If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you may be wondering if you have any legal recourse. In many cases, the answer is yes. A Plano wrongful death attorney can represent surviving family members in a civil suit against the party responsible for the death. They will work tirelessly to investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death and build a strong case on your behalf. With their help, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your loss. This can allow you to focus on healing and moving forward with your life. If you need help, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Plano wrongful death lawyer.
What is Wrongful Death?
Under Texas law: “A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual’s death if the injury was caused by the person’s or his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.”
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
There are several causes of wrongful death cases, with the following being some of the most common:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of wrongful death in Texas. Negligence on the part of a driver, such as operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving recklessly or at excessive speed, and/or disregarding traffic laws can all result in serious injury and even fatality to an innocent victim.
In some circumstances, criminal charges may also be filed against the defendant.
Medical malpractice is another common cause of wrongful deaths. When medical professionals fail to provide competent care that meets industry standards due to negligence, resulting in illness or fatality, it is characterized as malpractice and can ultimately lead to legal action.
Hazardous Work Conditions
Construction work is notorious for being a hazardous field, often resulting in severe injuries or even accidental deaths on-site. This can happen when employers do not maintain safe working conditions for their employees or fail to provide them with necessary safety gear, such as protective equipment.
Dangerous products are any items that were sold to consumers despite them being hazardous or potentially harmful in some way. This might be due to flaws like improper warning labels, a manufacturing defect, or outdated designs that don’t factor public safety into consideration.
When a property has not been maintained properly or did not adhere to safety regulations in general, it can lead to slips and falls, which can lead to fatalities. For example, a supermarket that fails to fix its cracked sidewalk could potentially be held liable if someone falls and passes away as a result.
How To Prove Wrongful Death in Texas
To prove wrongful death in Texas, the plaintiff must prove that the death was caused by the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of another party. The elements of negligence that must be proven include the following:
To prove negligence, you must first establish that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care. This means that the defendant had a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to prevent foreseeable harm. For example, all drivers have a duty to take reasonable precautions to keep others around them safe.
Once you’ve established that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care, you must then show that they breached this duty. This means that the defendant failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent foreseeable harm. In a car accident example, running a red light or texting while driving would be considered a breach.
After showing that the defendant breached their duty of care, you must then establish that this breach was the direct cause of the deceased’s death. In the car accident case, this means showing that the driver’s negligent driving directly caused the accident and the death of the victim.
Finally, you must show that you suffered damages as a result of your loved one’s death. This could include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of financial support, and more.
Damages For Wrongful Death
While we know financial compensation can’t make up for the loss of your loved one, you are entitled to damages, including the following:
Losses of Future Earnings and Support: This includes any financial loss or emotional distress suffered due to no longer having your loved one around to provide for you – either financially or emotionally.
This amount can include potential career advancements, promotions, and raises that were likely to occur during the decedent’s life.
Costs of Medical Treatment For The Deceased: If some form of medical care was necessary prior to the person’s passing, then these costs may also be reimbursed in a claim against any party at fault for their death.
Funeral Expenses: These include all associated costs such as funeral services, burial sites, headstone engraving, etc., that were necessary due to their untimely passing.
Mental Anguish: This compensates survivors financially based on the emotional distress they experience due to their loved one’s death. This could include any psychological trauma sustained by family members during or following the unexpected passing away of a relative, such as depression or anxiety disorders related to grief caused by extreme sadness over losing someone close.
Punitive Damages: Under some circumstances, punitive damages may be awarded. This compensation is meant to punish the defendant’s behavior and deter them and others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Statute of Limitations in Texas Wrongful Death Claims
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of the individual’s death. This means that if you want to file a claim against someone for causing the death of your loved one, you must do so within two years of their passing. In some cases, there are exceptions, so always speak with a lawyer right away to see what your legal options are.
Why Choose The Law Office of Edward W. Sampson?
If you’re looking for a North Texas personal injury lawyer, you might be wondering why you should hire The Law Office of Edward W. Sampson. Here’s why Attorney Sampson is an excellent choice for legal representation:
TRIAL-TESTED AND BOARD-APPROVED
Attorney Edward Sampson is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In his more than 10 years of practice, he has handled a wide variety of personal injury and wrongful death cases.
DEDICATED TO HIS CLIENTS
Above all else, Attorney Sampson is dedicated to his clients. He takes the time to get to know each one of his clients on a personal level so that he can better understand their needs. He’s available 24/7 to answer questions and address concerns. And he won’t rest until he gets you the best possible outcome in your case.
When it comes to choosing a lawyer, you want someone who is experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated to getting you the best possible outcome in your case. You want someone like Attorney Sampson. Contact The Law Office of Edward Sampson today to schedule a free consultation.