Our wrongful death lawyers can help you if you have lost a loved one due to an accident or intentional act of another person. Losing a loved one can be a sudden change that leaves you feeling lost, lonely, angry and worried. The Haun Mena wrongful death lawyers are here to help.
You may qualify to bring a lawsuit for financial compensation. To have a legal claim, the victim’s death doesn’t have to be intentional – many claims are based on accidents. The compensation you receive can be welcome relief for household expenses, lost income, emotional suffering, burial expenses and more.
Wrongful Death Lawyers Near Houston
Our professional and experienced wrongful death lawyers near Houston know how hard it is to lose a loved one. We represent clients in Houston and throughout the State of Texas. We can handle all the legal aspects of your case and communicate with you directly as we pursue compensation on your behalf.
Texas Wrongful Death Statutes
What is wrongful death in Texas?
A wrongful death in Texas is when a person dies because of the actions or inaction of someone else. Surviving family members have a legal right to monetary compensation from the responsible party.
What is the Texas wrongful death law?
Texas wrongful death laws are found in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.001-71.003. In general, survivors may bring a claim based on negligence or other wrongdoing if the victim would have been able to bring a claim if they had lived.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas?
Parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas are:
Close surviving family members have the first opportunity to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. If they do not file within three months of the victim’s death, the executor of the estate can bring an action. Family members may ask the executor not to file a claim.
What is the legal basis for a Texas wrongful death claim?
A Texas wrongful death claim may be based on:
- Wrongful acts
Both intentional acts and accidents are encompassed in the law as circumstances that can lead to a wrongful death claim. The determining factor is whether another party is legally responsible for the victim’s death because of their unreasonable conduct. Legal liability can be based on what the defendant did or what they failed to do.
Wrongful Death Settlements
What can you receive from a wrongful death claim?
A successful wrongful death claim results in compensation to the victim’s surviving family. It is not a criminal action – the defendant does not go to jail. You may receive a finding of wrongdoing against the defendant and an award of monetary compensation.
What types of compensation are possible for a wrongful death claim?
Compensation available in a wrongful death claim may include:
- Lost income and long-term earning capacity
- Expenses for lost household care and household services
- Guidance and counsel the victim provided to the family
- Mental pain and anguish
- Lost love, companionship, society and comfort
- Inheritance that the victim would have saved for the family
- Exemplary damages (in cases of willful action or gross negligence)
There is no single amount of compensation due for every wrongful death claim. The parties must individually examine the losses to the family and the circumstances present to determine the appropriate amount of compensation. Exemplary damages are unusual, and they are awarded in cases of extreme misconduct.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit FAQs
Can a wrongful death claim be based on medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice can be the basis for a wrongful death claim. Be aware of differences from non-medical claims including the proofs needed to win the case and potential damages limitations.
What is the wrongful death statute of limitations in Texas?
The statute of limitations for wrongful death in Texas is two years. However, there are some important exceptions, like when the negligence is not discovered until later or where a surviving child is under 18. There are also circumstances that may shorten the statute of limitations, like if the claim is against a government entity, so don’t wait – contact a wrongful death lawyer right away.
What are the chances of winning a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is based on the same standards as other personal injury cases – you must prove that the harm is the result of the negligence or wrongful act of the defendant. It may be more challenging in that the victim isn’t there to testify.
In addition, the damages are slightly different from other personal injury cases – but with diligent preparation, you can prove them. To maximize your chances of winning a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s critical to carefully build the claim, understanding the damages available and the evidence you need to succeed.
Can the death of an unborn child be the basis for a wrongful death claim in Texas?
Texas law allows wrongful death claims based on the loss of an unborn child.
Can siblings bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas?
Siblings do not qualify to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. However, if they are beneficiaries of the victim’s estate, they may benefit indirectly from a survival action.
What happens if the defendant dies while a wrongful death claim is pending?
If the defendant dies while a wrongful death claim is pending, the claim can continue against the estate. (§ 71.008)
Is the remarriage of the surviving spouse relevant in a wrongful death claim?
The defense may bring up the actual remarriage of a spouse in a wrongful death claim. However, they may not reference a dating relationship or marital prospects of a surviving spouse. (§ 71.005)
Why bring a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim may be beneficial for many reasons, including:
- Needed financial support for survivors
- Justice for the family
- Accountability for those involved in wrongful acts
- Raising awareness to dangerous situations and misconduct
- Help when survivors are unable to work or care for family because of grief
- Costs for mental health treatment and emotional anguish
Let our attorneys help you understand the benefits of a wrongful death claim and how we can customize your case towards your legal and personal goals.
How can a lawyer help with a wrongful death claim?
A lawyer can help with all the many tasks to get a fair result in a wrongful death claim, including:
- Determining legal fault
- Gathering proof of fault
- Understanding types of compensation that may be available
- Knowing legal procedure and how to strategically build a case
- Structuring a settlement appropriately when beneficiaries are minors or others with reduced mental capacity
- Settlement negotiations
- Minimizing the stress of the legal system on behalf of the family
- Court appearances, trial advocacy, filing legal documents
- Answers to questions and guidance throughout the case
Because of the devastating loss in a wrongful death claim, compensation amounts are often large. The procedural and strategic decisions that occur during a case can significantly impact the amount of compensation that the family receives. An experienced lawyer for wrongful death claims can identify the issues present in an individual case to pursue the case efficiently and effectively.
Lawyers for Wrongful Death Claims – Free Consultation
At Haun Mena, we keep one value in mind – to be different. A wrongful death changes an entire family – you need partner-level, professional legal representation. When we represent you, you get professional legal service and expertise. We guarantee that you will always work with us or with an experienced, and vetted, member of our legal team.
Plus, you communicate with us directly throughout your case. We answer your questions and listen to your concerns personally.
Taking New Cases
If you have lost a loved one, we invite you to contact us. Come meet with us at our office, or let us come to you. Virtual visits are available. We’re taking new cases.
There’s never a cost for an initial meeting with our lawyers. Consultations are always free.
Then, when we represent you, there’s no risk to you. We don’t expect payment unless you receive compensation. We assume all the risk, and you pay us only when your case is successful.
We invite you to contact our wrongful death lawyers to learn more or get started. Call or send us a message today.