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Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer

Tragic Loss Due to Wrongful Death Impacted Your Family?

We Will Pursue Justice and Maximum Compensation For Your Loss

In the face of unimaginable loss, when a loved one is tragically taken due to another’s negligence, the weight of grief can feel paralyzing. At AK Law Firm, our Houston-based attorneys understand that no amount of money can ever truly replace the profound absence left by such a loss. However, we are firmly committed to helping grieving families navigate this difficult time by securing the justice and financial recovery they deserve. We’re relentless in pursuing justice and financial recovery for grieving families.

Our client-first approach prioritizes your needs. We collaborate across departments to ensure no detail is missed. Our 24/7 client portal and dedicated case managers keep you informed every step of the way.

We take a vested interest in every case, fighting tirelessly for the best possible outcome. When you choose AK Law Firm, expect compassion, respect, and unwavering dedication throughout the wrongful death process.

What is Wrongful Death?

In Texas, a wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of another person or entity. Essentially, it refers to a situation where someone’s negligent or intentional actions directly lead to the untimely death of another individual.

Some common examples of situations that may constitute wrongful death in Texas include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk, distracted, or reckless driving
  • Medical malpractice resulting in a patient’s death
  • Workplace accidents due to safety violations or negligent workplace conditions
  • Defective products that cause fatal injuries
  • Criminal acts such as homicide or manslaughter
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect leading to a resident’s death

In order to pursue a wrongful death claim in Texas, the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, or parents (or the deceased person’s estate) must be able to prove that the death was directly caused by another party’s wrongful conduct. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct in the Houston area, you deserve compassionate legal representation that will fight tirelessly for justice on your behalf. At AK Law Firm, our dedicated wrongful death attorneys are here to guide you through this difficult time and pursue the maximum compensation you are owed. Contact us today at (346) 258-3548 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn how we can advocate for your family.

What are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?

In the state of Texas, several common causes can lead to wrongful death claims. Some of the most frequent causes of wrongful death in Texas include:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are significant contributors to wrongful deaths. Factors such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence can lead to fatal collisions.
  • Medical Malpractice: Negligence by healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals, can result in wrongful death. Examples include surgical errors, misdiagnoses medication mistakes, and inadequate patient care.
  • Workplace Accidents: Fatalities can occur in various industries due to workplace accidents. These may result from inadequate safety measures, lack of training, or other workplace negligence.
  • Defective Products: Products with design flaws, manufacturing defects, or insufficient warnings can lead to fatal incidents. Manufacturers, distributors, and sellers may be held accountable for deaths caused by defective products.
  • Premises Liability: Property owners may be held responsible for wrongful deaths that occur on their premises. This can include incidents such as slips and falls, inadequate security leading to criminal acts, or other dangerous property conditions.
  • Construction Accidents: Given the significant construction activity in Texas, accidents on construction sites can lead to fatal injuries. Falls, electrocutions, and other construction-related incidents may result in wrongful death claims.
  • Criminal Acts: Intentional acts or criminal behavior that result in someone’s death can lead to wrongful death claims. This may include cases of assault, murder, or other violent crimes.

Our Houston Personal Injury Lawyers and staff provide FREE CONSULTATIONS to clients who want experienced legal advice on how to proceed further with their cases. While no amount of money can make up for your loss, a wrongful death claim may provide the closure and sense of justice your family deserves. It could also give you the needed financial resources to help you continue with your lives.

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12 Steps To Take After A Wrongful Death

Experiencing a wrongful death is a devastating and challenging situation. If you find yourself in this unfortunate circumstance, here are steps to consider taking:

  1. Seek Immediate Support: Reach out to friends, family, or a support network to help cope with the emotional impact of the loss. Grieving is a natural process, and having a support system is crucial during this difficult time.

  2. Contact Law Enforcement: If the death occurred under suspicious circumstances or due to someone else’s actions, contact law enforcement to report the incident. Law enforcement will conduct an investigation and create an official record of the event.

  3. Obtain a Death Certificate: Obtain a copy of the death certificate from the relevant authorities. This document is essential for various legal and administrative purposes, including filing a wrongful death claim.

  4. Consult with an Attorney: Seek legal advice from an experienced wrongful death attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights, assess the potential for a wrongful death claim, and guide you through the legal process.

  5. Gather Evidence: Collect and preserve any evidence related to the wrongful death, including accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and photographs. This evidence will be crucial in building a case.

  6. Identify Responsible Parties: Determine who may be responsible for the wrongful death. This could include individuals, companies, or entities whose negligence or wrongful actions contributed to the incident.

  7. Document Damages: Keep detailed records of any financial losses incurred as a result of the death, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost income. Additionally, document non-economic damages, such as emotional distress and loss of companionship.

  8. Notify Insurance Companies: If applicable, notify insurance companies of the incident. This includes the deceased person’s life insurance policy and any liability insurance held by the responsible party.

