Greetings, dear reader. Have you or someone you know recently experienced the devastating loss of a loved one? If so, then you understand the immense pain and suffering that comes with such an event. Unfortunately, in some cases, the death of a loved one could have been prevented if not for the actions or negligence of another individual or entity. In these cases, a wrongful death attorney is needed to seek justice and compensation for the surviving family members. In this article, we will explore the role of a wrongful death attorney in Houston, Texas.
By reading this article, you can expect to gain a deeper understanding of the legal process involved in seeking justice for the wrongful death of a loved one in Houston. You will learn useful tips on how to choose the right attorney, how to build a winning case, and what to expect during negotiations and trials. Moreover, you’ll discover how to calculate damages, including medical expenses, loss of future earnings, and emotional suffering. By the end of this article, you’ll be empowered with crucial information that will help you take the next steps towards seeking justice during this challenging time.
A wrongful death is a tragedy that no family should have to endure. However, if it does occur, it’s important to have a trusted and experienced attorney by your side. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, we understand the gravity of these cases and are dedicated to helping families get the justice they deserve. Our team has a proven track record of success and will fight tirelessly on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you during this difficult time.
What Is Wrongful Death? Understanding the Basics
When we lose a loved one, it is always a difficult and emotional experience. However, the pain and emotional turmoil that comes with losing someone is even greater when their death is caused by the carelessness or intentional actions of another person or entity. This is where wrongful death law comes into play.
Wrongful death is a legal term used to refer to any death that was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of another party. The purpose of wrongful death law is to provide a legal remedy to the surviving family members of the deceased.
The Legal Definition of Wrongful Death
In legal terms, wrongful death is defined as a death that is caused by the wrongful act, omission, negligence, or default of another party. It is important to note that wrongful death is not a criminal case, but rather, a civil lawsuit that is filed by the surviving family members of the deceased.
The wrongful death lawsuit is usually filed by the immediate family members of the deceased, such as a spouse, children, or parents. However, in some cases, it can also be filed by other individuals who are related to the deceased, such as grandparents or siblings.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
There are many different types of situations that can lead to a wrongful death case. Some common examples include:
- Medical malpractice: When a healthcare provider’s negligence or mistake leads to a patient’s death.
- Car accidents: When a driver’s careless or reckless actions cause a fatal accident.
- Defective products: When a defective product, such as a faulty tire or a malfunctioning firearm, causes a fatal injury.
- Workplace accidents: When an employee is killed due to unsafe working conditions or negligence on the part of the employer.
- Criminal acts: When a person is killed as a result of a criminal act, such as murder, assault, or battery.
The Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, there are several key elements that must be present in order for the claim to be successful. These elements include:
- The death of a person
- The death was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of another party
- The surviving family members are suffering from damages as a result of the death
- A personal representative has been appointed to represent the deceased’s estate in the lawsuit
The Benefits of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
While no amount of money can ever fully compensate for the loss of a loved one, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can provide a sense of justice and closure for the surviving family members. In addition, a successful wrongful death lawsuit can provide financial compensation to help offset the costs of medical bills, funeral expenses, and other losses incurred as a result of the death.
The Potential Drawbacks of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
It is important to understand that filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a lengthy and emotionally draining process. In addition, the outcome of the lawsuit is never guaranteed, and there is always the possibility that the case may not be successful. Finally, the intense media attention that often accompanies high-profile wrongful death cases can also be a source of stress and anxiety for the surviving family members.
|Provides a sense of justice and closure for the surviving family members||Can be a lengthy and emotionally draining process|
|Can provide financial compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other losses||The outcome of the lawsuit is never guaranteed|
In conclusion, wrongful death is a legal concept that is designed to provide remedies to the surviving family members of a person who has died as a result of the negligence or intentional act of another party. While filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a complex and challenging process, it can also provide a sense of justice and closure for the grieving family members.
