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Who Pays for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Posted by Glenn Law Firm | May 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

Losing your loved one to medical malpractice, in a workplace accident or a car crash is more painful than anything you've experienced before. You are not only deprived of a person you love and care for, but you know that someone's negligence caused their death. You want justice, but you do not know how to pursue it. Between funeral arrangements and dealing with the first pangs of grief, you cannot think logically and choose the best course of action. This is why a thoughtful and experienced wrongful death attorney at Glenn Law Firm is always ready to look into your case and offer you pertinent legal advice.

We are experienced in handling wrongful death settlements for bereaved families and making sure that they get fair compensation for the monetary and non-economic losses they suffered. We know that nothing can replace your loved one's cherished presence in your life. But we will strive to ensure that your life is not further burdened by debt from medical bills, funeral costs, and your loved one's lost income.

Wrongful Death Paper

When Can You Take Wrongful Death Actions?

In general, any kind of occurrence that leads to a person's death due to another person's negligence represents a wrongful death case. It does not have to lead to criminal charges against the fault party; it is enough to establish that:

  • the responsible party had a duty of care towards your loved one
  • their actions caused a breach of the duty of care
  • this breach caused the decease of your loved one.

In this context, families can seek monetary damages in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit in the following situations:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Unfortunately, car accidents happen with an alarming frequency across the state of Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2019 one person died in a car crash every 2 hours and 26 minutes. In total, 3,610 persons lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in Texas in 2019. The most frequent causes of fatal car crashes are distracted driving, driving under influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving, and poorly maintained roads.

In all of these cases, the eligible relatives of the deceased person are entitled to file a claim for wrongful death damages to cover funeral expenses and other losses.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians are very vulnerable when they are crossing the road. It takes one distracted or fatigued driver to cause a fatal accident. The same report issued by the Texas Department of Transportation quoted above states that 660 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles in 2019, a 5.43% increase from the previous year.

Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents

Many car drivers forget that they have the share the road with people riding bicycles and motorcycles. They have the same rights and obligations as any other motor vehicle operators on the roads. When a crash occurs because a driver was texting and driving, speeding or tailgating, the result is often catastrophic. In these cases, family members are entitled to seek compensation for economic and non-economic losses from the at fault driver. An experienced attorney can help you identify the liable person and file a claim against their insurance company.

Workplace Accidents

The workplace can be a dangerous place, especially on construction sites. Employees should be safe, receive adequate training, personal protective equipment and tools and machinery in good working condition. In reality, many people die because of:

  • inadequately signaled dangerous areas
  • malfunctioning heavy machinery
  • electrical wiring problems
  • Heavy items becoming loose and falling.

In this case, their employer is liable to pay various types of damages to the bereaved family.

Medical Malpractice

If your loved one dies due to the negligence or lack of adequate standard of care of a doctor, paramedic, hospital or other healthcare unit, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under the guidance of a wrongful death lawyer, you can succeed even pitted against big health insurance companies and experienced lawyers who are only interested in protecting their employer's bottom line..

Premises Liability

When persons die at a private property or commercial premises due to a condition that makes the respective place dangerous (wet or slippery floors, damaged stairs, driveways with potholes, etc.) the owner or manager of the respective property is liable. While the most frequent causes of premises liability cases involve a slip and fall, leading to personal injury, some people die as a result of their injuries.

Defective or Dangerous Products

If a product has a design or manufacturing flaw, it can lead to a person's death. For instance ,faulty brakes can cause a car to crash into a tree or a bridge, killing the driver. In this case the manufacturer of the brakes is liable to pay compensation to the family for burial expenses and other types of damages.

Make Sure You Sue the Liable Person for Your Loved One's Wrongful Death

The success of any wrongful death lawsuit depends on identifying the person who is responsible for your loved one's death. In some cases, more than one person and legal entity is involved in the respective occurrence. For instance, in a trucking accident, the liable parties are the driver, the driver's employer (the trucking company) or even the distributor whose merchandise is transported in the trailer.

For premises liability in rented buildings, the tenant may be liable if the accident occurred in their own rental unit, while the landlord is liable if the fatal incident took place in the common areas of the buildings.

For a regular person, especially one who is grieving, these issues are difficult to consider. This is why you should rely on an experienced wrongful death attorney to handle the case from the very beginning.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit and How Much Time Do They Have?

In the state of Texas, the eligible relatives to take legal action for a wrongful death are:

  • the parents
  • the children, over 18 years old or minors
  • the spouse.

Siblings cannot file such a lawsuit, unless they are appointed representative of the deceased person's estate. However, a personal representative or executor is allowed to file a wrongful death action only if none of the eligible relatives took action for 3 months after the person's death.

You must remember that the statute of limitations in Texas for wrongful death lawsuits is 2 years after your loved one's death. Since various formalities may take time, it is important to retain legal representation as soon as possible.

Types of Damages You May Recover

Settlement negotiations and jury awards cover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic losses include:

  • medical expenses before death occurred
  • funeral expenses
  • loss of income
  • lost inheritance.

Non-economic damages are related to loss of consortium, loss of companionship, loss of services (the deceased's help with household chores, professional guidance). A dedicated and experienced lawyer will prepare your personal injury claim and seek the maximum compensation allowed by the law..

In some cases, you may also receive punitive damages, if the responsible party acted with gross negligence.

Rely on a Wrongful Death Law Firm with Decades of Experience!

Glenn Law Firm is founded by David Glenn, a personal injury attorney with over 35 years of experience. He is committed to help bereaved families find justice and receive just compensation for the tragic loss of their loved ones.

Our law firm will fight to win your case and not accept any settlement that is below what you are entitled to. During the most painful and confusing times in your life, we are your rock and your assurance that justice will be served. We are always ready to offer you a free case review, so call us: 817-424-5999!

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