Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
Accidents, unintentional injuries, and violence are leading causes of death for people under the age of 44. People are not only robbed of their lives, but their families lose a loved one who provided critical support through companionship, parental guidance, and financial assistance. If you have lost a loved one, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. A claim cannot restore your loved one, but it can help you regain a sense of justice and the peace of mind that can come with financial security.
At Weber Law Firm in Houston, Texas, our wrongful death attorneys understand the depth of your loss and the complexities of your situation. With compassion, dedication, and a relentless pursuit for justice, we stand ready to help you navigate this difficult journey.
How Our Lawyers Can Help with a Houston Wrongful Death Claim
When you are suffering the pain and grief of the loss of a loved one, you might feel as if there is nowhere to turn. We understand. A Houston wrongful death lawyer can take the burden of searching for answers from your shoulders so that you can focus on healing. We will work to protect your best interests by:
- Investigating the accident
- Obtaining critical information and vital evidence
- Documenting financial losses the family has suffered as a result of the loss
- Identifying all parties that might be held legally responsible
- Negotiating with the responsible party’s insurance
- Filing wrongful death claims when necessary
Our Houston wrongful death lawyer offers you free consultation and no-obligation consultations to help you understand your rights and choose the best path forward. If you have lost a loved one through the wrongful, neglectful, or reckless actions of another person or entity, we will help you get the justice your family deserves.
What is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is a death that occurs as a result of another person or entity’s wrongful acts. It refers to any reckless, careless, or dangerous behavior or negligence that results in a person’s death or a stillbirth. This can include:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Criminal actions
Under Texas law, certain family members have the right to bring wrongful death claims against the person or company who is responsible for the loss, whether through reckless driving, DWI, a workplace accident, drowning or boating, car accident, dog attack, poorly maintained properties, or some other negligence or misconduct.
Although criminal charges might be involved in some wrongful death cases, this type of legal process is separate. Even though the state might file criminal charges, such as manslaughter or murder, you can still file a civil suit against the person or entities to blame for your loved one’s death.
For many families, a civil suit offers a more effective pathway to justice and closure. Civil suits have lower burdens of proof, and in some wrongful death cases, people who are found “not guilty” in criminal cases are still held civilly liable for their actions. Our Houston wrongful death attorney can help you learn more about your options.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas
Losing a loved one is never easy, but a premature death can be both painful and shocking. Although you might be reeling in the aftermath, you may also be seeking answers. Our attorneys can help.
Although many factors can play a role in a premature loss, some of the most common causes of in Texas can include:
In 2021, about 4,500 people died in car crashes in Texas. About 25 percent of those crashes were alcohol-related. Others were linked to distracted driving, speeding, and recklessness.
Driving a car, semi, truck, or motorcycle is both a privilege and a responsibility, and aggressive behavior, substance misuse, fatigue, and even inexperience can all make our roads more dangerous and put other people’s lives at risk. If you lost a loved one due to someone’s negligent or reckless driving, we can help you find a path forward and protect your family’s future.
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals complete extensive training, and it’s natural to trust them with our health and lives, especially when we’re sick or otherwise vulnerable. Unfortunately, they make mistakes, too, and medical errors are a top cause of accidental death, according to the American Medical Association.
Several things can be classified as medical malpractice, including failure to diagnose someone properly or misdiagnosis. Surgical errors, medication errors, and anesthesia errors are also malpractice. Errors made during obstetric care or childbirth can lead to both the death of the mother and stillbirth.
If you have lost a loved one to medical malpractice, you may be eligible to file a claim against the responsible and be entitled to financial compensation for that loss.
Accidents happen, but laws have been passed to ensure workplaces are safer places for all of us. Employers have a duty of care to uphold, and they must ensure that their employees are working in a safe, healthy environment.
Unfortunately, some workplaces are riskier than others, and a high-risk workplace can cost employees their lives. Construction zones, railroads, refineries, manufacturing plants, warehouses, barges, docks, and similar environments have a high rate of accidents and accidental deaths. If you have lost a loved one to a workplace accident, the employer could be held accountable for any negligence that was involved.
Products are typically manufactured according to stringent safety guidelines, but that doesn’t mean all products are safe. Occasionally, defective products slip through the cracks, and when they do, they can cause serious harm or even death. Contaminated food, defective vehicles, and toxic medications can all wreak havoc on unwitting consumers.
Any company that produces something for the general public has a duty of care to ensure that its products are safe.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Texas?
Texas law states that certain family members of the deceased can file a civil suit on behalf of the deceased family member. This includes the surviving spouse, their children, or their parents. In certain instances, if the immediate family members fail to file a wrongful death claim, the executor of the estate or the personal representative can file a claim.
Parents of unborn babies are also eligible to file wrongful death claims. An unborn fetus that dies in the womb, is stillborn, or is not born due to another negligent or wrongdoing is also protected by Texas state law. This means that parents can bring a claim when a pregnant mother is the victim of medical malpractice, slip-and-fall accidents, or vehicle crashes.
Not all relatives have the right to bring a wrongful death claim under Texas law, including siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and former partners. A Houston wrongful death lawyer can help you better understand your options and rights.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
The aftermath of a loved one’s unexpected death can be overwhelming, but your time to act is limited. Texas has a two year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. This typically means you have two years from the date of the incident that caused your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim. A Houston wrongful death lawyer can help you understand your options so that you can make the best choice for your situation.