How to Choose the Best Wrongful Death Attorney in Houston
Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging experiences anyone can go through. The mental and emotional toll can be overwhelming, and that’s why hiring the right wrongful death attorney is crucial. If you are looking for a wrongful death attorney in Houston, you need to choose the best. Here is how you can go about it:
Qualification and Experience
The first thing you need to consider is the qualification and experience of the attorney. Hiring an experienced and qualified attorney with the right skillset, knowledge, and expertise is crucial to getting the best possible outcome in your case. Consider hiring an attorney with experience in litigating wrongful death cases. Also, consider the attorney’s record of winning and settling cases.
Interesting Fact: Did you know that for the period 2016-2020, the Houston Metropolitan Area had a total of 9,967 fatal accidents, with 1,911 of them being related to alcohol-impaired driving?
The client reviews of an attorney can give you insightful information about how they operate and interact with their clients. Check out the reviews of previous clients on the attorney’s website or other online review platforms. Consider the ratings, testimonials, and comments of past clients. If past clients rave about their service, then it’s possible that you will receive similar quality of service.
Accessibility to your attorney is important. You need an attorney who can respond to your calls and emails in a timely and professional manner. You should be able to access your attorney whenever you feel the need to convey information or ask questions. Consider choosing an attorney in Houston that is within your locality.
Legal Fees Charged
It’s crucial to know how the attorney charges. Different attorneys have different payment systems. Some attorneys charge by the hour, while others have a contingency fee arrangement, only charging when you win the case. It’s essential to consider the attorney’s legal fees and how they impact your budget. Negotiate with your attorney upfront to know if there are hidden fees and other expenses that you might incur throughout the legal process.
Case Study: A Houston family hired a wrongful death attorney to represent them when their son was killed in a car accident. Initially, the attorney told the family he would charge a contingency fee of 35%. As the case progressed, he charged additional fees for research and investigation, leaving the family with a smaller settlement than expected. The family regretted not negotiating payment terms upfront.
Legal Resources and Support Staff
The legal process can be extensive and overwhelming. You’ll need an attorney with a team of support staff and legal resources to navigate through the entire process. The resources can include medical professionals, paralegals, and investigators. Having a large team at the attorney’s firm can improve your chances of winning the claim.
Compatibility with your attorney is essential. A wrongful death case will require you to share sensitive information about yourself and the deceased. Therefore, it’s crucial to hire an attorney who you can trust and with whom you can communicate effectively. An attorney who listens to your concerns and opinions, provides you with valuable legal advice and treats you with compassion and empathy is the right fit for you.
In conclusion, selecting the right wrongful death attorney in Houston will determine the success of your legal claim. Consider the attorney’s qualifications and experience, client reviews, accessibility, legal fees, and resources/support staff. Also, ensure that you are compatible with the attorney. Hire the right attorney, and it will relieve the burden of legal proceedings and give you peace of mind.
|Qualification and Experience||Increased chances of winning the claim||Expensive|
|Client Reviews||Insightful information from past client experiences||May not provide an accurate representation of the attorney’s performance|
|Accessibility||Quick resolution of legal matters||May not be available at all times|
|Legal Fees Charged||Lower fees through contingency arrangements||Hidden fees leave clients with smaller settlements than expected|
|Legal Resources and Support Staff||Counsel on all aspects of the legal claim||Cost of the attorney may increase|
|Compatibility||Effective communication and trust||May not represent the client’s best interest|
Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Houston
Losing a loved one is a devastating experience, but it can be even more painful when their passing was caused by the negligence or misconduct of others. In such cases, families may file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold those responsible accountable and seek compensation for damages. Wrongful death lawsuits can be complex and difficult, but with the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney Houston families can navigate the legal process and protect their rights. In this article, we’ll examine what you need to know about wrongful death lawsuits in Houston, including the legal requirements, damages, and other essential aspects.
The Legal Requirements for Wrongful Death in Houston
To file a wrongful death lawsuit in Houston, there are specific legal requirements families must comply with. These requirements include:
- Establishing the Duty of Care: This involves demonstrating that the person or party being sued had a legal obligation to act in a manner that would not harm the victim or put them at risk of injury. This duty of care may arise from a contractual relationship, a professional obligation, or simply from acting as a reasonable person would under the given circumstances.
