Every incident that results in a personal injury creates many legal and personal problems for a victim. However, most injuries are temporary matters from which a person will eventually make a full recovery. Even the most severe examples of injuries that result in some form of permanent loss will usually allow the victim to enjoy life.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for incidents that result in the death of a loved one. These incidents will have a lasting impact on not just the decedent but also their families. It follows that the surviving family members have the ability to hold at-fault parties liable for their role in causing the death. These claims are called wrongful death lawsuits.
A Houston wrongful death lawyer could help the families of the recently deceased to pursue the compensation needed to bring them comfort. This involves identifying all possible defendants, measuring the effect of the death on family members, and demanding proper compensation under the laws of the state. To schedule a consultation, reach out to a compassionate attorney who could sit with you and your family to discuss which options are available to you.
Recovering Damages in a Wrongful Death
According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §71.003, a plaintiff may bring a wrongful death claim only if, the individual injured would have been entitled to bring an action for the injury if the individual had lived or had been born alive. In other words, a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate if the subject of the act would have been able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant had they lived.
As a result, some common incidents that may give rise to a wrongful death claim include:
- Car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian accidents
- Slips and falls or other injuries that are the result of defects in the property
- Defective product claims
- Intentional acts of violence
The fact that the incident resulted in death does nothing to change the fact that a negligent defendant is responsible for the consequences of their actions. If a victim of an incident dies, that defendant is liable to pay. A Houston wrongful death lawyer could help to explain the legal basis for wrongful death lawsuits.
What Compensation is Available to Families?
The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to benefit surviving family members. According to the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §71.004, only a surviving spouse, children, or the parents of the deceased are eligible to recover compensation. Furthermore, any or all of these parties may serve as a plaintiff in the lawsuits that demand these payments. A Houston wrongful death lawyer could take the lead in identifying the payments to which surviving family members may be entitled.
Wrongful Death Actions
Damages for untimely death cases separate into two separate causes of action. The first is a claim for the damages suffered by the decedent prior to death. Known as survival action, these claims can demand payments for emotional trauma, pain, and suffering felt by the decedent before passing away. The second cause of action involves the damages to the family members. These actions can demand payments for lost earning capacity, loss of companionship, and emotional trauma of the survivors.
A Houston Wrongful Death Attorney May be Able to Help
The unexpected loss of a loved one is always a traumatic and chaotic time for a family. While people naturally are concerned with their immediate wellbeing and welfare, they should also keep an eye on the future. Especially in situations where the decedent was a primary earner, the death of a loved one may have an effect on your finances in addition to your emotional health.
One way to alleviate the pressure of an unexpected death is to pursue a wrongful death claim against responsible defendants. These can include negligent drivers, corporations who sell unsafe products, and doctors who fail to provide proper care. A Houston wrongful death lawyer could help you to pursue these claims. They understand the sensitive nature of these matters and can work with you and your loved ones to explain their legal rights and to hold at-fault parties liable for their actions. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.