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Someone’s careless or thoughtless choice can instantly rob you of a loved one. Your pain and grief at this loss can be compounded by a desire to see that justice is done for them.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be legally complex and emotionally taxing on you and other family members. Nonetheless, pursuing a wrongful death claim may be the only way for you to receive compensation and hold negligent people accountable for their actions.
Nothing can prepare you for the death of a loved one. This is especially true when your beloved family member is taken away from you because another person was not paying attention or being careful. As you grieve, you will understandably feel anger toward the person whose choices led to your loved one’s death.
Seeking help from DeHoyos Accident Attorneys and our wrongful death lawyer will not bring your loved one back or undo the tragic events that took them from you. However, we can help you determine who is responsible for your loved one’s passing and hold them accountable for the costs, expenses, and harm they caused.
Not every death of a loved one qualifies as “wrongful.” Texas law defines a wrongful death as one caused by certain actions of another party. This other party can be an individual person who acted negligently, carelessly, or unskillfully.
An individual can also be liable if someone acting on their behalf or at their direction commits careless or negligent acts that lead to another’s death. Similarly, certain businesses, utilities, and common carriers can be deemed liable for a person’s death if one of their employees or agents negligently or carelessly causes your family member’s death.
You might feel hopeless following your loved one’s passing and conclude that speaking with a Pearland wrongful death attorney might not benefit you. While your wrongful death lawyer cannot undo the past, they can take steps to protect your future.
Your loved one’s unexpected passing can create financial hardships for you and your family in the present and future. By enlisting the help of a wrongful death lawyer, you are taking an important step toward meeting these financial challenges and in turn being able to grieve your family member in peace.
Your wrongful death attorney’s assistance begins with a thorough investigation into the cause of the fatal accident. The acts and decisions that played a role in your loved one’s death need to be identified so that all the responsible parties can be known. Without a detailed, in-depth investigation, you and your family risk missing out on the compensation you deserve.
Next, a wrongful death law firm working on your behalf will file a claim for damages against the responsible parties. The claim is your legal notification that they wrongfully caused the death of your loved one and owe you damages as a result.
Your Pearland wrongful death attorney may negotiate a settlement of your claim with the responsible party or parties. Reaching a favorable and appropriate settlement requires understanding the extent of your present and future losses. A skilled attorney with experience in these cases is best suited to help you with this task.
If you cannot reach a settlement with the other party, you may need to take your claim to trial. Here, your right to compensation depends on your ability to show that it’s more likely true than not that the party you sued is legally responsible for your loved one’s death.
A variety of scenarios can lead to your loved one’s sudden and unexpected death. These include:
Speeding, drunk driving, and driving while distracted by a cell phone are just some of the behaviors that can lead to fatal collisions on Pearland’s roads and highways. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, thousands of people each year lose their lives in car accidents that could have been prevented.
Commercial drivers of large, heavy trucks must meet additional physical and medical requirements to operate their rigs. However, this does not mean they never drive carelessly and cause Truck Accidents. And when they do, the results can be catastrophic for others on the road.
Motorcycling is popular in Pearland and throughout Texas, but it comes with its risks. Your loved one is exposed to a heightened risk of bodily harm or death in crashes that might only result in property damage to other types of vehicles. While helmets and protective gear can reduce this risk, they do not completely eliminate it. Unfortunately, Motorcycle accidents have a higher probability of leading to serious injuries or even fatalities.
Bicyclists who use roads to travel for fun or work are susceptible to drivers’ erratic or thoughtless actions. If they are not looking out for them, a motorist may not see a bicyclist until after a collision has happened. By then, it is too late, and fatal harm may already have been inflicted.
Streets in Pearland have crosswalks and traffic signs alerting drivers to the presence of pedestrians. Even still, some drivers ignore or fail to see these signs and don’t notice people crossing the street on foot. When cars collide with pedestrians, the results are often traumatic.
Business owners and other proprietors who open their businesses and properties to the public have a duty to keep their properties safe. Spills that have not been cleaned up, electrical or chemical dangers, or faulty stairs and walkways can all cause an unsuspecting visitor or customer to sustain fatal injuries.