- Proving the Breach of Duty: Once the duty of care has been established, the plaintiff (the family of the victim) must show that the person or party being sued failed to meet this duty of care, resulting in the victim’s death. This may involve presenting evidence that the defendant acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally.
- Show Causation: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the victim’s death. This means establishing a clear link between the defendant’s actions or inaction and the victim’s fatal injuries or illness.
- Experience Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they have suffered damages as a result of the victim’s death. This may include medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, pain, and suffering, and other losses incurred as a direct result of the wrongful death.
The Types of Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If a family succeeds in a wrongful death lawsuit, they may be entitled to several types of damages. These damages typically include:
- Economic Damages: These are measurable financial losses resulting from the wrongful death, such as medical costs, funeral expenses, lost wages, and future earning potential.
- Non-Economic Damages: These damages are less tangible and subjective than economic damages and may include pain, suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress resulting from the victim’s death.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant for their misconduct or negligence. Punitive damages are not based on the actual losses suffered by the plaintiff but are instead designed to act as a deterrent to others who may engage in similar behaviors.
The Importance of Working with an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death lawsuits are complex legal proceedings that require a comprehensive understanding of the relevant laws and regulations, as well as the skill and experience to build a strong case in your favor. Working with an experienced wrongful death attorney Houston families can ensure that their legal rights are protected, and that they receive the maximum compensation possible. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system, gather the necessary evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to reach a settlement that meets your needs.
|Access to legal expertise and guidance throughout the entire legal process.||Legal fees may be expensive.|
|Provides an advocate to represent your interests and fight for maximum compensation.||Legal proceedings may be lengthy and stressful.|
|May increase your chances of success in the lawsuit.||Not all wrongful death cases result in a successful outcome.|
Ultimately, the decision to file a wrongful death lawsuit is a personal one that should be based on your unique circumstances and needs. However, if you believe that your loved one’s death was the result of someone else’s negligence or misconduct, speaking with a wrongful death attorney can help you understand your legal options and seek the justice your family deserves.
Wrongful Death Settlements: How Much Can You Expect in Houston?
One of the critical factors that people consider in wrongful death cases is the amount of settlement or compensation they can receive. The amount of compensation varies based on various factors, including the severity of the case, damages, and the ability of the plaintiff’s lawyer to negotiate with the defendant. In Houston, the average settlement in wrongful death cases is around $1,450,000. However, this amount can be significantly higher or lower depending on the specifics of each case.
Factors that Affect Wrongful Death Settlements in Houston
When determining the amount of settlement, several factors come into play. Here are some of the most important ones:
- The victim’s age and income
The victim’s age and income before the accident play a significant role in determining the settlement amount. If they were young and earning well, the compensation will be much higher than someone who was older and had a lower income.
- Liability and negligence
If the defendant was unquestionably liable and negligent, the settlement amount might be higher.
- Medical expenses and lost wages
Medical expenses and lost wages are critical factors to consider when determining the settlement amount. In case the victim underwent extensive medical procedures and could not work, the compensation amount will be higher.
- Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering comprise physical and emotional distress, and they play a significant role in determining the settlement. The compensation amount will be significantly higher if the victim experienced severe pain and suffering before their death.
- State regulations and policies
Each state has its own regulations and policies that govern wrongful death cases. These laws will often dictate how much settlement a plaintiff may receive.
- The plaintiff’s attorney’s ability to negotiate
The plaintiff’s attorney’s negotiation skills affect the settlement amount. A skilled and experienced wrongful death attorney can negotiate and secure a higher settlement amount for their clients.
Examples of Wrongful Death Settlements in Houston
Houston is no stranger to high-profile wrongful death cases, some of which have resulted in significant settlements. Here are a few examples:
|Barajas v. Texas Department of Transportation||$1.3 million||A man was hit and killed by a drunk driver on a freeway. His wife and children sued the Texas Department of Transportation for failing to maintain the barriers that would have kept the drunk driver from entering the freeway.|
|Rabbani v. Texas Children’s Hospital||$6 million||A six-year-old boy died after an incorrect dose of medication was given to him at Texas Children’s Hospital. The hospital was found negligent, and the parents were awarded $6 million in damages.|
|Edwards v. Aarons||$820,000||A man was killed in a car accident caused by a defective tire. The victim’s wife and child sued Aarons, the tire manufacturer and were awarded $820,000 in damages.|
Pros and Cons of Settling Out of Court
While going to court might get you a higher settlement amount at times, settling out of court has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of settling out of court:
- Less time-consuming
- Reduced legal fees and expenses
- Guaranteed compensation
- Privacy- both parties agree to confidentiality.
