An unexpected death can create chaos for a family. They may be dealing with the stresses and costs associated with arranging a funeral while dealing with extensive medical bills. They must also consider how the death will affect their family’s future, both financially and emotionally.
In certain situations, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate. These suits can demand compensation from at-fault parties when the actions of those parties caused a premature death. These instances commonly arise out of accidents but may also involve intentional acts of violence.
A Houston wrongful death lawyer could help families to pursue the compensation that they need. An attorney can perform an investigation into the incident, explain the laws that control wrongful death cases, evaluate how an incident has affected a family, and seek out fair payments from all at-fault parties.
What Does it Mean for a Death to be Wrongful?
As difficult as it can be to understand, not every death that occurs in Houston is wrongful in the eyes of the law. Many deaths are the result of natural causes or acts of God. It is only when a family is able to attribute a death to the actions of another person, company, or government entity that a death provides a cause of action for a wrongful death lawsuit.
More specifically, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.002 says that a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate when the injury was the result of a party’s wrongful act, negligence, or carelessness. At the same time, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.003 says that an action is appropriate only if the deceased individual would have been able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit had they survived the incident.
As a result, wrongful death cases may result from:
- Car, motorcycle, or truck accidents
- Slips and falls, or other instances of premises liability
- Defective product failures
- Medical malpractice
A Houston wrongful death attorney could help to explore the cause of a person’s death and determine whether state law permits a wrongful death lawsuit.
Specific Parties Have the Exclusive Ability to File Wrongful Death Lawsuits
While an unexpected death may affect a multitude of people besides the decedent, the law only permits specific parties to bring lawsuits alleging wrongful death. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004, only a surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased have standing to file these lawsuits in state courts. It is only when none of these parties bring an action to court three months after the date of the death that the executor of the decedent’s estate obtains this power.
Additionally, the purpose of the lawsuit is to bring comfort and financial stability to the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, and parents. No other party may collect compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. This compensation can include money for the payment of funeral costs and medical bills. It may also income payments for lost family income and support. A Houston wrongful death attorney could help the proper parties to pursue lawsuits that demand essential payments.
A Houston Wrongful Death Attorney Could Bring Comfort and Stability to Families
Losing a loved one is never an easy experience. This can be even more traumatic when a death is unexpected. Car accidents, slips and falls, and medical malpractice are all examples of situations where a death was unexpected, and another party is to blame. In these situations, family members may be able to pursue wrongful death lawsuits that demand compensation from at-fault parties.
A Houston wrongful death lawyer could take the lead in these lawsuits. They can work to explain the laws that control the case, perform a full investigation into the incident, evaluate how the death has affected a family, and demand full payments from all responsible parties. There is a limited time to file a case, and it is best to act quickly to have the best chance for success.