What Type of Lawyer Handles Wrongful Death Claims in Texas?
A wrongful death lawyer handles personal injury claims involving accident deaths caused by an act of negligence or intentional conduct, such as a trucking accident or medical malpractice event. More specifically, in Texas, Chapter 71. Section 71.002 a wrongful death attorney can bring a cause of action arises when any injury that causes an individual's death is caused by the person's or his agent's or servant's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default. As you can imagine, the practice area of a skilled wrongful death attorney is vast, encompassing car accidents, trucking accidents, dangerous pharmaceuticals, medical malpractice, dog bite cases, child accident and injury claims, and more. No matter the cause of death, there are lawyers who specialize in wrongful death claims in Texas and can help your family get justice and compensation for their loss.
What is a wrongful death lawyer?
A wrongful death lawyer is an attorney that files civil lawsuits on behalf of families and the estate of the deceased against the person or entity whose actions caused or contributed in causing a the loss of human life. The practice area of wrongful death is a sub-category of personal injury. Attorneys who devote a significant portion of their practice to litigating cases involving accidental deaths will often consider themselves a "wrongful death lawyer" due to the experience obtained when handling death claims.
Advocating on behalf of a grieving family in a wrongful death lawsuit requires not only a strong understanding of trial procedure but the ability to also compiling extensive evidence to prove that the death was caused by someone else's negligence. Unlike a more general personal injury attorney, a wrongful death attorney normally has a network of case experts in the form of accident reconstruction engineers, mechanically engineers, and medical professionals that provide the evidence necessary to establish a causal link between the defendant's actions and the death that occurred. A wrongful death attorney must bring evidence sufficient to prove a parties actions, or failure to act, caused the loss of human based on a on a preponderance of the evidence.
Legal professionals that handle loss of life situations are also familiar with survivorship claims. Survivorship claims are brought by the estate of the deceased person, while wrongful death claims are brought by the surviving family members. The difference between the two is that survivorship claims seek damages for the lost earnings and support of the deceased person, while wrongful death claims seek damages for the mental anguish and suffering of the survivors. A wrongful death attorney can assist your family is pursuing both mechanisms of compensation, if possible in your circumstance.
What types of cases does a wrongful death lawyer handle?
Car accidents resulting in injury deaths is the second leading cause of unintentional fatalities in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,896 traffic fatalities in Texas in 2020. The statistics showed that a person was killed ever 2 hours here in Texas. A wrongful death lawsuit aids a family by determining who might be a fault, whether it is another driver, a vehicle manufacturer, tire company, or even a local authority for failing to maintain safe roadways for motorists. An experienced personal injury attorney can help individuals who have lost a loved one in an auto accident to understand their legal rights and options.
Wrongful death attorneys that handle truck accidents will have a meticulous understand of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Standards that commercial truck drivers must adhere to, because failing to meet these laws and regulations often results in traffic fatalities. There are a variety of factors that contribute to these loss of life accidents, including maintenance issues, failed safety checks, driver fatigue, carrying excessive loads, inadequately trainer drivers, and intoxication. A wrongful death attorney hold commercial carriers and fleet operators liable for the tragic consequences caused by their negligent acts and omissions. The attorney would also understand the monetary range of a settlement award or jury verdict that your family could be entitled to.
Pedestrian accidents are a serious problem in the United States, resulting in thousands of injuries and fatalities each year. In fact, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident than occupants of a vehicle. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important is that pedestrians are much more vulnerable than motorists. They have no protective shell around them, and they're often less visible to drivers. As a result, even a minor accident can result in serious injuries or death for a pedestrian.
According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, medical errors are the third leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States, accounting for more than 250,000 deaths each year. Malpractice occurs when a health care professional fails to provide competent care and causes injury or death to a patient. Although medical errors are often unintentional, they can have devastating effects on patients and their families. If you or someone you love has been harmed by medical malpractice, it is important to speak with an experienced of a wrongful death attorney.
Construction Site Accidents
Construction sites are inherently dangerous places. One of the most common ways that construction workers are killed on the job is by being struck by an object. This can happen when workers are struck by falling objects, such as scaffolding or tools, or when they are hit by objects that are being moved around the construction site. Other common causes of death on construction sites include electrocution, being caught in between objects, and exposure to hazardous substances. Unfortunately, these accidents often happen due to the negligence of another party, such as the employer or a fellow employee. If you have lost a loved one in a construction accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you investigate your claim and fight for the justice you deserve.