- Lower settlement amount
- No opportunity for appeal
- Less control over the settlement amount
- Risk of accepting a settlement that does not cover all of the damages
Despite the pros and cons of settling out of court, it’s crucial to work with a skilled wrongful death attorney to analyze your case and determine what is best for your interests.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases Handled by Attorneys in Houston
Losing a loved one is never easy, but losing them due to someone else’s negligence can be devastating. In these cases, seeking legal advice is crucial to receiving justice and compensation. Wrongful death attorneys specialize in representing families and loved ones of individuals who have suffered fatal injuries due to someone else’s negligence. Here are the types of wrongful death cases handled by attorneys in Houston:
1. Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can result in wrongful death. It occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide the standard of care expected, resulting in harm or death to the patient.
Examples of medical malpractice that can result in wrongful death include:
- Failure to diagnose a severe medical condition
- Prescribing incorrect medication or dosage
- Delay in treatment or surgery
- Surgical errors
- Failure to manage labor and delivery complications during childbirth
According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, medical malpractice is responsible for over 250,000 deaths in the United States each year.
2. Car and Truck Accidents
Car and truck accidents are another common cause of wrongful death, often caused by drivers who were distracted, speeding, or driving under the influence.
Some common examples of car and truck accidents that result in wrongful death include:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- T-Bone collisions
- Hit and run accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
In 2019, there were 3,727 car accident fatalities in Texas alone.
3. Workplace Accidents
Workplace accidents can occur in any industry, but certain industries such as construction and manufacturing have a higher risk of fatal accidents. Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees.
Some examples of workplace accidents that result in wrongful death include:
- Falls from heights
- Slip and falls
- Machinery accidents
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
In 2019, there were 532 workplace fatalities in Texas, with the construction industry being the most dangerous.
4. Defective Products
Defective products can result in serious injuries or even death. If a product is found to be defective, the manufacturer can be held responsible for any resulting harm or death.
Examples of defective products that can result in wrongful death include:
- Pharmaceuticals with dangerous side effects
- Defective medical devices
- Faulty automobile parts
- Flammable clothing
- Contaminated food or drink
In 2019, there were 38 recalls of defective products in the United States, including car parts, food, and toys.
5. Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect is an unfortunate reality for many elderly individuals. It can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and financial abuse.
Examples of nursing home abuse and neglect that can result in wrongful death include:
- Medication errors
- Falls and fractures
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Physical abuse
According to a study by the National Center on Elder Abuse, up to 10% of all nursing home residents experience abuse or neglect each year.
|Types of wrongful death cases handled by attorneys in Houston:||Examples:|
|Medical Malpractice||Failure to diagnose a severe medical condition|
|Car and Truck Accidents||T-Bone collisions|
|Workplace Accidents||Exposure to toxic chemicals|
|Defective Products||Pharmaceuticals with dangerous side effects|
|Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect||Bedsores|
In conclusion, wrongful death attorneys in Houston specialize in handling a variety of cases, including medical malpractice, car and truck accidents, workplace accidents, defective products, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Seeking the help of a wrongful death attorney can provide families and loved ones with the necessary compensation and justice to move forward after a tragic loss.
Wrongful Death Claims Process Explained: Houston Attorneys’ Perspective
When a loved one dies unexpectedly due to the negligence of another person or entity, it can be a shock to the family. Families are not only grieving the loss of a loved one, but they are also left with medical bills and other expenses. In such cases, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be the only way to recover compensation. In this article, we will explain the wrongful death claims process from Houston attorneys’ perspectives.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is when a person dies because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act. When a wrongful death occurs, surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages such as medical and funeral expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Texas, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased did not have a spouse, children, or parents, then siblings can pursue a wrongful death claim. It is important to note that a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the death.
