Wrongful Death Lawyer
Compassionate Legal Help for Wrongful Death Claims
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People who have lost a loved one due to the negligence, neglect or wrongful act of another, are often paralyzed with anger and anguish. When a loved one dies as a result of another’s careless actions or negligence, the law does not take this situation lightly. Victim’s families can receive compensation for the wrongful death of another individual to care for those who are suffering and facing heartache as a result of the accident, with the help of a wrongful death lawyer.
There is never adequate compensation for the loss of a loved one, but the law has provisions to make things right by ordering the at-fault party or parties to compensate you for your economic and non-economic losses.
If you believe that your loved one died as a result of another’s negligence, wrongful act or neglect, we urge you to talk a caring, experienced wrongful death lawyer.
At The Carlson Law Firm, we are diligent in our pursuit of investigating wrongful death cases. Contact one of our 12 offices today for a free consultation.
What is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs any time someone dies in a situation where they would have been entitled to pursue a claim for personal injury had they survived the accident or altercation. This includes not only situations involving negligence or willful misconduct, but deaths resulting from defective products and dangerous premises as well.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
A wrongful death can arise in many different situations, including:
Distracted drivers, drunk or impaired drivers, aggressive drivers, road construction and pedestrian fatalities are among the leading causes of death in America, and the most common causes of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Truck accidents are not only the most deadly of crashes, but they also commonly result in complex legal cases. The victims of deceased truck accident victims will require experienced legal counsel well versed in this unique field of the law to fully protect their legal rights.
Because they are completely unprotected in a collision with a moving vehicle, pedestrians are often seriously injured or even killed when they’re struck by any type of motor vehicle. In 2010, there were 4,280 pedestrian fatalities, averaging out to one death every 2 hours that year. Older adults and children are at a high risk of being injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, although anyone can suffer from this type of accident. Common factors in pedestrian accidents include reckless driving, limited field of vision, and lack of pedestrian walkways.
A property owner or occupier may fail to take reasonable steps to protect visitors from harm by repairing a dangerous condition on the premises or warning visitors about the hazard.
Fatal injuries can result from an attack that occurs due to a dog owner’s failure to follow local leash laws or to otherwise reasonably restrain or handle the dog.
When medical professionals fail to provide the required level of care resulting in the death of a patient, the family may seek a wrongful death lawsuit based on facts that indicate a possible prescription error, misdiagnosis, emergency room error, surgical injury, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis or even medical equipment malfunction.
Unfortunately, many nursing homes fail to provide adequate care to the elderly residents under their care. Due to the frailty of their condition, even a slight injury to a nursing home resident can be fatal.
The designers, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of products must minimize the risk of harm from their products to the public. A death that results from faulty design, defective manufacturing process, or failure to warn of possible injuries or death can be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Any death that occurs in the workplace as a result of company negligence can be the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit, and these commonly include illness due to unsafe work environments, fires or explosions, faulty equipment, or improper training and machine related incidents. Surviving family members may be able to bring a third-party liability claim and seek a financial recovery that goes beyond what workers’ compensation benefits provide.
Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death law varies from state to state. In Texas, wrongful death claims may be filed by certain members of the decedent’s family. This includes the surviving spouse, the children, and the parents of the decedent. In some cases, an adopted child may file a wrongful death claim if the adoption was legally and fully completed. Adoptive parents may also file a wrongful death claim for their adopted child. These claims may be filed as a single action or the members of the family can group together to file a claim.
Under Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, wrongful death claims can be filed by certain parties if the death is caused by the wrongful act, carelessness, unskillfulness, neglect, or default of another person or corporation.
A wrongful death lawyer will be able to help you determine what’s best for your particular situation.
Types of Wrongful Death Damages
Damages awarded in wrongful death claims exist to compensate the family members for their losses experienced when losing a loved. The types of damages that are recoverable vary and often depend if the claimant is a surviving spouse, a parent, or a child. The most common damages include:
- Mental anguish
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost inheritance (what would have been financially gained had the decedent lived a full life)
- Lost household services
- Lost care, support, guidance, or counsel
- Lost love or companionship
There are some cases, when the act is done willfully or by gross negligence, that the family may be able to recover exemplary — or punitive — damages to penalize or punish the defendant for their gross negligence and to send a message to help ensure such gross negligence does not happen again
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
To establish liability in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff will have to prove:
- The defendant engaged in negligent behavior
- The negligent behavior led directly to a victim’s death
- The surviving family members are legal beneficiaries of the victim’s estate
- The surviving family members have sustained measurable loss as a result of the victim’s death
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Statute of Limitations
Every state sets certain time limits, called the “statute of limitations,” on bringing wrongful death lawsuits. The general rule is that a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the misconduct that caused the death of the victim. In the state of Texas, the surviving family members are required to file their lawsuit within two years of the decedent’s death. There are a few rare and limited exceptions that apply to this rule, but the best practice is to assume that a wrongful death lawsuit needs to be brought before the two-year deadline has passed. Because wrongful death claims are complex matters, it is best to talk to a wrongful death lawyer as early as possible to allow time to investigate and properly bring the claim before the deadline.
What Is a Survival Claim?
A survival claim is another type of claim filed against the defendant responsible for your loved one’s death. However, instead of being a claim for your losses (like a wrongful death lawsuit), a survival claim is actually a claim against the defendant for the pain and suffering that they caused your loved one to endure. In other words, you’re taking over the claim your loved one would have had.
Technically speaking, the survival claim does not belong to any particular family member. Instead, it belongs to the deceased person.
How A Wrongful Death Lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
When a loved one is lost, there is not enough compensation in the world to make up for the pain and suffering that takes place. Wrongful death claims are often complex and require careful investigation to ensure surviving family members receive fair compensation.
A wrongful death lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm firm can be your guide through this difficult process. We will be by your side every step of the way. We can also aggressively pursue compensation for the lost loved one. The goal of a wrongful death lawyer is to protect your rights and ensure that your family gets the compensation that you deserve.