When the unthinkable happens and a catastrophic accident causes the death of a loved one, the results are devastating. Natural death, as sad as it is, generally gives people time to plan for a future without the family member. When death is due to an unanticipated incident, it can throw a family into chaos. Whether losing a child, spouse, sibling, or parent, legal action is likely not your foremost concern, but surviving loved ones are often facing a number of financial burdens due to the loss that legal action can help resolve.
What Causes a Wrongful Death?
A wide range of scenarios can lead to fatal injuries, even in the most unexpected situations. An action as mundane as driving to the store could end in tragedy due to another’s negligence. In fact, car accidents are one of the most common causes of wrongful death lawsuits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in 2017, over 40,231 fatalities occurred in motor vehicle accidents.
Dangerous work sites may seem like an obvious source of concern for fatal injuries, and workplace accidents are also the cause of many fatalities. Particularly in Texas, with so many people employed in dangerous careers in oil and gas, shipping, and construction, workers die every day while on the job.
While these are common examples, accidents happen everywhere; and, we have seen death take people on vacation, at school, at a friend’s home, and even from using everyday products (that later were determined to be defective).
If another’s negligence or a defective consumer product contributed to the death, the responsible party may be financially liable. For example, if someone died in a car accident and the car manufacturer knowingly sold an unsafe car, the car company could be sued for causing the death. Also, if someone dies at work because management did not provide proper safety training, that could be considered negligence sufficient to allow a wrongful death lawsuit to proceed.
While it may seem futile to put a price on the loss of a loved one, the funds can cover certain costs to aid those who are struggling in the aftermath. These costs may include medical care if the deceased received treatment before passing on, funeral arrangements, and a loss of income to the family. Particularly those facing the prospect of having lost the primary source of income for their family may be feeling overwhelmed at how to provide for their household in the future. Families will be struggling to figure out how they will pay the bills, care for their children, save for retirement, and make their house payment. Seeking compensation for the wrongful demise of their loved one can help to mitigate some of these concerns. Additionally, depending on the cause of death, bringing a civil suit could help draw attention to the negligence that caused it, forcing the responsible party to correct its actions and ultimately prevent future deaths.
Pursuing legal action after the death of a loved one can be an overwhelming prospect. One may not know if they even can bring a case, and if so, against whom. It can be challenging to determine who is liable, how much compensation would be reasonable, or even where to begin. The complex laws surrounding wrongful death claims make the services of an experienced attorney invaluable. They can examine the case to determine if any party was negligent and what the best course of action is for obtaining a settlement after a loved one’s death. Texas has specific laws about who can file, how long they have to file, and how much can be awarded in a wrongful death suit, so it’s important to have a strong legal team to help navigate the process.
Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you have lost a loved one, the Houston wrongful death lawyers at Adame Garza LLP understand that you’re facing an unimaginably difficult time, and we stand ready to help you with compassion and diligence so you can focus on your family. Contact us today to discuss your circumstances, and we can begin putting your mind at ease while we pursue your claim on your behalf.