It is hard enough when you suddenly lose a spouse or close relative, but when you find out that someone else caused the loss through carelessness, your grief is even worse. Texas law allows eligible loved ones to seek compensation by pursuing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
A Prosper wrongful death lawyer can handle your legal claim so that you can focus on your family and rebuilding your life. We understand that you have options in Prosper, Texas, so we want you to know that we provide compassionate, responsive legal services when you need a lawyer the most.
How to Know If You Might Have a Wrongful Death Claim
If your loved one died because someone else made a mistake, was careless, did not do something they were supposed to do, or committed a wrongful act, you might have a wrongful death claim. Most wrongful death cases involve negligence, like a car accident caused by someone not paying attention.
When someone’s criminal conduct takes the life of an innocent person, the surviving family often files a lawsuit seeking compensation for the loss of their loved one. In that situation, you might be able to go after money damages regardless of whether the guilty party receives criminal charges or not. The defendant’s criminal case does not prevent you from filing a civil lawsuit pursuing money damages.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Prosper, call (972) 535-6377
What Can Cause a Wrongful Death
Nearly every type of activity could lead to someone suffering fatal injuries at the hands of another person through carelessness or an intentional act. Here are some examples of common causes of wrongful death:
- Motor vehicle accidents that were the result of someone’s negligence or an intentional act like road rage. Speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving or some type of negligence that can lead to collisions.
- Slip and fall accidents in which the victim suffered spinal cord damage or a traumatic brain injury. Slip and fall accidents have a surprisingly high rate of fatality.
- Medical malpractice takes the lives of thousands of Americans every year. These cases can arise from medication errors, surgical mistakes, and infections contracted while in the hospital, as well as other preventable incidents.
- Neglect, as in the failure to provide adequate care and attention in a nursing home, leading to a resident’s death.
- Intentional misconduct like assault or robbery. The criminal case does not pay the financial loss caused by the death of your loved one. A wrongful death claim can pursue compensation for the legal beneficiaries.
These are but a few examples of the many ways that someone else’s accidental or intentional act could lead to the untimely death of your loved one.
Prosper Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me (972) 535-6377
Who Has a Legal Right to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004, only the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the person who died can participate in a lawsuit or claim to recover damages. The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased person can file the wrongful death action on behalf of those legal beneficiaries.
Siblings, nieces and nephews, and other relatives do not have a right under Texas law to seek compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death.
Types of Money Damages in Texas Wrongful Death Claims
Texas juries are allowed to award money damages in wrongful death cases to represent the losses caused by the death. The damages that the surviving family recovers in a wrongful death case do not get offset by the debts of the decedent.
Actual damages in these cases can include things like:
- Loss of the financial support from the decedent and other financial losses like earning capacity and inheritance
- The cost of the funeral and burial
- Emotional suffering experienced by the surviving loved ones
- Loss of the companionship, affection, and comfort of the decedent
- Loss of the guidance, counsel, and advice of the deceased person
- Loss of the services and care provided by the decedent
The Texas wrongful death statutes allow exemplary damages in addition to the actual damages when an intentional act, willful failure to act, or gross negligence caused the death.
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Factors We Have to Prove in a Wrongful Death Caused by Negligence
We will have to prove all four of these elements to hold the defendant liable for wrongful death by negligence:
- The defendant had a legal duty of care. Let’s use the scenario of a car accident with fatal injuries. Everyone who operates a motor vehicle on public streets has a legal obligation to drive with caution and obey the traffic laws.
- The defendant breached the duty of care. Failure to measure up to a legal standard is negligence. In our example, the defendant engaged in reading and typing text messages while behind the wheel. Failure to give his complete attention to the road was negligence.
- The careless conduct must be the thing that caused the collision. Because the defendant was not looking at the road for stretches of time, he crashed into the car ahead of him.
- The defendant’s negligence caused quantifiable damages. Physical injury satisfies the element of measurable losses. The passenger in the backseat of the car struck by the defendant died from her injuries received in the collision.
When we can prove all four of these factors, we can seek money damages for the legal beneficiaries in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
There Is a Deadline to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas
Texas law, in Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, gives you only two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you miss the filing time limit, the law will forever bar you from seeking compensation for your losses. Two years can pass quickly when dealing with grief and financial loss. Be sure to talk with a Prosper wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
What Our Clients Say About Us
Thanks to the Internet, you do not have to choose your attorney without information about that lawyer’s services. You deserve an attorney who gets reviews like these that our clients posted on our website:
- “I can’t even fully express how thankful my family is for the outstanding work put in by Underwood Law Office.”
- “Excellent Legal Representation!!! Don’t waste time contacting other lawyers, in you are in need of immediate results, contact Underwood Law Office.”
- “They were kind, compassionate, and provided me with fantastic advice. They should be your first choice when choosing an attorney to represent you.”
You can call us today for a free initial consultation. If we take your case, there will not be any upfront legal fees. We handle wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that we get paid a portion of the settlement proceeds or jury award at the end of the matter. We do not get paid until you win.