In many wrongful death cases, bereaved family members are uncomfortable with the idea of filing a lawsuit for a death. Money cannot bring back their family member, and the insurance company might offer a settlement and discourage the pursuit of any other. These settlements tend to be low, however, and might not cover all of a family’s future costs.
While you might not want to make a big decision such as this while grieving, the process can take time as we work to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, work with experts, build a case, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Filing earlier rather than later can give you the time needed to win a fair settlement for your family.
Should I Hire a Houston Wrongful Death Attorney?
Negligence and reckless behavior cost many Houstonians their lives every year, and their families are left reeling with grief in their absence. Money can never replace what you have lost, but the compensation can help you pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild the life you once had. A settlement can give you the time you need to grieve and the necessary funds to manage the various needs in your life, including education for the deceased’s children, retirement funds for their spouse, medical care for the, housing costs, and other common expenses.
According to Texas law, we must demonstrate that the person or entity responsible for your loss:
- Had a duty of care or the responsibility to act safely and with care for others
- Breached the duty of care and acted negligently or wrongfully
- Caused the death directly or indirectly as a result of their negligence
Our team of attorneys in Houston can handle your case from start to finish. We begin with a comprehensive investigation to fully understand the facts of the case and identify all responsible parties. We research, gather, and preserve evidence, complete paperwork, and negotiate with the responsible parties’ insurance companies. If the settlement offer is unsatisfactory, we will take your wrongful death case to court, fighting on your behalf to ensure that we get the most appropriate resolution possible.
How Much is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth in Texas?
There is no real salve to ease the pain of a loved one’s sudden and untimely death. However, pursuing justice for the premature loss of someone you loved can help you find a measure of closure. Under Texas state law, you can hold those who were reckless, negligent, or otherwise responsible accountable for their actions. The lawsuit you bring can help cover the costs associated with the loss as well as protect your family’s financial interests now and in the future.
Each wrongful death case is unique, and in Texas, settlements from wrongful death cases such as these are confidential, which makes it impossible to state an average settlement amount. However, these settlements tend to be larger than other personal injury claims.
Some factors that could affect the size of your wrongful death settlement include:
- The age of your loved one
- The injuries involved
- Your loved one’s job and income
- Your loved one’s future earning potential
The final wrongful death settlement size can also be affected by whether the wrongful death claim is settled through negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company or litigation.
Our Houston wrongful death attorney investigates fatal incidents thoroughly to determine the full extent of the damages involved. We will gather documents, medical records, expert testimony, and more to ensure we identify all financial and emotional damages to incorporate into your wrongful death settlement claim.
What Damages are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
After an untimely death resulting from negligence, recklessness, careless behavior, or wrongful actions, families often face significant expenses. These can include medical expenses, funeral bills, burial expenses, and other unexpected costs. Families also frequently face uncertain futures, especially when the lost loved one contributed heavily to the household income.
The term “damages” refers to the losses, both tangible and intangible, that you suffered as a result of the loss of your loved ones. This can include not only the monetary costs you incurred in the immediate aftermath of your loved one’s but also the long-term financial effects of their death.
You may be able to pursue a wide range of damages after a loss. Beneficiaries are eligible to seek the same damages involved in normal personal injury lawsuits as well as other damages, such as those involving the estate, family relationships, and immediate family members.
These can include:
- Mental suffering and anguish, which refers to the emotional trauma of your loss
- Loss of society and companionship, which considers the value of the love and emotional support your loved one provided to the family
- Loss of household services, which monetizes the value of the work your loved one completed around the household
- Loss of earning capacity, which considers the earnings your loved one would have provided the family and their beneficiaries
- Loss of inheritance, which takes into account the value of the assets the family would have received had your loved one lived a full life
In some Houston wrongful death cases, you might also be able to pursue punitive or exemplary damages if the death resulted from a willful act or gross negligence. These wrongful death damages are not intended to compensate for financial or emotional losses but rather to punish the at-fault party.
Our Houston wrongful death attorneys will work to ensure that your family is restored financially. We understand.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney in Houston, TX?
Attorney costs can vary widely based on the length and complexity of the case and the number of defendants. The good news, however, is that most Houston attorneys do not charge their fee upfront but instead work on contingency. This means that you won’t pay any attorney’s fees unless and until you win your wrongful death case. After your win, your attorney will receive a percentage of your Houston wrongful death settlement. The exact percentage can vary, but it is typically a number that you agreed upon at the beginning of the wrongful death case.
Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by one or more injured parties and can include multiple plaintiffs. When there are multiple wrongful death claimants, the settlement will not be paid to just one party. Instead, the award will be divided based on the damages each plaintiff has suffered or divided equally among all wrongful death claimants. In some cases, the settlement may also be paid to the estate.
Choose a Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a beloved family member is a tragedy. Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, reckless behavior, or wrongdoing can leave major scars that are impossible to heal. Our Houston attorneys understand.
At Weber Law Firm, we will fight for justice on your behalf and work to win a wrongful death settlement that will help you as you move forward in your life. Contact us today to find out more or to schedule your no-obligation consultation.
Reach out to us today at 281-369-4719 to learn more about our services or to schedule your no-obligation consultation. With Weber Law Firm, you’re choosing a partner who believes in your cause and stands ready to make a difference.