Uber and Lyft drivers are just as capable of committing negligent acts as other drivers. Obtaining adequate compensation when a rideshare driver is involved in a fatal crash can present unique challenges, so entrusting your case to an experienced Pearland wrongful death lawyer is advised.
These are just some of the most common accidents in which individuals sustain fatal injuries. A wrongful death lawsuit may be brought under other circumstances if your loved one passed as a result of another’s carelessness.
There is no way to prepare for the sudden death of a loved one. However, taking a few simple steps can help give you a sense of control in the midst of the chaos.
You should begin by reporting the death to local emergency services. Even if you are fairly certain your loved one has passed, emergency medical treatment on the scene and at a hospital may save their life. In the event it does not, your loved one’s passing will still need to be documented.
Next, make a note of the accident scene, and describe or take photographs of what happened if you can. Provide details of your observations to law enforcement officers investigating the accident, but only give the facts that you personally observed. It is highly advised that you speak with a wrongful death attorney before providing a full statement to law enforcement or any insurance company.
Third, make sure to keep records of:
This will help you when you go to calculate your damages.
Finally, do not wait too long before speaking with a Pearland wrongful death law firm. The sooner you get legal help, the sooner an experienced wrongful death lawyer can begin the work of preserving, preparing, and presenting your claim. Do not settle with an insurance company for any amount without first getting legal advice.
A party or person is responsible for paying damages to a decedent’s family members if that person or party acted negligently or carelessly in causing the decedent’s death. Negligence or carelessness is determined on a case-by-case basis after looking at all of the facts of a situation. For this reason, it is crucial to have an experienced wrongful death attorney look at your case and determine how your loved one was killed.
Photographs, diagrams, and witness statements are some of the most powerful pieces of evidence for holding someone accountable for your loved one’s death. In complicated cases involving multiple parties, having someone reconstruct the accident can provide a clearer picture of who is responsible and to what extent.
The law allows only certain family members to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. If the decedent is survived by a spouse, that spouse will often be the one to file a wrongful death claim. If the spouse was not married but had adult children, those children also have the right to file.
If no adult children and no spouse survives the decedent, the decedent’s parents can bring a claim if they are still alive. If no wrongful death claim is filed by a qualifying member of the decedent’s family within three months, a representative of the estate may file.
The compensation you receive from a successful wrongful death suit can be divided by agreement or court. If you and other adult beneficiaries can agree on how a settlement should be divided, courts will generally enforce that so long as everyone is treated fairly during the process.
If your wrongful death lawsuit goes to trial, however, a judge or jury will typically decide how much compensation each beneficiary receives. This decision would come after the evidence of each beneficiary’s loss has been heard and considered.
Like other states, Texas limits the amount of compensation that individuals in a wrongful death lawsuit can receive. These or maximum limits help keep court verdicts from becoming so large that they are difficult to enforce. Texas’s damages caps apply to non-economic damages like pain and suffering as well as punitive damages. You can always recover damages to cover economic losses you incurred.
If your loved one died as a result of a medical error, Texas law prohibits you from obtaining more than $250,000 in non-economic damages. Punitive damages meant to punish the responsible party for egregiously bad or intentional conduct are limited to $250,000 or twice the amount of economic and non-economic damages if the total is under $750,000. You can receive the greater of these amounts.
Texas’s wrongful death laws are found in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Title 4, Chapter 71, Subchapter A. Within these statutes, you can find:
The statute of limitations applicable to wrongful death lawsuits can be found in Title 2, Subtitle B, Chapter 16, Subchapter 1, Section 16.003 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. This statute gives claimants two years from the date of the accident or death to bring a wrongful death claim.
If your loved one’s life was taken in an accident, turn to DeHoyos Accident Attorneys right away for help. You may have legal rights, and our wrongful death lawyer is committed to helping you exercise them.
Time is not on your side, so reach out and let us step in and assist you as soon as possible. We are here to lend you and your family professional and compassionate legal assistance during this difficult time.
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