Hiring an attorney is usually the last thing on anyone's mind when they are grieving the loss of a loved one. However, this is a necessary step for people who believe the deceased lost their life because of another person's negligence. This is legally known as wrongful death and comes with compensation if the allegation can be proven in court. It is vital that the surviving family members of wrongful death victims get legal representation from a skilled wrongful death attorney to ensure that they file a solid claim against the at-fault party. At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we understand the pain and emotional trauma of clients in this position and help them to focus on healing while we seek justice for them and the deceased victim. Our Houston wrongful death attorneys have years of experience working such cases in Texas, with a reputation for being some of the most reliable personal injury lawyers in the state. We have won several wrongful death cases for our clients, helping them recover compensation worth millions of dollars in the process. Call us at (833) 692-5038 to get a free consultation with a top-rated Houston wrongful death lawyer today.
Over $1 Billion Recovered
“When you get hurt, you need someone on your side who understands how things work here.”
What Our Clients Have To Say
I have worked with Schuerger Shunnarah twice and they have been very helpful on my personal injury cases. They went above and beyond my expectations and did a great job both times.
- Ashley C.
Schuerger Shunnarah helped me receive a settlement on my case in just months. I was treated with respect and dignity. Thanks to their help, I have been able to get my life back to normal.
- Michael S.
They provided me with excellent service throughout my personal injury case. They were available to answer my questions and helped me understand the process. I am very grateful for them!
- Deshawn B.
What are the Leading Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas?
There are different ways for a person to prove negligence or wrongful act under Texas law. Below are some of the common causes of fatal accidents that may qualify as wrongful death claims:
Using Defective Products
A dangerous product case describes a manufacturing defect that makes a product unreasonably dangerous. Losing a loved one that used this product qualifies as a wrongful death case. In this situation, the plaintiff must prove that the product is the cause of death, and show safer alternative designs to establish a defect claim.
Wrongful death lawyers often have to prove the driver's negligence in a car accident fatality lawsuit. Negligence by a driver includes rear-ending the deceased, drunk driving, running a red light, etc. This also includes truck accidents where third parties might also be responsible for the accident.
A wrongful death lawsuit of this king involves proving that medical officers ignored due diligence in handling the deceased. Mistakes are not acceptable when they lead to a loss of life.
There has been a rise in the number of fatal accidents that occur on construction sites in Houston, Texas. Several of these could have been prevented if the project managers enforced the OHSA rules on site. Houston wrongful death lawyers can help the family members of such victims recover fair compensation for losing a loved one this way.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim - The Four Parts of Proving Liability in Texas
Wrongful death attorneys in Texas have to prove the following in order to hold a party liable for an accident or death:
Owing a Duty to the Deceased
A company that fails to protect its employee or another motorist flouting traffic laws are examples of owing duty to a deceased victim. Medical malpractice is also an example of ignoring such a duty.
Breach of that Duty
A person or company that fails to take action that could have prevented an accident or death has breached the duty. The negligent party in this situation commits a wrongful act. This qualifies as wrongful death in Texas.
Cause of Death
Here the lawyers have to prove that the death of an individual is caused by a breach of duty. A person dying of unrelated causes after an accident qualifies as a personal injury case but not as a wrongful death.
Damages to the Family
This involves assessing damages for those entitled to compensation in a wrongful death claim. What they receive is based on the effect of their loved one's death on them. These include losing companionship, pain, losing financial dependence, etc. The damages also help cover the medical, funeral, and burial expenses they incur.
What Is the Job of a Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Investigate the Case
An attorney investigates a case to find evidence that provides the highest probability of winning it. The investigation for a wrongful death claim depends on the cause of death. However, it is necessary to talk to any witnesses of the incident. If the accident involves a vehicle the next step should be to inspect it, gather reports from the police about the scene, and get medical reports of the victim. In product liability, the investigation will be to prove the existence of safer alternatives. The attorney reviews the OSHA files of a project when investigating a construction accident.
The Houston wrongful death attorney must find and preserve any evidence vital to a case.
The attorney also acts as the legal advocate for a client when presenting their case in court or handling negotiations with insurance companies. Lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have handled wrongful death lawsuits for years. They are recognized as some of the most reliable attorneys in Houston, Texas, and have the experience to represent people in criminal and civil cases.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Parties liable for the death of an individual in such a lawsuit don't always accept their fault. The attorney takes up the case in court if negotiations break down. This is another reason to have an experienced Houston wrongful death attorney handle the case.
Houston slip and fall lawyer
Houston premises liability lawyers
Houston product liability attorney
Houston dog bite attorneys
Houston nursing home abuse law firm
Houston mesothelioma law office
oil rig accident lawyer in Houston
Who Can File a Houston Wrongful Death Suit?
In Texas, only specific relatives of the deceased can fight for justice and compensation for their loss. These include the surviving spouse, children, or immediate family member. The laws establish this to ensure that only those entitled to compensation for a loss or injury can get it. Contact a wrongful death lawyer from Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys today, to discuss the details of a Houston wrongful death claim.
Actions Families Can Take Under Texas Law After a Wrongful Death
Survival Claims in Texas
There are situations where the victim initially survives the accident but later passes away from the injuries they sustain. This requires a survival action instead of a wrongful death claim. A survival claim concerns the personal injuries of the accident victim before they pass away. Under Texas law, this is equivalent to a personal injury claim before death.
These cases are different from wrongful death cases. This is because the compensation to the family considers any pain, emotional trauma, disfigurement, disability, or medical expenses of the deceased prior to dying. The wrongful death claims can be pushed later for compensation to cater to the funeral and burial expenses.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death cases are pursued by family members of a deceased over the loss of a loved one. They usually seek damages where the death was due to a "willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant."
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has won settlements worth millions of dollars for families who have lost a loved one in Texas. Contact us to get a free case evaluation from an experienced Houston wrongful death attorney that is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that a client gets the justice they deserve.
They were polite and really cared throughout the entire process and made me feel like my case was important. I would highly recommend them to anyone that didn’t get a fair offer from the insurance company like me!
- Brian D.
Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
Any family member can file an individual wrongful death case against the at-fault party, depending on their relationship with the deceased. Any agreement reached is on the individual claims, and a jury would have to decide damages for each plaintiff if the case goes to trial. The common strategy in such a situation is to give more compensation to those with closer relationships with the deceased. In a wrongful death case, the spouse gets the most compensation, followed by the children and any other family member.
How Long Do You Have to Sue For Wrongful Death in Texas?
Texas sets a time limit for filing a wrongful death claim. The Texas wrongful death statute states that a family can formally sue a party for wrongful death damages within a two-year window, starting from the date of the incident. It is common for people to think they don't require a wrongful death lawyer to file their claims, especially when they are focused on the grief associated with the loss. However, delaying a case only makes it difficult to prove later. Gathering relevant evidence after a long time becomes nearly impossible. It also becomes more difficult to locate witnesses that were on site.
There are too many issues with a case that has been delayed, making it difficult to get a successful wrongful death lawsuit. This is the reason why many personal injury law firms refuse cases that are close to the statute of limitations. Claims should be filed immediately after the loss of a loved one so it doesn't hamper the work of the attorney.
Call a Houston Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has consistently been acknowledged as one of the most reliable law firms in Texas for personal injury cases. We have years of experience ensuring that the interests of families are protected in wrongful death lawsuits.
Call us at (833) 692-5038 for a free consultation with a Houston wrongful death lawyer. Our aggressive approach has helped us win most cases we pursue. We go to war for you!