Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death claims are not like any other personal injury claim. While no financial compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, in Texas, the law allows recovery in the event such as a tragedy that was caused by the negligence of someone else.
At Reich & Binstock, our Houston wrongful death attorneys are committed to providing compassionate legal service and aggressive representation to families pursuing wrongful death claims.
Wrongful death is a civil action filed by a surviving family member against someone who is responsible for the death of a loved one as a result of their negligence. Any criminal charges that may be pending are unrelated to a wrongful death case. In addition to the fact that one is a civil action and the other is a criminal action, there are a few other major differences between the two.
First, the burden of proof in a wrongful death lawsuit is much lower than in a criminal proceeding. Another distinct facet of a wrongful death lawsuit is that the focus is on the victim and their family, instead of on the wrongdoer. Allowing surviving family members to seek compensation for their tragic loss is the objective of a wrongful death case. Additionally, a lawsuit may be filed in a variety of circumstances, including medical malpractice, automobile accidents, defective products, criminal behavior, and more.
A wrongful death attorney's responsibility is to handle litigation on behalf of families who have lost a loved one as a result of someone else's negligence. They establish liability and try to hold the negligent party accountable for the family’s economic losses.
The family’s losses might be both monetary and nonmonetary. Medical and funeral bills, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of household services, property damage, loss of support and income, loss of earning ability, and lost potential inheritance are all examples of monetary losses.
On the other hand, non-monetary losses account for things like the pain and suffering of the deceased and their loved ones. Reputational injury, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium are additional examples.
No, wrongful death proceedings are civil in nature, with the goal of holding wrongdoers liable for monetary damages. Authorities may charge the offender with a criminal offense, but the case is separate from any civil damages lawsuit.
Plaintiffs must show that someone did something improper that resulted in the death of their loved one in order to win a wrongful death case. To be successful, a Texas wrongful death attorney must meet demonstrate these four criteria are met and provide legal proof that the individual or company:
Owed a Duty to the Deceased. This could be a company that should have protected its employee or another motorist who should have followed a traffic law.
Breach of That Duty. The person or company was bound to act one way to avoid the accident but did not. An example is a person running a red light and crashing into the victim.
Caused the Death. The death was caused by the failure of the defendants. An example is an auto accident that killed the person. Expert testimony of physicians or pathologists is usually used in wrongful death lawsuits to establish the cause of death.
Damages of the Family. Each family member who is entitled to bring a wrongful death claim has their damages assessed based upon the loss of their loved one. A wrongful death case is essentially valuing the losses of the family member.
In Texas, the deceased's spouse, parents, and children are allowed to sue after a fatal accident. If you have lost a loved one to an accident, contact our wrongful death attorneys at Reich & Binstock to discuss a wrongful death claim on your behalf.
Although there are exceptions, a wrongful death settlement is typically not taxable. There are several exceptions, such as claims for lost wages or punitive damages awarded by a jury. Consult a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney about your specific situation and claims.
When picking a wrongful death attorney, there are a few things to look for. First, double-check that they are currently licensed to practice in your state. Look for the areas of law they cover when performing your research. A lawyer who specializes in wrongful death cases is known as a personal injury attorney. Next look into their case history and examine testimonials and reviews from previous customers. Don't underestimate the significance of a review. A lawyer's reputation is built on the experiences of past clients.
There is no such thing as a standard amount for a wrongful death litigation because each case is unique. The amount of compensation available in each case is determined by a variety of variables, including the severity of the cause of death, the resulting anguish and suffering, your lawyer's experience, whether your case is settled or goes to trial, and many others.
Given this, some wrongful death lawsuits are settled for tens of millions of dollars, while others are settled for less than a million. Contact our experienced wrongful death attorneys at Reich & Binstock to get a better idea of how much your case might be worth.
Wrongful death damages you could be awarded include pecuniary losses, loss of companionship and society, mental anguish, and loss of inheritance. Punitive damages may be payable in some cases, but only if the death was caused by a "willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant."
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Texas is two years from the date of the victim's death. We recommend that you hire a qualified wrongful death attorney as soon as possible following the accident. Delaying retaining an attorney makes it more difficult to prove your case. That’s because it is harder to gather evidence as time passes.
Common Accidents Leading to Wrongful Death Claims
In order to succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s carelessness was the cause of death. Some examples of common accidents leading to wrongful death claims include:
A harmful product scenario, for example, could be caused by a design flaw or a manufacturing flaw. A design flaw is a flaw in a product that makes it unreasonably unsafe, given the product’s intended usage and the dangers associated with it. The plaintiffs must establish a safer alternative design to win a design defect claim. Wrongful death lawsuits involving unsafe items are difficult to navigate and always require the assistance of an expert attorney.
The most common cause of wrongful deaths in Texas is car accidents. The negligence of the other motorist must first be established as the foundation of a wrongful death lawsuit. Running a red light, following too closely and rear-ending the deceased, or causing the wreck by driving under the influence are all examples of negligence.
It is possible for a bar or club to be named as a defendant in a drunk driving accident. If the bar knew the driver was intoxicated, it could be held liable for the death. It’s called a dram shop lawsuit when a case is filed against a bar or club.
The negligence of the truck driver for not following traffic rules or the laws that apply to truck drivers is usually a part of this type of wrongful death claim. Also, the trucking company may not have trained the driver or enforced trucking safety rules. Manufacturers of the big rigs and companies that improperly loaded the vehicles can also be filed against, as well as maintenance companies and others.
A negligent daycare facility owner can be sued for a child’s death while in their care. Failure to properly supervise the child is typically the cause of such a tragedy. In order to succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s carelessness was the cause of death. Some examples of common accidents leading to wrongful death claims include:
Contact Our Houston Wrongful Death Attorneys Today
Our attorneys at Reich & Binstock provide committed assistance throughout the legal process of a wrongful death claim. We’ll get to work right away assessing your case, and we’ll keep you updated and informed throughout our independent inquiry. Don’t worry about costs either, we will manage all upfront legal charges and assist you in obtaining all possible coverage options while your case is pending.
Contact the Houston wrongful death attorneys at Reich & Binstock immediately for additional information or to get started on your wrongful death lawsuit. For a free case review, please call us at 713-622-7271 or 800-622-7271 toll free, or fill out our online contact form.
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.