  9. File a Wrongful Death Claim: Work with your attorney to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties. The legal process will involve presenting evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and, if necessary, pursuing litigation.

  10. Settlement or Trial: Engage in negotiations with the responsible parties or their insurance representatives to settle. If a fair agreement cannot be reached, your attorney may proceed to trial to seek justice and compensation.

  11. Review Estate Planning Documents: If the deceased had a will or estate plan, review these documents to understand their wishes regarding the distribution of assets. Consult with an estate attorney if necessary.

  12. Attend to Personal Matters: Address practical matters, such as notifying employers, closing accounts, and managing the deceased person’s affairs. This may include working with an estate attorney to navigate probate proceedings.

Remember that the specific steps may vary based on the wrongful death circumstances and applicable laws in your jurisdiction. Contact AK Law today for legal guidance throughout the wrongful death process. We’ll work to ensure your rights are protected and that you pursue the appropriate legal actions.

Who is Eligible to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Texas, the following parties are eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim:

  • Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased has the first right to file a wrongful death claim.
  • Children: If there is no spouse or if the spouse does not file a claim within three months of the date of death, the surviving children may pursue a wrongful death claim.
  • Parents: If there is no spouse or children, the parents of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim.
  • Executor/Personal Representative: If none of the above parties file a claim within three months, the executor or personal representative of the deceased’s estate may pursue a wrongful death claim.

Note: Siblings and other relatives are generally not eligible to file a wrongful death claim under Texas law. Coping with the sudden and tragic loss of a family member is an unimaginable burden, but you don’t have to face it alone. The compassionate Houston wrongful death lawyers at AK Law Firm are committed to providing the support and aggressive legal advocacy you need during this challenging time. Take the first step towards justice by CALLING (346) 258-3548 to arrange a confidential FREE CASE EVALUATION with our experienced team.

How Much Money Can I Get As Compensation In A Texas Wrongful Death Claim?

The amount of compensation that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim varies depending on the specific circumstances of the case. However, there are several types of damages that may be available:

Pecuniary damages (monetary losses):

  • Loss of future income and earning capacity of the deceased
  • Loss of inheritance, including future earnings and retirement benefits
  • Value of services the deceased would have provided (childcare, household services, etc.)
  • Medical and funeral expenses related to the death

Non-pecuniary damages (non-monetary losses):

  • Mental anguish and emotional distress suffered by surviving family members
  • Loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, and society of the deceased
  • Loss of consortium (for spouses)

Exemplary damages (punitive damages):

In cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, exemplary damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.

The specific amounts awarded can vary significantly based on factors such as the deceased’s age, occupation, life expectancy, the circumstances surrounding the death, and the emotional impact on surviving family members. In general, damages tend to be higher in cases involving younger victims with longer potential earning capacities or cases involving particularly egregious conduct by the defendant.

It’s important to note that Texas has a cap on non-economic damages (like mental anguish) in most wrongful death cases, with a current limit of $750,000 per claimant. However, this cap does not apply in cases involving intentional torts or gross negligence.

To maximize the potential compensation, it’s crucial to work with an experienced Texas wrongful death attorney who can thoroughly investigate the case, gather evidence, and skillfully present a compelling case for damages. An attorney can also help navigate the complex laws and procedures involved in these types of claims.

Grieving families in Houston can find unwavering support and skilled legal representation with the wrongful death attorneys at AK Law Firm. Our client-focused approach means you can count on us to treat your case with the utmost care, compassion, and dedication it deserves. Don’t hesitate to CALL (346) 258-3548 today and let us fight for the justice and compensation your loved one deserves.

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Establishing Negligence: Crucial Elements in Houston’s Wrongful Death Claims

To successfully pursue a wrongful death claim in Houston, you must establish that the defendant’s negligence or misconduct directly caused your loved one’s death. This requires proving certain key elements.

Duty of Care: You need to establish that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person.

Breach of Duty: You must show that the defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care through negligence or misconduct.

Causation: It is crucial to demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the death of the individual.

Damages: You need to provide evidence of the damages suffered as a result of the wrongful death, such as loss of financial support, emotional suffering, and funeral expenses.

At AK Law Firm, we understand that no amount of money can ever truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, but we firmly believe that those responsible should be held accountable. If your family has suffered a wrongful death in Houston, our compassionate legal team is prepared to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. CALL (346) 258-3548 now to get started with a FREE, CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION.

Time Limits for Seeking Justice: What Is Statute of Limitations?

In the context of wrongful death claims in Texas, the statute of limitations refers to the legal time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed. Understanding and adhering to this deadline is crucial, as failing to file a claim within the prescribed time frame can result in the loss of the right to pursue legal action and seek compensation.

