Representing Family Members After The Loss Of A Loved One
At Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, we recognize that the best results typically come from experienced lawyers who have successfully tried cases.
We have successfully tried hundreds of jury trials, involving all kinds of catastrophic injuries, including neck, back, spinal cord and spine injury, traumatic brain injury and head injury, burn injury, and amputations or loss of limbs.
We handle wrongful death cases involving:
- Admiralty and maritime accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Auto wrecks, including head-on collisions, rear-end accidents, SUV rollovers and intersection crashes
- Bus crashes
- Catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, amputation and brain damage
- Defective products
- Environmental pollution and other issues
- Fires and explosions
- Food poisoning
- Medical malpractice, including birth injuries and injuries from dangerous drugs
- Motorcycle accidents
- Oil refinery and pipeline explosions
- Nursing home negligence
- Swimming pool accidents
- Truck accidents, including those caused by drunk or fatigued truck drivers, a failure to follow trucking regulations, defective equipment, and inadequate truck maintenance
- Workplace injuries, including construction accidents, electrical accidents, mesothelioma, and oil and gas accidents
Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
When a loved one is killed in an accident caused by somebody else’s negligence, it can be an extremely traumatic period for loved ones and spouses. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another party, you might want to hold them accountable.
Surviving family members and spouses may be left unsure of what to do next and whether or not they can claim compensation.
If a loved one, family member, or spouse has been the victim of a wrongful death accident in Houston, TX, you may be entitled to pursue the recovery of damages and compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and funeral expenses. If your loved one suffered lost income before they died, had to pay medical expenses for treatment, or had property damage as a result of the accident, these can be claimed for as well.
While no amount of financial compensation will ever bring your loved one back or ease your grief, it can provide you with financial security while you grieve, allowing you to take time off work to get your loved one’s estate in order and will cover funeral expenses.
At Abraham Watkins, we are ready to help. We can help you pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. We will pursue the compensation that may be on offer and will help you seek justice for your loved one.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be extremely complicated, and there are a number of complex laws to navigate. For this reason, we highly recommend obtaining representation if a loved one has been killed in an accident. They will take over the case, giving you space to grieve and removing you from the tedious aspects of filing a claim.
We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation, which means we can quickly assess your case and inform you if it is worth pursuing or not. We do not settle for less, and we are prepared to fight your case to its conclusion.
What is a Houston Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death suit is the name given to a lawsuit brought against a party whose negligent actions have led to an accident that caused the death of an innocent party.
When it comes to fighting a wrongful death claim, they come in two forms.
The first is when the victim is killed instantly in the accident, and the second is when a victim is injured in an accident, and those injuries lead to the death of the victim at a later time.
Usually, in the second case, the economic damages that need to be recovered are much higher due to the additional medical expenses they incurred before they died.
Wrongful death can occur in a number of ways, including medical malpractice, car accidents, and criminal activity.
Criminal and Civil Cases
It is important to understand that a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim. That means that the person or company responsible for someone’s death is facing financial penalties, and not criminal ones. This is in contrast to a criminal case, where the perpetrator may be facing jail time if found responsible for someone’s death.
Some incidents warrant both a criminal and civil case. For example, if your loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident, then the driver in question could be facing criminal proceedings as well as a lawsuit.
However, a criminal conviction is not a requirement of a wrongful death lawsuit, and the burden of proof in civil cases is much lower. That means that even if the at-fault party is not convicted of a crime, they could still be found liable for your damages.
Examples of Wrongful Death Claims A Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer Deals With
Some of the most common reasons for wrongful death that we deal with as Houston wrongful death attorneys are:
Every single year, there are a number of people killed on the roads of Texas. Often, these may be caused by the negligent behavior of another driver. This may be down to reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or by drivers who are asleep behind the wheel.
Your medical providers automatically assume a duty of care to you when you go to them for medical attention. This duty of care is a legal obligation that requires them to act in a competent manner to prevent you from harm. If they deviate from the standard medical practices they have been taught to adhere to, or they act without due care and attention, any injuries they cause may have been preventable.
Faulty or Defective Products
Manufacturers of products also assume a duty of care, this time to the customers that use their products. This duty means that they should test their products to a high standard and if they become aware of a defect that could be dangerous, they should recall the product immediately and take reasonable steps to prevent customers from coming under harm.
If it is found they knew about a defect that led to the death of a loved one, your Houston wrongful death lawyers will be able to help hold them accountable.
Under federal law, you have the right to a safe work environment, and this means employers owe their employees a duty of care. This duty of care means they should take adequate steps to ensure the safety of their workers, such as supplying the right safety equipment.