To win a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove negligence on the part of the defendant. Negligence can be defined as the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. In court, the plaintiff must prove the four elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
The Role of Houston Wrongful Death Attorneys
Wrongful death attorneys play a critical role in securing justice and fair compensation for their clients. Experienced wrongful death attorneys understand the complexities of wrongful death lawsuits and can help navigate the legal process. Additionally, they can provide legal advice, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent clients in court.
Pros and Cons of Settling Out of Court vs Going to Trial
When pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff and their attorney must decide whether to settle the case outside of court or go to trial. Here are some pros and cons to consider:
- Settling Outside of Court
- Often quicker and less expensive than going to trial
- Guaranteed compensation rather than risking losing in court
- Confidentiality of the settlement agreement
- Potentially lower compensation than what might be awarded in court
- No admission of liability of the defendant
- Cannot revisit the case in the future if new information is discovered
- Possible higher compensation than what might be offered in a settlement
- The ability to hold the defendant accountable for their actions
- Public record of judgment
- Uncertainty and potential risk of losing the case
- Costs of going to trial, such as legal fees and expert witness fees
- Lengthy legal process
Real World Examples of Wrongful Death Cases:
There have been several high-profile wrongful death cases in Houston in recent years. One such case involved the death of a mother and her two children in a car accident. The driver of the other vehicle was found to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol, leading to a wrongful death lawsuit being filed.
Another case involved the death of a construction worker who fell from scaffolding. The family of the deceased worker filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the construction company, alleging that the company failed to provide a safe working environment.
The wrongful death claims process can be a difficult and emotional experience for families. That is why it is essential to work with experienced wrongful death attorneys who can guide you through the legal process and recover fair compensation for your losses. Whether settling outside of court or going to trial, understanding the pros and cons of each option can help you make an informed decision on what is best for your situation. Remember, time is of the essence in filing a wrongful death lawsuit, so it is imperative to act quickly.
|Pros and Cons of Settling vs Going to Trial||Settling Outside of Court||Going to Trial|
|Pros||Often quicker and less expensive than going to trial
Guaranteed compensation rather than risking losing in court
Confidentiality of the settlement agreement
|Possible higher compensation than what might be offered in a settlement
The ability to hold the defendant accountable for their actions
Public record of judgment
|Cons||Potentially lower compensation than what might be awarded in court
No admission of liability of the defendant
Cannot revisit the case in the future if new information is discovered
|Uncertainty and potential risk of losing the case
Costs of going to trial, such as legal fees and expert witness fees
Lengthy legal process
The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one can be a very traumatic experience. If the death was caused by the negligence or intentional act of another person or organization, the surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. In this article, we will explore frequently asked questions about wrongful death attorneys in Houston.
What is a wrongful death attorney?
A wrongful death attorney is a legal professional who specializes in representing families who have lost a loved one due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party. These attorneys provide legal counsel, guidance, and representation to help the surviving family members pursue a wrongful death claim.
What are the qualifications of a wrongful death attorney?
To become a wrongful death attorney, an individual must have a law degree and a license to practice law in the state of Texas. They should have experience in handling wrongful death cases, and should be knowledgeable in Texas law as it applies to wrongful death claims. Additionally, a good wrongful death attorney should have excellent communication skills and be able to provide compassionate support to their clients during this difficult time.
What are the steps involved in a wrongful death claim?
The steps involved in a wrongful death claim may vary, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, the following steps are involved:
- The surviving family members meet with a wrongful death attorney to discuss the situation.
- The attorney conducts a thorough investigation of the incident and gathers evidence.
- The attorney files a wrongful death claim and represents the family in court.
- If the case is successful, the family may receive compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of income.
What types of damages are typically awarded in a wrongful death claim?
In a successful wrongful death claim, the family may be awarded compensation for a variety of damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost income and future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and guidance
What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Texas?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death. It is important to file the claim within this time frame, as failure to do so may result in the case being dismissed.
What should I look for when hiring a wrongful death attorney in Houston?