In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the deceased individual’s death. This means that the surviving family members or the deceased person’s estate must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of death. If the lawsuit is not filed within this time frame, the court will likely dismiss the case, and the family will be barred from recovering any damages.

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to this two-year statute of limitations, which may extend or toll (pause) the deadline in certain circumstances. For example, if the wrongful death was not immediately discoverable or if the potential defendant was absent from the state, the statute of limitations may be extended.

Additionally, if the wrongful death involved a minor child, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the child reaches the age of majority (typically 18 years old). In such cases, the child or their legal representative would have two years from their 18th birthday to file a wrongful death claim.

Given the complexities involved in determining the applicable statute of limitations and the potential exceptions, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced Houston wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after the loss of a loved one. An attorney can evaluate the specific circumstances of the case and ensure that the necessary legal action is taken within the appropriate time frame, preserving the family’s right to seek justice and compensation.

The Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and Survival Action

While both involve seeking compensation, they address different aspects of the harm caused by the negligent or wrongful conduct.

Wrongful Death Claim:
A wrongful death claim is brought by surviving family members or the deceased’s estate to seek compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the untimely death of their loved one. This type of claim focuses on the damages experienced by the surviving beneficiaries, such as:

1. Loss of financial support and future earnings of the deceased
2. Loss of inheritance, including potential future earnings and retirement benefits
3. Loss of companionship, guidance, and emotional support
4. Mental anguish and emotional distress suffered by the family members
5. Funeral and burial expenses

The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the surviving family members for the tangible and intangible losses they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s death.

Survival Action:
On the other hand, a survival action is a separate legal claim that seeks compensation for the damages and losses suffered by the deceased individual before their death. This action essentially allows the deceased person’s estate to pursue the claims and recover damages that the deceased could have pursued had they survived. These damages may include:

1. Medical expenses incurred before death
2. Physical pain and suffering endured by the deceased
3. Mental anguish and emotional distress experienced by the deceased
4. Lost wages or income from the time of injury until the time of death

Unlike a wrongful death claim, which focuses on the losses suffered by the surviving family members, a survival action seeks to compensate the deceased individual’s estate for the harm and losses they personally suffered prior to their passing.

In many cases, both a wrongful death claim and a survival action may be filed simultaneously by the deceased’s estate or surviving family members. This allows for a comprehensive pursuit of compensation for all damages resulting from the negligent or wrongful conduct that caused the untimely death.

It’s important to note that the specific laws and requirements for filing these claims can vary among different states, and consulting with an experienced wrongful death attorney is crucial to ensure that all available avenues for recovery are properly explored and pursued.

Laws That May Affect Your Legal Claim

There are several laws and legal concepts that can significantly impact a wrongful death claim in Texas. Understanding these laws is crucial for families seeking justice and compensation after losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct. Here are some key laws and legal principles that may affect your wrongful death claim:

1. Statute of Limitations: In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death. Missing this deadline can bar you from pursuing legal action, so it’s essential to act promptly.

2. Contributory Negligence: Texas follows the modified comparative negligence rule, which means that if the deceased person contributed to the accident or incident that caused their death, their recoverable damages may be reduced proportionally to their percentage of fault. If the deceased is found to be 51% or more at fault, they cannot recover any damages.

3. Damage Caps: Texas has placed caps on certain types of damages in wrongful death cases, particularly non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering, mental anguish). Currently, the cap for non-economic damages in most wrongful death cases is $750,000 per claimant.

4. Survival Action: In addition to a wrongful death claim, the deceased person’s estate may also file a survival action to recover damages for the pain, suffering, and other losses the deceased experienced before their death.

5. Wrongful Death Beneficiaries: In Texas, the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and parents are typically considered the primary beneficiaries in a wrongful death claim. However, other relatives, such as siblings or grandparents, may also be eligible to file a claim if they were dependent on the deceased for financial support.

6. Dram Shop Liability: If the wrongful death was caused by an intoxicated person, Texas has dram shop laws that may allow the family to hold the establishment that served the alcohol responsible, under certain circumstances.

7. Governmental Liability: If the wrongful death involved a government entity or employee, there are specific notice requirements and damage caps that apply under the Texas Tort Claims Act.

These are just a few examples of the laws and legal principles that can impact a wrongful death case in Texas. It’s crucial to work with an experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer who can navigate these complex laws and ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the legal process.

The tragic loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing is an unimaginable burden, but you don’t have to shoulder it alone. The dedicated Houston wrongful death attorneys at AK Law Firm are here to provide the compassionate guidance, support, and aggressive legal representation you need during this difficult time. Take the first step towards justice by CONTACTING us at (346) 258-3548 to discuss your case and learn how we can help your family.

Who Can Be Held Liable for My Personal Injury in Houston?