If an employer has cut corners with safety, or sent your loved one to do a job they were not trained to do, and they were killed as a result, then you need to speak to a Houston wrongful death attorney.
As a private property owner or a business premises owner, you automatically assume a duty of care to anyone who may be on your property. Under this duty, they should ensure that any hazards are signposted so that guests are warned of any dangers. For example, if someone is draining their pool of water, it should be signposted, and visitors should be warned that there is an open excavation that they may fall into.
While these are some of the more common reasons, this is by no means a comprehensive list. If your loved one has been killed in an accident that you believe could have been preventable, you most likely have a case and should speak to a member of our team to immediately book a free initial case evaluation.
Proving Houston Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death cases, just like personal injury cases and medical malpractice cases, are based upon negligence. That is, the other party acted in a negligent manner and this behavior caused the accident that led to the wrongful death of your loved one.
This means that to win a wrongful death lawsuit, your attorney may be expected to prove the four elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
One of the most important things to grasp is the first element. The first element is to prove that the party responsible for the accident owed your loved one a duty of care at the time of the accident.
A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a way that protects the well-being of another individual. Doctors assume a duty of care to their patients, road users assume a duty of care to other road users when they get behind the wheel of their car, and businesses owe a duty of care to their customers.
Breach of Duty
Next, you will need to prove that the at-fault party breached their duty of care with their actions. This usually means comparing their actions to that of another reasonable individual in the same situation. If you ran a red light and crashed your car, this is unreasonable, negligent behavior as a normal, reasonable individual would be expected to stop at a red light.
The third element of negligence to prove is causation. To prove causation, it must be shown that the at-fault party’s actions directly caused the victim to suffer injuries. In a wrongful death claim, you must also prove that these injuries directly led to the death of the victim.
To prove this, your attorney may use medical records or the accident report from the emergency services who attended the scene.
Finally, the last aspect to prove is that the victim’s loved ones and family members have suffered damages as a result of the accident. These damages can include economic damages, such as lost wages, medical costs, funeral expenses, pain and suffering of the victim, and non-economic damages.
If the family of the deceased believes that there was a complete disregard for the safety of life, or malicious intent, they may put forward a case for punitive damages. These can only be awarded by the Judge, which means you cannot seek them if you settle out of court.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Houston, Texas?
In the state of Texas, wrongful death lawsuits have a legal time limit placed upon them by the statute of limitations. This is designed to protect individuals from being sued decades after an incident. If you do not raise a claim in this timeframe, your case will be thrown out if you try to raise it afterward.
In the state of Texas, the wrongful death statute is 2 years, meaning you have 2 years from the death of your loved one to make a claim.
However, with all lawsuits, the sooner you raise your claim, the stronger your chances of success are. With a wrongful death case, it can take a long time to build a case, investigate the incident, calculate damages and speak to witnesses. The more time you give your attorney to carry out these tasks, the better.
Do I Need to Hire a Houston Wrongful Death Attorney?
There are no laws that prevent you from seeking compensation for the death of a loved one without representation. It is rarely a smart idea, however.
With the stakes so high, proving that your loved one’s death could have been preventable is a difficult task, one that you may not want to carry out yourself during this difficult time.
The other party will most likely have a strong attorney defending them, and this means that you will be at a massive disadvantage if you go it alone. They have legal training and understand the process a lot better than you do.
By obtaining legal representation from an experienced attorney, you ensure that you have the best possible chances of seeking justice and pursuing the rightful compensation on offer to you.
Here at Abraham Watkins, we have won numerous wrongful death lawsuits for our clients. We have the skill, experience, and knowledge to fight your case to the fullest extent. You should not have to suffer alone or consider forgoing representation because you do not have the money to hire an attorney. We work on a contingency fee basis for this reason, allowing the families of those that have been wrongfully killed to pursue justice.
If we cannot win your case, you do not have to pay. If we do, we take our fees from your settlement.
What to Look for in a Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
For many of our new clients, there has never been the need to hire an attorney before now and this may make the task of researching and selecting one to represent you a difficult one.
You should always look for a law firm that can showcase previous victories in cases similar to yours, as this means they know what they are doing. It also gives them experience and past cases to draw upon when tailoring a bespoke strategy for your case.
They should also have strong time management skills, allowing them to balance their caseload, giving each client the time they deserve. Do not expect around-the-clock access, but you should always feel they make adequate time for you.
THESE Wrongful Death ATTORNEYS FIGHT FOR YOU
While we focus almost entirely on personal injury and wrongful death cases, we are not a personal injury “mill,” where catastrophic injury cases are handled and settled on a volume basis. At Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, we pursue justice, one case at a time.
The foundation for the excellent results we obtain is our fact-finding ability. Our experienced Houston wrongful death attorneys work with investigators, experts, and doctors to analyze the facts of your accident and determine how to best present your case.
