A family can feel devastated when a loved one dies. If someone causes your loved one’s death by wrongful acts or omissions, the grief and pain can be even more severe. You may be entitled to compensation for your grief and pain through a wrongful-death claim against the people responsible for your loved one’s death. You might feel a sense of security knowing that those responsible have been held legally accountable for their actions.
A Pasadena, TX, a personal injury lawyer can help your family hold the responsible parties accountable for the death of a loved one. We fight to ensure that the at-fault parties and their insurance companies provide fair and full compensation for the damage they have sustained.
We limit the number of cases that we take on. This allows us to give you and your family the personalized attention and maximum effort you deserve. We can get the best possible recovery for each client because we focus on their case.
We are available to assist you as soon as your family is ready to take responsibility for the death of a loved one. Contact us for a free consultation with an experienced Pasadena lawyer on wrongful deaths and to learn more about your family’s rights and how they can pursue financial compensation and justice in a wrongful death claim.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action to seek financial compensation for the losses resulting from a person’s death caused by another’s negligence, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default. Texas Statute SS71.002 explicitly states that a person may be held liable for a fatal injury to an individual caused by a “wrongful act,” neglect, carelessness, or default.
Texas law allows wrongful death actions to be filed only if the decedent could have brought a personal injury case had they lived. In other words, wrongful death cases must be based on the same negligence or gross negligence that personal injury claims.
Pasadena, Texas – Wrongful Death Laws
The Texas Wrongful Death Statute governs wrongful death cases in Pasadena. It is codified in Title 4, Chapter 71, Texas Statutes. Texas’s Wrongful Death and Survival statute outlines what constitutes a claim for wrongful deaths, describes when such claims may be filed, and names the parties entitled to file and receive compensation in a claim.
Pasadena Wrongful Death Settlement
In wrongful death cases, the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for losses suffered by the family due to the passing of a loved one. This could include financial compensation for:
- Decedent’s future earnings or financial contributions were not realized
- Death of the decedent’s companionship or society
- End of care, support, and maintenance
- Emotional trauma or distress suffered by the surviving family members
Texas’ wrongful death statute allows for the award of exemplary damages. Also known as punitive damages or intentional or willful death and compensating survivors.
Texas’s wrongful death laws protect the victim’s cause of action due to their injury. This is known as a Survival Claim, and the deceased’s estate can file it.
An estate or survival claim could allow the estate to recover money for the financial and other losses the deceased suffered before and after their death. These could include:
- Loss of wages between the time you are injured and the time you die
- The decedent experienced conscious pain and suffering
- Health expenses for the treatment of the final illness or injury suffered by the decedent
- Funeral and burial costs
- Estate administration expenses
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
An investigation into the circumstances leading to the death is the first step in a wrongful death suit. An effective investigation should uncover evidence that can be used to both explain the legal cause of death and to identify the party or parties responsible for inflicting the injury or harm that caused it.
It is essential to hire experienced lawyers to understand the claims thoroughly. Many cases require the hiring of accident reconstruction experts or medical professionals to give an opinion on the cause of death and the responsibility of the at-fault parties.
After the investigators or attorneys have collected enough evidence to support a case, you or your attorney can start the claims process by requesting compensation from the at-fault party(s) and their insurers. The demand letter outlines the facts and asks for fair monetary compensation. Most cases will begin a settlement negotiation process where both parties try to reach an acceptable compensation figure for your family’s claims against any at-fault party.
Sometimes, it is necessary to file a wrongful-death lawsuit in court. A case can become complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, it is best to settle the matter before that stage. It can take several months to exchange documents and depose witnesses relevant to the case during discovery. One party can file motions to try and resolve the case before going to trial.
A lawsuit will eventually lead to a trial if the case is not settled. A jury or judge will hear both sides’ cases and determine if you and your family are eligible for compensation. The judge or jury also decides how much each family member is entitled to.
What Happens if an Event Causes a Claim for Wrongful Death
Any incident that could lead to a personal injury case can result in a wrongful death claim. These are some of the most common causes of wrongful death claims:
- Mistakes in medical care, which include surgery errors, birth injuries, and medication errors, as well as misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis
- Motorcycle, truck, bus, or car collisions
- Boating accidents
- Dangerous consumer products
- Unsafe workplace conditions
- Slip-and-fall accidents, trip-and-fall accidents, or falls from heights
- Bicycle or pedestrian crashes
- Oil rig accidents
- Offshore platform accidents
- Maritime accidents
- Toxic exposure or environmental contamination
- Crime assault or homicide
Who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim?
Texas’s wrongful-death statute allows any combination of the deceased person’s spouse, children surviving, and parents to bring a wrongful death claim. If none of these initiate a claim for wrongful deaths within three months of the end, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate may file a claim unless the decedent’s children, spouse, and parents request no claim.
Other potential parties are not eligible to file wrongful death claims under the wrongful death statute. This would include siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nephews, and other family members, even if they were financially dependent on decedents at the time.
No matter who files a claim for wrongful death, the statute says that the action must be brought on behalf of the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents. An attorney can help you determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
Texas Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death
Texas’s statutes of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits give you two years to file a suit against an at-fault party. You may be eligible to file a claim if the at-fault party is found to have been involved in the death of your loved one or if they commit fraud to hide their responsibility.
After the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant or defendants can file a motion for permanent dismissal. This could result in you losing your right to seek compensation for the death of a family member. You must contact a Pasadena attorney for wrongful death as soon as possible.
Contact a Pasadena Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Contact a Pasadena personal injury attorney today if someone else’s negligence or recklessness killed your loved one. We offer a no-obligation consultation to help you understand how we can help your family during this difficult time. We will pursue financial compensation and justice for you, your family, and the loved ones who have passed away.