The death of a loved one can be both emotionally and financially taxing. Family members are left to cope with emotional distress in the midst of planning burial or other services. And there may be financial burdens to deal with, such as hospital bills and loss of income. If you believe the death of a loved one was preventable, Houston wrongful death lawyers can help.
If your family is a victim of a wrongful death incident, you may be entitled to seek compensation. Houston law protects families against paying the financial price of someone else's negligence or illegal behavior. A wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring back your deceased loved one, but you may recover the financial damages their untimely death has brought to your family.
How Houston Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help
A Houston wrongful death lawyer can fight to recover your family's financial loss if your loved one's death was the result of unlawful or negligent behavior. A wrongful death attorney in Houston, Texas can provide an arsenal of professional resources to build a strong case against those responsible for the death of your family member.
While you can file a case on your own, an attorney may be able to help in the following ways:
- Determine compensation for your loss
- Build a strong wrongful death case on your behalf
- Gather evidence to help your wrongful death case succeed in court
How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help Determine Compensation for Your Loss?
A Houston wrongful death attorney can determine compensation for your family's tragic loss. They assess the full scope of your emotional and financial damages to fight for every penny your family deserves. A lawyer's goal is to make the negligent party pay the price of your loved one's wrongful death, not you.
Building Your Houston Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death attorney serving Houston can initiate legal proceedings for your wrongful death lawsuit in accordance with the American Bar Association's guidelines. They work to build a strong case on your family's behalf and get the justice you deserve. While gathering evidence of the wrongful death is important, building a case requires much more.
A Wrongful Death Attorney from Our Team Can Gather Evidence
In order for your lawsuit to succeed in court, you must prove that your loved one's death fits the legal definition of a wrongful death. This includes demonstrating that the at-fault party had a legal duty of care for your loved one and breached that duty.
A wrongful death lawyer can help gather relevant evidence against the at-fault party to establish their liability and demonstrate that their actions resulted in the death of your loved one. Additionally, a lawyer can also work with your family to gather proof of your suffering, both mentally and financially, resulting from the death.
Family Member Eligibility for a Houston Wrongful Death Claim
Under Texas law, any of the following individuals may file a wrongful death claim:
The following individuals typically do not qualify to file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse, including a separated spouse who was still legally married to the deceased at the time of death. Ex-spouses do not qualify
- Children of the deceased, both biological and legally adopted
- Parents of the deceased, both biological and adoptive
- An estate representative may file if the family does not file a claim within three months
- Non-marital partners of the deceased
- Foster Parents
Houston Statute of Limitations to File a Wrongful Death Claim
In Houston, you must file your wrongful death claim within the statute of limitations—otherwise your case will likely be dismissed. Texas law states that you have two years from the date of the death to qualify for damages. However, certain rate exceptions may apply to your case. A wrongful death lawyer can help determine your eligibility to file a claim.
Types of Recoverable Damages in Houston Wrongful Death Suits
Following a wrongful death incident, your recoverable damages may include, but are not limited to:
- Current and future medical bills
- Burial costs and funeral expenses
- Property repair or replacement costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of service and support, encompassing the net value of lost future income based on the combined life expectancies of the survivor and the deceased
- Loss of spousal companionship
- Loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance for minors when no surviving spouse exists
- Lost wages due to missed work starting from the date of injury to the time of death
Houston's Definition of Wrongful Death
A wrongful death suit is typically brought against a liable person or entity when their unlawful or negligent behavior results in the death of a person.
Common causes of a wrongful death include negligence, reckless behavior, reckless driving, medical malpractice, assault/battery, manslaughter, and murder.
For a death to qualify as a wrongful death under the law, it must meet all the following criteria:
- Death of a person
- The at-fault party owed a legal duty of care to the deceased;
- The at-fault party violated this legal duty of care; and
- The death resulted in significant damages to the surviving family members
A Wrongful Death Can Occur Anywhere
There are numerous scenarios when a loss of a life can be legally considered a wrongful death. Some of the most common wrongful death scenarios include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Workplace Fatalities
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Defective Products Accidents
- Premises Liability Accidents
- Nursing Home Negligence
Contact a Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
If your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else's unlawful or negligent behavior, you may be entitled to seek compensation. At Dolman Law Group, we follow a “no recovery, no fee” policy. There's no risk on your part.
You've already suffered enough in the wake of a family member's wrongful death. The last thing you should have to worry about is chasing down insurance companies and liable parties for the money you deserve. Contact Dolman Law Group today to schedule a free case consultation.
6330 Gulf Fwy Suite 110
Houston, TX 77023
Phone: (281) 524-4370