- Loss of a Child
- Parents are not supposed to bury their children — the loss is simply too great, the pain too difficult to manage. The death of a child is traumatic and devastating to everyone involved. If this death comes as a result of someone’s negligence, the pain is amplified. At the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, we work with parents and families that are coping with the death of their children. Although nothing we do can bring back a child, we work diligently to seek all remedies the law can provide. For 70 years, our Houston wrongful death lawyers have been helping grieving families through times of great loss. We have the experience to get the results you need. Our track record of excellence includes several multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements. We know that money can never compensate or console you following the death of a child, but it can help to ensure that the negligent party bears responsibility for its actions and can often be used to help educate others to ensure that no one else loses his or her life so unnecessarily.
- Loss of a Spouse
- Facing the loss of a spouse, whether age-related, medically related, or accident-related, is never easy. The pain exacts an exorbitant emotional toll that is far too slow to fade away. However, when a spouse is lost to premature death through the negligent actions of another person, the pain is exceeded only by anger and questions. How could this happen? Talk to one of our Houston wrongful death attorneys to discuss your legal claims regarding the loss of a spouse. Losing a spouse to wrongful death is a traumatic experience. Where do you turn when your soul mate is no longer by your side? In addition to the loss of companionship and consortium, there is loss of security — both emotional and financial. If the spouse was the primary income earner, how will bills get paid? Who will handle the finances? What happens to retirement accounts? If the spouse was the primary caregiver for the children, who will care for the kids? What happens to the house? We know that we cannot bring your loved one back, but we can help you find answers to your questions and fight for compensation for your wrongful death claim. Our Houston wrongful death attorneys work with investigators, experts, and doctors to review your situation and determine who the negligent party was that caused the death of your spouse — whether it was a hospital or doctor, a manufacturer of a defective product, or a company that did not properly maintain the workplace.
- Loss of a Parent
- No matter what age you are, losing a parent to death is never easy. The loss of security, services, and support can never fully be filled by another person. But the pain and sense of loss can be deeper if the loss of a loved one is attributable to the negligence of another person. Losing a parent to wrongful death is a traumatic experience. No one cares for us the way our parents do. Financially, emotionally, physically, Dad and Mom always come through. When they are gone, often the most reliable support system is also gone. Where do you turn for strength, counsel, and parental guidance? If you believe your parent’s death was the result of negligence, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. If you believe the parent of a loved one died as a result of negligence, the family may have the right to file a claim. We can help you find answers to your questions and fight for compensation for the loss of a parent We work with investigators, experts, and doctors to review your situation and determine who the negligent party was that caused the death of your parent — whether it was a hospital or doctor, administrator of a nursing home or assisted care facility, or company that did not properly maintain the workplace.
Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer FAQ
- Can You Sue for Wrongful Death in Texas?
- In accordance with the state legislature, only immediate family members can make a claim after their loved one’s death, such as the deceased parents, children, or surviving spouse, or one or more of those individuals on behalf of them all. Alternatively, the personal representative of the deceased individual’s Estate may claim on behalf of the family members.
- How Long Do You Have to Sue for Wrongful Death in Texas?
- In Texas, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to make a wrongful death claim. However, the sooner you take action, the better as there will be more evidence to support your case.
- Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
- If your wrongful death claim is successful then the settlement money will be paid to a surviving spouse, children, parents, their estate, or a combination of those listed.
- What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Texas?
- In accordance with
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §§ 71.001 to 71.003
- , wrongful death occurs when an injury is caused by another’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default,” and that injury leads to a person’s death.
Call Abraham Watkins Today!
The wrongful death of a loved one is the most tragic thing that can happen to any family, especially when it is caused by the negligence of another party. No amount of compensation can remove the grief or bring the person back, but it does ensure your family has the financial security to do what they have to do during this difficult period.
Here at Abraham Watkins, we have a long history of successful wrongful death cases under our belts. Our team of attorneys helps the families of wrongful death victims on a regular basis, giving us a clear advantage when it comes to handling your specific case.
We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation to all clients. This means we can give you some unbiased and honest legal advice. If you want to proceed, we can take your claim on, investigate on your behalf and build the most compelling case possible.
Call us today for a free consultation at 713-535-9319.
Contact a wrongful death attorney today!
When a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another, let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. To learn more about how our Houston, Texas, wrongful death lawyers can help you, schedule a free consultation today. Call (713) 222-7211 (toll free 713-222-7211) or contact our office online.
We offer a free consultation to prospective clients. If you have been injured and wish to speak to one of our attorneys in a no-cost consultation, please call us at (713) 222-7211. or toll free at 713-222-7211
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