Wrongful Death Lawyers in Houston Helping Victims Get Justice
When a family loses a loved one unexpectedly, the pain they experience is indescribable. Nothing can replace the hole left when someone you love departs this earth prematurely. That pain becomes even more overwhelming, though, if the family learns that their loss stems from somebody else’s negligence, carelessness, or intentional misconduct. In such a case, having a wrongful death lawyer in Houston on your side is a necessity. Without help in the legal process, your family may end up suffering even more due to the reckless acts of another.
When you lose a loved one, it’s important to hold negligent parties accountable. This does more than just provide financial support for the difficulties you’re facing. In fact, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can reduce the likelihood that similar incidents will occur in the future. This is why accountability is so important. In the end, you might just accomplish the goal of receiving compensation to offset your financial burdens while also saving a life in the future. At the Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown, you’ll find a dedicated attorney ready to help you move forward.
Potential Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits that can help reduce the emotional and financial challenges a family faces after their loved one dies in a preventable accident. The successful resolution of such a claim could aid a family in paying the medical bills and funeral expenses of their lost loved one. The damages earned in a wrongful death suit could also help support the surviving family members of the decedent by paying some of their future lost income — particularly in situations where the decedent was the family’s primary breadwinner.
Recovering damages could also allow family members to take time off from their own jobs to grieve their loss. It’s even possible to pursue and recover compensation related to mental anguish, lost companionship, lost household services, and lost care. Depending upon the specifics of the case, a family could also potentially recover damages for the pain and suffering that their loved one endured before their death. In certain circumstances where the wrongdoer acted grossly negligent or intentionally, the surviving family members could even receive punitive damages — which are intended to punish the wrongdoer for their actions.
Recoverable Damages in a wrongful death claim can significantly vary depending upon the specifics of a case. Whether your loved one’s death occurred due to a car accident or because of extreme medical malpractice, speaking with a Houston personal injury lawyer is your best course of action. A legal professional can help you identify all potential damages you may be entitled to. The important thing to remember is that an insurance company will likely never offer a fair settlement that includes all appropriate damages. Having a compassionate attorney on your side can help significantly in such a situation.
Potential Claimants in Houston Wrongful Death Claims
As outlined in Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, only certain family members may be eligible to file suit a wrongful death claim. Under state law, only surviving spouses, children, and parents can sue. This obviously leaves a significant subset of an individual’s family unable to pursue justice on their behalf. If you don’t fall into any categories not included in the statute, though, you may still benefit from speaking to an attorney regarding wrongful death lawsuits.
While you may be unable to qualify as a claimant on your own, it’s possible that an attorney can find a family member who is eligible to file. Wrongful death law in Texas is very complex, so it’s important that you’re fully informed before making any decisions. And since the Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown will provide a free consultation to review your loved one’s case, there’s nothing to lose in seeking more information.
A compassionate Houston attorney could help eligible family members determine their options and proceed with a wrongful death claim.
The Deadline to File Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Although there are certain exceptions, surviving family members will generally need to file a wrongful death claim within two years of their loved one’s death. It is critical that the family speak with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney as soon as possible to review their legal options. Once the statute of limitations has expired, surviving family members will have a much more difficult time — if there’s a chance at all — of recovering fair compensation.
Of course, it’s understandable if you need some time before worrying about wrongful death cases. Two years may seem like a long time to file a claim, and it’s true that you can submit a lawsuit to the courts even if one year, eleven months, and thirty days have passed. The important thing to remember is that it’s not just about the legal time limit. The fact is that time is an enemy in all wrongful death cases. Proof of liability can disappear over time — ranging from deceased witnesses to deteriorated evidence.
It’s understandable that you need time to heal, but that’s exactly what a Houston wrongful death lawyer can give you. Rather than dealing with the insurance companies and starting the judicial process on your own, your legal team can handle all the heavy lifting while you focus on taking care of your family.
What if Your Loved One Was a Responsible Party?
Every wrongful death suit comes down to liability. Proving fatal accidents were caused by another negligent party is a necessary step to receive compensatory or punitive damages. However, what if the victim’s death was caused by more than just one person’s negligence? What if the victim actually contributed to their accident through negligent actions of their own? Would they suddenly not be entitled to burial expenses and other damages typically granted in wrongful death lawsuits? Absolutely not.
That’s because Texas is a comparative negligence state. This means a victim’s family can recover damages even if their loved one was partially at fault for their own accident. This is why having Houston wrongful death lawyers on your side is so important. They can complete an investigation to determine liability. While it’s true you can’t recover maximum compensation if a jury decides your loved one was partially at fault, Texas law still allows for partial recovery based on the percentage of negligent actions contributable to each party.
For instance, the jury may decide that an accident victim was 10% responsible in a wrongful death case. Perhaps they felt the victim shouldn’t have crossed the street in a certain area. In a Houston wrongful death claim that results in a $5 million verdict, a sum of $500,000 (i.e., 10%) would be removed from the award. This means the surviving spouse or another family member would still be entitled to a $4.5 million judgment. This is why you should speak with a wrongful death attorney before making any premature assumptions about your case.
Do I Need a Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer?
All experienced Houston wrongful death attorneys can tell you that many cases may seem like a “slam dunk.” Some facts are so clear that it would seem no other outcome besides fair compensation would be possible. Unfortunately, it’s rare for a wrongful death case to work out this way without legal representation. Insurance companies have seen enough criminal and civil cases to know that fair compensation in cases involving fatal accident victims can be quite high. In fact, there have been over a dozen such trials in America that have resulted in court awards of more than $10 million. This means you can expect significant pushback from insurance adjusters.
Having Houston wrongful death lawyers on your side through this process can help you deal with the insurance companies. Insurers can’t mislead a legal professional into thinking they should pay you less than what you deserve. While a fair settlement offer may be extremely high, these companies don’t want to end up in court. They also don’t want a very public trial showing that they’re unwilling to fairly compensate victims for wrongful deaths. If they choose to not offer a fair settlement, though, having a law firm on your side in civil court can make all the difference.
You’re not required to seek out an attorney when trying to hold a responsible party accountable. When it comes to Texas wrongful death damages, though, experience matters. Find a law firm that offers free case evaluations so you can get a solid idea of where you stand. No one should be left wondering if another party’s gross negligence entitles family members to a survival claim, and with one call to the Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown, you won’t be stuck in that situation.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Houston Today
Although a wrongful death lawsuit can never bring your loved one back, it can give you the financial support that your family needs. It can also help provide you with closure and peace of mind while allowing you the time and security necessary to grieve your loss in peace. It’s always a tragedy when a personal injury turns into a wrongful death, but when such a tragic outcome occurs, having an experienced law firm on your side is essential. Let the criminal courts handle the broken laws, but when it comes to holding negligent parties accountable civilly, a Texas lawyer can help advocate for your family.
The Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown is on standby to help. We will provide a free consultation to help you better understand your case and what you can expect. This includes identifying all potential defendants, whether a wrongful act constitutes a violation of duty, and the best strategy moving forward to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today by calling (713) 714-6206 for a free case evaluation — and you’ll have a wrongful death lawyer in Houston on your side to aggressively face whatever comes next.