Answers, Advocacy & Justice After Negligence Causes Wrongful Death in Houston, TX
Negligence can rob you of a loved one, but it can’t take away your right to seek justice after a wrongful death. In fact, no matter what type of incident causes fatal injuries, you could have the right to sue, hold the negligent parties liable, and make them pay for their role in causing a loved one’s death.
To give you a better idea of whether you have a case, the following shares key information about these claims, how they work, and what a Houston wrongful death lawyer can do to facilitate the process and help achieve favorable resolutions.
Whenever you are ready to get more information specific to your circumstances, rights, and potential case, reach out to talk to a Houston wrongful death attorney.
Who’s Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Houston?
Under Texas law, Houstonians and others who can file a wrongful death claim include the decedent’s surviving:
- Spouse: Separated and ex-spouses, as well as those who were happily married at the time of the death, can file Houston wrongful death claims, as long as any pending divorce hasn’t been finalized.
- Parents: Unmarried, divorced, and adoptive parents, along with biological parents, are also eligible to pursue Texas wrongful death claims. In the case of unmarried and divorced parents, only one parent will be able to file a claim (i.e., both cannot file separate wrongful death claims). Additionally, stepparents can only file a case if they had legally adopted the decedent.
- Children: Adopted children, as well as biological children, are also eligible to file wrongful death cases in the Lone Star State.
Keep in mind that a wrongful death case is just one option for pursuing recovery after the untimely loss of a loved one. Depending on the circumstances, filing a survival action may also be possible.
How Do I Prove Wrongful Death?
Proving wrongful death can require various evidence, arguments, strategies, and testimony. What you need specifically, however, will depend on several factors, including (but not limited to):
- The type of accident or event that caused the wrongful death
- Who you’re going up against, meaning the nature of the at-fault parties (the defendants) in the case
- How complex, contradictory, and/or confusing the evidence may be
- Whether there are disputes over liability
Given everything that needs to be considered, it’s generally best to work with a lawyer when you need to establish wrongful death and liability for it.
Beyond advising and guiding you, an experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer can also help establish the essential elements of a claim, including (but not limited to):
- How that negligence directly caused the injuries that resulted in death
- How the wrongful death has resulted in suffering and losses
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Case in Houston?
Two years is generally the limit for bringing a Houston wrongful death case under Texas law. With this statute of limitations, it’s pivotal to understand that:
- The two years start counting down from the date of death. That can be after the date of the accident that caused the injuries if the decedent survives for some period of time (i.e., the injuries aren’t instantly deadly).
- There are exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations for Texas wrongful death cases, with some of these reducing or extending the time that plaintiffs have to bring claims.
- Missing the deadline to file a wrongful death case can mean losing the right and opportunity to seek recovery via the civil court system.
Regardless of how much time you may have to file a case, waiting to take action can end up being a mistake. That’s because the longer you wait to file a Houston wrongful death claim, the more likely it is that:
- You may not be able to locate or obtain some evidence you could need for your case.
- The liable parties may have time to get ahead and solidify their defense, possibly creating additional hurdles for you and your claim.
- You could leave yourself with little to no time to file a claim, running up against the clock and gambling with your chance to recover.
A wrongful death attorney in Houston, TX, can explain how much time you may have left to file a case, along with what it takes to get a claim started.
Do I Really Need a Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me?
The better question may be, do you want the best possible chances of successfully resolving a wrongful death case?
If you do, you want an experienced Houston wrongful death attorney representing you and helping you with a case. There are several key reasons for this, including the facts that a lawyer:
- Knows how these cases work and how to assert your rights at every stage
- Is skilled at standing up to at-fault parties, as well as their lawyers and insurance companies
- Has the knowledge and resources to craft strong claims, anticipate future challenges, and help you avoid the pitfalls that could interfere with your recovery
- Can work diligently to advance a wrongful death claim toward the best possible outcome
All of that and more can be at your disposal, and you won’t have to pay any upfront legal fees to get it. That’s because experienced wrongful death lawyers in Houston, TX, typically work on contingency, so they only get paid if there’s a recovery for a claim.