is caused by, associated with, arises of, or relates to a lawful health or medical care practice or procedure.
These prevent lawsuits for fetus deaths against the mother of the fetus and the doctor.
Furthermore, claims from unborn children can be brought by a mother who suffered an accident, auto accident, slip and fall, or other accident. The right belongs to the fetus’ mother and father alone.
Wrongful Death Attorneys You can Trust
The Lawyers at Adley Law Firm understand the devastating loss of a loved one. We have been helping families and estates recover from these losses. We would be honored if you give us the opportunity to represent you.
Call us at (713) 999-8669 or schedule a free consultation today.