Defective Pharmaceutical Products
Pharmaceutical companies are supposed to be our allies in the fight against disease and injury. However these companies are also large businesses that in their quest to make a profit sometimes cut corners, resulting in defective products that can cause serious injury or even death. Defections are sometimes an issue with the raw materials used in the manufacturing process, or it could be due to human error, like a lack of research or controlled studies. As an examples, in February of 2022, medical researchers learned that Similac and Enfamil products given to premature infants has resulted in the babies developing a life-threatening intestinal disease. A Similac injury attorney familiar with mass tort claims and pursing wrongful death claims against drug manufactures is able to file claims for compensation of behalf of families impacted by pharmaceutical negligence.
Maritime and Jones Act Accidents
Many fatalities that occur offshore are due to negligence on the part of the shipowner or operator. When a vessel is unseaworthy, for example, a ship may be inadequately maintained, or crew members may not be properly trained, seaman are placed at risk us sustaining fatal accidents. In some cases, an accident can even be deliberate, such as when a ship is recklessly navigated in bad weather. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a maritime accident, you should speak to a lawyer who specializes in maritime law and filing claims under the Death of The High Seas Act.
There are many factors that can contribute to an aviation accident, including pilot error, mechanical failure, bad weather, and air traffic control error. Wrongful death attorneys must fully investigate each accident, which includes researching carrier negligence and possibly airport liability in order to determine each possible defendant to the lawsuit. Wrongful death attorneys also hire airport safety engineers to examine the airplane engine, fuel system, landing gear, wings, and body of the craft to determine if any third party company could be implicated for a defective component. One important source of information is the flight data recorder, also called the black box. An experienced attorney will leave no stone unturned in their quest for justice on behalf of their clients.
Premise Liability Accidents
A premises liability accident is any type of accident that occurs on someone else's property due to the property owner's negligence. Common examples of premises liability accidents include slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and swimming pool drownings. While these accidents can often be minor, they can also result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe, and if they fail to do so, they can be held liable for any resulting accidents. If you or someone you love has been injured in a premises liability accident, it is important to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Swimming Pool Drownings
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 11 people drown in swimming pools every day in the United States. Of those 11, about 30% are generally children under the age of 4. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children in this age group, through children aged 5 to 14 also have a heightened risk. In many cases, it is possible to file a lawsuit against the property owner, the manager of the property, or the manufacturer of the pool. Wrongful death attorneys that handle swimming pool drownings are often filing cases against apartment complexes for having broken gates (attractive nuisances), or neighbor's that allowed the children to access the swimming pool without adult supervision.
How does a wrongful death attorney prove liability?
A wrongful death attorney must prove the elements of negligence to win a case: duty, breach, causation, and damages. The first element, duty, is the legal obligation to act in a certain way to avoid causing harm. For example, all drivers have a duty to drive responsibly and obey traffic laws. The second element, breach, is the failure to uphold that duty. In the case of a car accident, the driver may have breached their duty by speeding or running a red light. The third element, causation, is the link between the breach of duty and the death of the victim. The fourth and final element, damages, is the financial losses suffered by the victim's family as a result of their loved one's death.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
Many people are hesitant to consult with a wrongful death attorney because they assume it will be too expensive. However, most wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win the case. Most attorneys that handle accidental death claims also offer free consultations, so it is worth meeting with a few different attorneys to see what your options are.
How do I find a wrongful death attorney?
If you are looking for a wrongful death attorney, one of the best places to start is by doing a search on Google by typing, "wrongful death attorney" followed by the type of accident you have experienced. Make sure that the attorney you settle on is actually local. A wrongful death attorney located in your city will be familiar with the personal injury laws in your state. This means that they will be able to more effectively navigate the legal system and get you the best possible outcome. Additionally, local lawyers will likely have established relationships with the insurance companies and other attorneys in your area.
Once you have compiled a list of potential lawyers, it is important to carefully examine their reviews to learn about prior client experiences. Next, schedule a consultation with each one so that you can get a better sense of their specific qualifications and experience. Make sure you ask the attorney about their prior cases with facts similar to your situation and what their opinion is regarding your likelihood of success. Although determining the average settlement value of a wrongful death case is difficult to do here in Texas, the attorney should be able to provide you a valuation.