Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death and survival claims are lawsuits when a loved one dies because of the negligent or intentional acts of others.
Who May Be Sued For A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death and survival cases can be straight-forward in cases like car accidents where the other driver is at fault for the death. These cases get very complicated in cases that involve medical issues, toxic exposures, and workplace accidents. Wrongful death claims can be brought against persons, companies, organizations, governmental agencies, and employees. But even a simple car accident resulting in a death could have many entities at fault such as:
- The other driver(s)
- The manufacturer of the vehicles if equipment failure caused the accident
- The local government if unsafe road conditions led to the accident
- A local bar if one of the drivers were intoxicated and driving
Wrongful death cases can get very complicated. It is a good idea for families and loved ones to seek legal counsel in matters of wrongful death. Attorney Rick Molina will meet with you and your loved ones and let you know if you have a good case worth pursuing.
Wrongful Death Accident Statistics
Wrongful death affects many people, in and outside of the immediate family. Here are some statistics on wrongful death accidents:
- In Texas, there were 3,893 fatalities in auto accidents in 2020
- An estimated 225,000 people die each year from some form of medical malpractice, such as incorrect dosages, surgical errors, and wrong diagnoses.
- There were 5,333 fatal workplace injuries recorded in the United States in 2019.
How Does A Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer Prove Fault?
Wrongful death and survival lawsuits are the most serious types of cases. When a loved one passes away due to someone else’s negligence, the effect they have on surviving families can be devastating. Call Molina Law Firm when you need a Houston Wrongful Death Accident Lawyer. Wrongful death claims are filed by a representative on behalf of the survivors who suffered damages from the decedent’s death. Sometimes, the estate representative is mentioned in a Will. Other times, no Will is involved. Unfortunately, opposing insurance companies usually try to place the responsibility for an accident on the deceased. It is important for you to understand for fault and responsibility are evaluated in Houston and In Texas.
How Does A Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer Prove Negligence?
In Texas, negligence is a ground of recovery that allows an injured person to recover from the person responsible for causing the accident. In its basic sense, negligence means that the other person acted unreasonably, which caused the accident and resulting damages. There are generally four elements to prove negligence:
- Duty. Did the other person owe the deceased a duty? Every driver has a duty to obey the laws and to not injure other people.
- Breach. Did the other person violate the duty? This is usually shown by showing that the other person acted unreasonably. For example, were they speeding?
- Causation. The breach must cause injuries. What are the injuries that are caused by the breach of duty?
- Damages. The injuries in turn resulted in damages. The damages are discussed below.
What Are the Damages In A Wrongful Death Accident?
In Texas, Wrongful Death Accident damages generally fall under two categories: economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages are generally out-of-pocket damages such as medical expenses and lost earnings or loss of earning capacity. In wrongful death cases, these damages can also include funeral expenses.
Non-economic damages are intangible damages such as pain, suffering, disfigurement, and physical impairment. In wrongful death cases, these damages can also include loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and loss of parenting advice and guidance.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim and How Is It Different Than A Survival Claim?
The plaintiff in a wrongful death claim is a statutory beneficiary of the deceased. Any resulting damages belong to the beneficiary and not to the Estate of the deceased. A wrongful death claim is different than a survival claim. In a survival claim, the claim and damages belong to the Estate of the deceased. The damages in a survival claim are distributed to the Estate. In Texas, only certain people are able to file claims for wrongful death. The laws say that the children, parents, or spouse of the person who died can file a lawsuit for “wrongful death.” Notably, siblings cannot bring wrongful death claims in Texas. With the help of a wrongful death lawyer, a wrongful death claim can be filed against any company or person who caused the death of a loved one.
For survival claims, the damages will be distributed pursuant to a Will or pursuant to State law if there is no Will.
Where Do Wrongful Death Accidents Usually Occur?
Wrongful death accidents can occur almost anywhere but below are the most common places or conditions that result in wrongful death claims:
- Car accidents
- Accident at work
- Chemical plant or refinery accidents
- Building collapse or structural failure
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Truck Accidents
- Product liability
- RailRoad Accidents
What makes us different?
The Molina Law Firm has been representing wrongful death victims for over 20 years, helping them navigate the sometimes complex legal fight against insurance carriers. Remember that when you retain Attorney Rick Molina, you pay nothing upfront and we only collect a percentage of the compensation you receive when we have won your case. Don’t go against the insurance carriers alone. Attorney Rick Molina will aggressively represent you and fight on your behalf. We have the knowledge, resources, and experience to get you all the compensation you deserve for your loss, pain and suffering.
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If your loved one has suffered from a wrongful death accident, it is important that you get an experienced personal injury attorney to help you. Time is important. Contact us.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Accidents
A criminal case can only be brought by the government. The prosecutor makes a case against the person accused of a crime, seeking prison time or another punishment. The prosecutor must meet a higher standard of proof than in a civil case. The goal of the criminal case is punishment such as jail time or probation. A civil case can be filed by anyone whose private rights or civil rights have been violated by another party. When a private party files a civil lawsuit for wrongful death, the party is seeking monetary damages, A civil trial for wrongful death, therefore, is very different from a criminal trial for murder or manslaughter.
Texas law (Section 71.001) states that a wrongful death occurs when the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party leads to the death of another party.
The parents, spouse, or children, including adult children, of the deceased are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Adoptive parents can also file wrongful death cases for the loss of their adopted children, and vice versa.
Texas law requires that any wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the deceased person’s death, with very few and very specific exceptions.