Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
At AK Law Firm, our Houston wrongful death attorneys are compassionate and sympathetic when helping people just like you who lose family members in preventable accidents. Our lawyers are experienced in wrongful death claims and consider surviving family members’ needs during negotiations or litigation.
Losing a loved one due to another person’s or entity’s negligence is a devastating experience. While nothing can replace that loved one, families may obtain a sense of justice and receive compensation for their loved one through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Navigate This Page
- How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help?
- What is Wrongful Death?
- Texas Wrongful Death Laws
- What is the Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
- What Damages are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim?
- Types of Incidents That May Qualify as Wrongful Death
- What is the Difference Between a Survival Action and a Wrongful Death Claim?
- Contact Our Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
At AK Law Firm, we understand the grief and loss of losing a family member. As wrongful death attorneys, we want to take as much of the legal burden of pursuing a claim off of your shoulders. Surviving family members must know their legal options for securing compensation now and in the future to meet their needs.
You should focus on your emotional and physical well-being at this time and allow AK Law Firm to handle the following on your behalf:
- Manage all communication with the insurance company(s)
- Contact bill collectors to advise them a wrongful death claim is pending and when to expect payment
- Investigate your loved one’s death to collect all available evidence and identify all potential sources of compensation
- Calculate all of the costs and losses you experienced and will experience as a result of your loved one’s death
- Negotiate with the insurance company(s) to obtain a just and proper wrongful death settlement
- Take your wrongful death case to court if the insurance company refuses to pay sufficient compensation
There is a time limit to file a wrongful death claim in Texas. Please do not delay meeting with one of the knowledgeable wrongful death lawyers at AK Law Firm so we can investigate your claim. There are no upfront fees, and we only get paid when we recover damages for you.
What Is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of the negligent or wrongful act of another. The at-fault party does not need to be a person. It can be a company, government agency, or any other entity.
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit allowing certain surviving family members to hold an at-fault party responsible for intentional or unintentional actions that cause death to a family member. Although all states provide for wrongful death claims, the amount of compensation, and who may sue varies by state.
Texas Wrongful Death Laws
In Texas, the surviving spouse, adult children, legally adopted and biological, and legal parents of the deceased person may file a wrongful death claim. They may file individually or as a group. If none of these people file a wrongful death claim within three months of the date of death, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file the claim.
There are parties ineligible to file a wrongful death claim. An adopted child may not file a claim for the wrongful death of a biological parent, and surviving siblings may not file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a brother or sister.
A wrongful death claim is a civil claim filed in civil court. Family members file the claim to get money damages from the at-fault party. This differs from a criminal murder case.
A murder case seeks a criminal conviction and time in prison. A prosecutor for the county or state files a criminal case.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
All civil lawsuits in Texas are subject to statutes of limitations, and wrongful death claims are no exception. If you do not file your case by the stated deadline, the court will dismiss your lawsuit and you and your family will be unable to seek compensation.
In most wrongful death cases, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file your claim. There are certain exceptions to this rule, but they do not always apply to wrongful death cases. To determine your filing deadline and preserve your right to compensation, speak to a wrongful death lawyer from AK Law Firm.
What Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim?
In wrongful death claims, the surviving family members and the deceased’s estate have the right to receive compensation for the losses they suffered. At the conclusion of the lawsuit, the court will decide whether or not the plaintiffs deserve damages, and will divide the settlement among each surviving family member in proportion to the injuries each person suffered.
There are two main types of damages in wrongful death lawsuits: economic and non-economic. Economic damages involve expenses that the deceased’s estate or family incur as a result of his or her death. The deceased’s family may receive compensation for the following:
- Loss of earning capacity and future earnings
- Loss of inheritance
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
On the other hand, non-economic damages involve the intangible physical and emotional pain the deceased’s family experienced as a result of his or her death. Common types of non-economic damages include the following.
- Loss of care, services, support, or advice
- Mental anguish, emotion anguish, suffering, and pain
- Loss of love, comfort, society, and companionshipÂ
In some claims, the court may award punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, to the immediate family. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party for his or her egregious actions. Your loved one’s case may qualify for punitive damages if the responsible party committed an act of gross negligence, or if his or her willful acts or omissions led to your loved one’s passing. Speak to a wrongful death attorney from AK Law Firm to determine which damages your family may qualify for.
Types of Incidents That May Qualify as Wrongful Death
The causes of wrongful death vary. Some of the most common types of wrongful death claims are the following:
- Car Accidents. Car accidents are the most common cause of wrongful deaths. Negligent acts while driving such as speeding, reckless driving, not paying attention to the road, drunk driving, driving under the influence, and texting often result in the wrongful death of one or more parties. After a car accident, speak with an experienced accident attorney.
- Medical Malpractice. With caseloads growing and staff shortages, even the best doctors and other medical providers fail to provide proper medical care, give a correct diagnosis, prescribe the right medication, or simply make mistakes leading to the wrongful death of patients.
- Accidents at Work. Occupations like construction jobs carry a high risk of wrongful death and work injuries. However, wrongful deaths may occur in an office or the performance of any workplace-related task.
- Defective Products. When a person dies due to a defective or dangerous products, the product manufacturer is liable. Wrongful death from defective products can include pharmaceuticals, toxic foods, unsafe toys, and defective automobile parts.
- Semi-Truck Accidents. Due to their size, loads, mechanics, and potential driver error, semi-truck accidents are more likely to result in death.
- Pedestrian Accidents. Pedestrians have nothing to shield themselves from oncoming cars and are sometimes difficult for drivers to see. Therefore, negligent drivers are more likely to cause fatal pedestrian accidents when they strike.
- Aviation Accidents. Although rare, aviation accidents result in fatalities. Pilot error and mechanical problems are the biggest causes of fatal accidents.
What Is the Difference Between a Survival Action and a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another person or entity, you have two legal options available to you. You can file a wrongful death claim, which aims to hold the at-fault party accountable and compensate you and your family for your losses. You can also file a survival action claim, which serves a different purpose.
Surviving family members file survival actions to collect monetary damages for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced prior to his or her death. If the court decides to award compensation in a survival claim, the deceased’s estate will receive the settlement. A portion of the award will then go to each family member.
After losing a loved one to negligence, you may want to file both a survival claim and a wrongful death lawsuit. You can pursue both legal pathways under Texas law, and the Houston personal injury attorneys at AK Law Firm will file both claims on your loved one’s behalf. During these proceedings, we will advocate for maximum possible financial compensation for you and your family.
Contact Our Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
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.
Choose AK Law Firm for our:
- Respectful and considerate customer service
- Diligence in answering family members’ questions
- Clear communication and regular updates on wrongful death case status
If you have any questions about the circumstances of a family member’s death in Houston, contact AK Law Firm now. Our experienced Houston wrongful death attorneys are ready to help wrongful death victims in this time of pain and grief. We will answer your questions surrounding wrongful death lawsuits and work quickly to determine the proper legal path forward for you. Schedule your free consultation today to explore your steps to recovering compensation for your loss.
“Kumar Law staff has been very professional, friendly, and responsive in returning my calls, text, and emails. Thank you.” – Alice Gallardo