When hiring a wrongful death attorney in Houston, it is important to look for the following qualities:
- Experience in handling wrongful death cases
- Knowledge of Texas law as it applies to wrongful death claims
- Excellent communication skills
- Compassionate support and understanding
- A track record of success in handling wrongful death cases
What should I expect during the initial consultation with a wrongful death attorney?
During the initial consultation with a wrongful death attorney, you can expect to discuss the details of the case and ask any questions you may have. The attorney will also explain the legal process and discuss your options for pursuing a wrongful death claim. This consultation is a good opportunity to determine if the attorney is a good fit for you and your family.
What are some common causes of wrongful death cases in Houston?
Common causes of wrongful death cases in Houston include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Industrial accidents
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Product liability
- Criminal acts, such as homicide
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or intentional act of another party in Houston, it is important to consult with a wrongful death attorney. They can help you understand your legal options and provide guidance and support as you pursue justice for your loved one.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wrongful Death Attorney Houston
What is a wrongful death attorney, and what do they do?
A wrongful death attorney is a legal professional who specializes in representing the families of individuals who died because of someone else’s negligence or misconduct. Their primary role is to help the surviving family members seek justice and compensation for their losses.
What qualifies as wrongful death?
Wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or deliberate act. It could be due to medical malpractice, a car accident, a defective product, premises liability, or criminal behavior. The deceased person’s surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit under such circumstances.
How can a wrongful death attorney help my family?
A wrongful death attorney can provide legal guidance and support to your family during this difficult time. They can help you file a claim, investigate the circumstances leading to the death, gather evidence, negotiate with the insurance companies or the defendant’s attorneys, and represent you in court if needed. They can also ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your losses, including medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
What damages can I recover in a wrongful death lawsuit?
If you win a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be eligible to recover several types of damages, including economic damages (such as medical bills and lost income), non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering), and sometimes even punitive damages (to punish the defendant’s behavior). The exact amount of compensation you can receive depends on several factors, such as the nature and extent of the damages and the strength of the case.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas?
In Texas, you generally have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, there are several exceptions to this rule, such as when the defendant is a government entity or when the deceased person was a minor or mentally incapacitated adult. It’s always best to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney to understand your legal rights and deadlines.
How do I choose a wrongful death attorney in Houston?
Choosing the right wrongful death attorney in Houston is crucial to the success of your case. You should look for an attorney who has experience in handling wrongful death cases, a track record of success, and a compassionate and responsive approach to client communication. You can also ask for referrals from family and friends or check online reviews to find a reputable attorney.
How much does it cost to hire a Houston wrongful death attorney?
Most Houston wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. The fee is usually a percentage of the compensation you receive, typically around 33% to 40%. It’s important to discuss the attorney’s fee structure and any additional expenses (such as filing and court fees) upfront and in writing to avoid surprises later.
Can I still file a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased person was partially at fault?
Yes, Texas follows the modified comparative negligence rule, which means that you may still be eligible to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit even if the deceased person was partially at fault, as long as their fault was less than 51%. However, the damages awarded will be reduced by the percentage of the deceased person’s fault. For example, if the deceased person was 30% at fault and the damages were $100,000, you would only receive $70,000.
Do I have to go to court if I file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Not necessarily. A skilled Houston wrongful death attorney can negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company or attorney outside of court in many cases. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, or both parties cannot agree on the terms, the case would have to go to court for a judge or jury to make a decision.
What should I do if I believe I may have a wrongful death case?
If you believe you have a wrongful death case, the first step is to consult with an experienced Houston wrongful death attorney. They can assess your case and advise you on your legal options. You should also gather all the relevant documentation, such as medical records, police reports, and witness statements, and keep them organized in a safe place. Be prepared to discuss the details of the case and your relationship with the deceased person honestly and openly with your attorney.
Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, especially if it was due to someone else’s careless or intentional behavior. However, hiring an experienced wrongful death attorney in Houston can help you seek justice and compensation for your losses. By understanding your legal rights and options, choosing the right attorney, and working together to build a strong case, you can ensure that your loved one’s memory is honored, and their legacy is protected. If you’re looking for more helpful legal advice and resources, check out our other articles on relevant topics.