How To Find The Best Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me

When you’re facing the devastating loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, finding the right wrongful death attorney nearby is crucial. Here’s how you can find the best wrongful death lawyer or lawyer near you:

  1. Research Local Lawyers: Start by researching lawyers or attorneys in your area who specialize in wrongful death cases. Look for lawyers who have experience and a proven track record of success in handling such cases.

  2. Check Online Reviews: Read online reviews and testimonials from previous clients to get an idea of the lawyer’s or attorney’s reputation and how they have handled similar cases in the past.

  3. Ask for Recommendations: Reach out to friends, family, or colleagues who may have gone through a similar experience and ask for recommendations. Personal recommendations can be invaluable in finding a reputable lawyer or attorney.

  4. Schedule Consultations: Once you have a list of potential lawyers or attorneys, schedule consultations to meet with them in person. During these meetings, discuss your case and ask about their experience, approach, and fees.

  5. Consider Experience and Expertise: Look for a lawyer or attorney who has specific experience and expertise in handling wrongful death cases. They should be familiar with the laws in your state and have a successful track record of obtaining favorable outcomes for their clients.

  6. Evaluate Communication: Pay attention to how the lawyer or attorney communicates with you during the consultation. They should be attentive, empathetic, and able to explain complex legal concepts in a way that you can understand.

  7. Discuss Fees: Before hiring a lawyer or attorney, make sure you understand their fee structure. Some lawyers or attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they win your case, while others may charge an hourly rate or flat fee.

  8. Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts when choosing a wrongful death lawyer or attorney. You should feel comfortable and confident in their ability to handle your case and advocate for your rights.

Finding the best wrongful death lawyer or attorney near you can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Take the time to research and choose a lawyer or attorney who is experienced, reputable, and dedicated to fighting for justice for you and your loved ones. At AK Law Firm, we understand that no amount of money can ever truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, but we firmly believe that those responsible should be held accountable. If your family has suffered a wrongful death in Houston, our compassionate legal team is prepared to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. CALL (346) 258-3548 now to get started with a FREE, CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION.

How Our Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help Your Claim

The Texas statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is a complex area of the law. Understanding what it is, how it works, and what the time limits are for filing a claim is essential for anyone looking to hold a responsible party accountable for their loved one’s death. By consulting with one of our experienced attorneys and taking prompt action, you can ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you have the best chance of recovering the damages you deserve. 

AK Law Firm is here to fight for the justice you and your loved ones deserve. We provide respectful and considerate customer service, diligence in answering family members’ questions, and clear communication and regular updates on wrongful death case status. Contact us today to obtain justice for you or a loved one.

Some FAQ’s Our Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers Get Asked

How can I prove my loved one’s death was caused by negligence?

Proving that your loved one’s death was caused by negligence requires gathering evidence, such as witness statements, medical records, and expert testimony, to support your claim.

If my loved one was killed by a drunk driver, do I still need an attorney to file a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

Yes, it’s crucial to seek legal representation if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure your rights are protected.

Can punitive damages be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Punitive damages may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit if the defendant’s actions were especially egregious or intentional. These damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter future misconduct.

What is the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action?

A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the deceased’s family to seek compensation for their own losses, such as lost financial support and companionship. A survival action is filed by the deceased’s estate to seek compensation for the deceased’s losses, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering.

How long does a wrongful death lawsuit take to resolve?

The time it takes to resolve a wrongful death lawsuit can vary depending on the complexity of the case and other factors. In general, these cases can take anywhere from several months to several years to reach a resolution.

What is the burden of proof in a wrongful death lawsuit?

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to establish that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused the death of their loved one. This typically requires a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s actions caused the death.

How is the compensation for a wrongful death calculated?

The compensation for a wrongful death is typically calculated based on the financial losses suffered by the deceased’s family, such as lost income and benefits, as well as non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering and loss of companionship.

What is the difference between wrongful death and murder?

Wrongful death is a civil action that seeks compensation for the death of a loved one due to another party’s negligence or misconduct. Murder is a criminal offense that involves the intentional killing of another person.

Can a wrongful death lawsuit be filed even if the defendant was not charged with a crime?

Yes, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed even if the defendant was not charged with a crime. The standard of proof in a civil lawsuit is lower than in a criminal case, so it is possible to prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit even if the defendant was not criminally charged.

What is the role of a personal representative in a wrongful death case?

In a wrongful death case, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate typically acts on behalf of the estate and the deceased’s beneficiaries. They have the authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit and make decisions regarding the case on behalf of the estate.

What happens if there are multiple plaintiffs in a wrongful death case?

If there are multiple plaintiffs in a wrongful death case, each plaintiff may be entitled to seek compensation for their own losses. The court will consider the individual circumstances of each plaintiff and may award damages accordingly.

Can a wrongful death lawsuit be filed against a government entity?

Yes, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against a government entity if the death was caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of a government employee or agency. However, there are specific rules and procedures that must be followed when suing a government entity.

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