Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Houston?
Losing a loved one is hard enough. When your loved one dies as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is unbearable. The last thing you expect when your spouse leaves for work is that they’ll be killed in a car accident. Sadly, this happens every day in Texas. You can turn on the news and you’ll see a report about a fatal crash just about any given evening.
Sometimes these accidents are caused by reckless behavior. Someone is drinking and driving and crashes into an innocent SUV. But, more often than not, these accidents are nothing more than that – accidents. Someone makes a simple mistake and it sets off a chain reaction that causes someone’s death. It has nothing to do with the defendant being a bad person. It’s just bad luck. But when it happens to you, you take it personally.
While nothing can bring your loved one back, you can try to get justice for your family. You may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the other driver. If this is the case, you’ll need an experienced wrongful death lawyer in the Houston area. They can handle the legal side of things while you focus on grieving and taking care of your family.
What Exactly is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is what it sounds like. Someone does something wrong and an innocent person dies as a result. For example, someone may be texting while driving and veer into oncoming traffic. As a result, the crash into your loved one’s car. Your loved one dies from their injuries and the other passengers in the car suffer serious injuries.
In most wrongful death cases, your Houston personal injury lawyer has to prove negligence. To do this, they have to demonstrate four (4) things:
- The defendant owed your loved one a duty of care
- they breached this duty
- Your loved one died
- Their death was caused by the defendant’s breach
If your attorney is able to prove these four things, you will probably be able to recover damages. However, not everyone can file a wrongful death claim in Texas.
Who is Able to Sue for Wrongful Death?
Some states only let the executor of the estate file for wrongful death. Texas is not one of them. In Texas, most immediate family members can sue for wrongful death claim. This includes the following people:
- The surviving spouse
- The children of the decedent
- The victim’s parents
- Adopted children of the deceased
- The deceased’s adoptive parents
The one exception is that the victim’s brothers and sisters cannot file for damages. They are not in the protected class.
What Kinds of Damages Can You Demand?
The whole point of filing a wrongful death claim is to recover damages for your family. There are two types of damages involved. Those intended to compensate the family of the decedent and the damages your loved one could’ve claimed had they survived.
The specific types of damages in a wrongful death case include:
- Money to make up for the loss of your family member’s services, care and support.
- Reimbursement for any inheritance that you will no longer received because of the death of your loved one
- Just like in other personal injury cases, you can demand any lost wages and future earnings of the decedent
- Any medical bills that accrued while the victim was still alive. You can also file a demand for any funeral and burial expenses
- The spouse can sue for something called loss of consortium. This is based on the lack of their love and caring.
There is no way any lawyer can bring your loved one back. However, they can do their best to get you and your family the justice you deserve. If this means you get money, so be it. This at least shows that the defendant doesn’t get off without any punishment.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney in Houston, Texas
If your loved one dies in any sort of accident, you may be able to sue for wrongful death. This means you’ll receive damages related to your loved one’s death. You only have two years to file for wrongful death in Texas. This means you do not want to wait too long to contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas.
Call today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.