What is Considered a Wrongful Death?
Negligent or Carelessness of Another Person
The key to whether a death is wrongful depends on if a person’s (or multiple persons’) neglect, carelessness, negligence or unskillfulness caused the death of another person. If the person in question had operated his or her vehicle in a prudent manner or followed safety protocol on the job, would the death still have occurred, or did that person’s actions cause the death?
Filing a Claim Against an Individual
An individual is a single person. In all of the following examples, the wrongful death lawsuit would be filed against an individual:
- A person who was driving a car who caused a fatal car crash;
- A truck driver working for a company hauling goods, fuel, or equipment who was driving an 18-wheeler that caused an accident on the freeway;
- A person whose dog got loose and fatally attacked someone.
Filing a Claim Against a Company
According to Texas statute 71.002, a person is liable for damages caused by the “person’s or his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” For the purposes of this statute, a corporation or company is also considered a “person,” according to statute 71.011. As such, a person within a company or the company or corporation itself can be held liable for wrongful death damages.
For example, a company, such as an oil refinery or public utility, can be held liable if a co-worker fails to follow safety procedures and a person is fatally injured as a result. Additionally, the owner of a site under construction or a company under contract to do work at such a site can be held accountable when heavy equipment causes a serious injury or death. A person or company that provides transportation services for passengers on buses or shuttle services may also be held liable for damages if they are found to be at fault for causing a wrongful death.
Bad or Unsafe Working Conditions
There are some wrongful death cases in which the fatal injury is not directly the result of the actions of another person. For example, workers who operate equipment such as lathes or assembly lines, which are known to be unsafe, can cause a wrongful death. Moreover, injuries due to exposure to chemicals and hazardous materials that were not stored properly can also cause a wrongful death. In these cases, the victim’s family could file a claim against the employer.
Contact the Houston Wrongful Death Attorneys of Michael P. Fleming Today
Wrongful death cases are often complex, and often nobody wants to take responsibility. Knowing against whom to file a claim and how to maximize financial compensation is best left in the hands of only the most experienced Houston wrongful death attorneys. You can reach the law offices of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. today to set up a consultation 713-221-6800, and we will handle your case with the utmost care and concern for you and your family members, while aggressively pursuing your case on the behalf of the deceased and all of your loved ones.