Finding the best wrongful death lawyer in Houston can be difficult and confusing as it often is necessary at a time when the loved ones need to be thinking about other pressing matters. At Fleming Law, our expert wrongful death attorneys have been practicing law in Houston for decades. They are ready to help you with your case.
Who can bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
After an accidental or wrongful death in Houston, Texas law allows the surviving spouse, children, and parents to bring a Texas wrongful death claim when their relative has been killed due to the negligence of another. Additionally, the representative of the deceased is legally permitted to file a lawsuit and pursue damages on behalf of the dead person’s estate. These damages can be significant and provide another source of financial support for the person’s heirs – often small children.
Losing a loved one is an overwhelming experience. It is understandable that people become focused on their families and their emotional needs following a tragedy. Contact our wrongful death lawyer in Houston today.
The hard reality is that if your loved one was lost in an accident, it is important to begin exploring a wrongful death case against the responsible parties as soon as possible. Evidence that could create accountability for an accidental death lawsuit often disappears. Witnesses’ memories become less clear.
How much does a wrongful death lawsuit cost? Pay nothing until you are compensated.
Yes. Our wrongful death law firm can determine which counties are proper to bring the wrongful death lawsuit and decide which would be best for our clients. We can handle wrongful death cases in any county in Texas.
A lawsuit for wrongful death in Texas, including Houston, can be brought in any county where a defendant resides, the principal office of a defendant company, or where the cause of action arose – such as the location of a car or pedestrian accident.
Generally, a cause of action arises when an accident, injury, or death takes place. So if somebody is killed in Houston due to the negligence of another person or company, the lawsuit can be brought to the courts of Harris County or the county where the defendant lives.
Why Do People Want To Avoid Thinking About a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a loved one is killed, it is natural to feel guilty about seeking legal advice or even thinking about filing a lawsuit over the death. However, sometimes it is important to act as soon as possible. It is the right thing to do.
Our Houston wrongful death attorneys understand the grief you and your loved ones are experiencing. We have helped many individuals and families through these types of situations, and we offer compassionate representation that is both effective and respectful of your family’s situation.
Proving negligence and suing for damages in a wrongful death case often requires immediate action on behalf of the victim and his or her family. Whenever there is a major accident resulting in the death of an individual, the insurance company for the negligent party immediately begins its defense case hoping that the family members will wait too long and hurt their chance to prove their right to compensation.
What Needs to Be Done Immediately After a Loved One Is Killed?
When somebody is killed in an accident, the immediate family quite naturally does not want to think about hiring a Houston personal injury lawyer or taking legal action. It is a completely normal and reasonable response. We have had clients contact us immediately after the incident and they feel guilty about doing so. When we explain that it might be important — very important — for the family and children to move forward sooner, they understand.
Working hard immediately to protect the rights of the spouse and children is important to our wrongful death lawyers in Houston and sometimes it is necessary to take action on a case right away.
Some of these actions if not taken right after the accident will be impossible later and this will hurt any wrongful death lawsuit. These actions include:
“My Mom was hit by a car in Aug 2012 and my family and I were traumatized. It became evident that we needed to talk to an attorney. My sister typed in the search and Fleming Law, P.C., was at the top of the search. I called around 6 pm and Atty. Laura Krzesienski called back immediately. We set an appointment and met. Laura was a God send… she was very empathetic to what we were going through. I had no doubt she was the one I wanted helping us. She got things rolling on our behalf. Things progressed quickly. Before long we were meeting with the staff about our case, we settled our case in less than a year. Although my mom died… Fleming Law, P.C., helped us get justice and closure for our loss.” Continue reading →
Getting an autopsy. Often the cause of death is obvious and sometimes it is not. Furthermore, only an autopsy can give certain details regarding some of the circumstances surrounding the death. If the county does not perform an autopsy, a private one might need to be arranged. Obviously, there is only a limited time to have this performed.
Preserving evidence. Evidence from the accident site is often discarded. Lost evidence can be a major hindrance to proving a wrongful death case so it is much better to preserve it immediately. Evidence can be physical evidence such as wreckage, video surveillance, skid marks, industrial equipment or anything that can be easily discarded.
Getting a court order. Often it is necessary to obtain a court order to prevent important evidence from being destroyed by a defendant or insurance company that is trying to protect a defendant after a wrongful death.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims
When somebody is killed due to the unnecessary negligence of another person or business, there are two types of claims that can be brought:
A wrongful death suit can be filed on behalf of the surviving spouse, children, and parents.These immediate family members are entitled by law to bring a lawsuit seeking mental anguish and other damages suffered as a result of the death of their loved one. In the case of small children, this is often the only opportunity to provide for their future and make up for the loss of their parents.
A “survival” actions can be brought on behalf of the deceased. Claims can also be brought on behalf of the estate of the deceased person for their conscious pain and suffering prior to their death along with medical and funeral expenses. These damages then go into their estate and are distributed by law under their will or to their surviving heirs — often the surviving spouse, children, and parents. Our Houston wrongful death attorney can help.
What Fatal Accidents Can Be Cause For a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
A wrongful death claim is brought pursuant to Texas statute and it is important to properly investigate to prove negligence. Some of the most common wrongful death lawsuits brought in Texas include fatal accidents involving:
The families of workers killed on the job have the same rights to bring a Houston wrongful death claim – in some cases even if there is workers’ compensation coverage. We have helped many families who have lost a loved one killed at work. Usually, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigates deaths that occur on the job and their investigation can help determine liability. Our death-at-work lawyers in Houston can help.
How Much Can You Sue For In A Wrongful Death Case
Wrongful death cases offer the largest awards out of any personal injury case for the obvious reason that the victim paid the greatest price for the negligent party’s irresponsible actions. While your damages are the most severe, there are many factors that make up a wrongful death, and every wrongful death case is different, meaning it is difficult to predict what type of compensation you can expect from your case. Depending on the situation, the following are some key elements that a judge and jury will use to consider the award.
Loss of Future Earning Capacity
Loss of future earning capacity refers to the earning ability of the person who died, and applies in cases where the victim was the primary earner of a household. The average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree alone earns $1.19 million in their lifetime, while the average high school graduate earns $595,000 in their lifetime, according to the Hamilton Project. Loss of earnings is based on the victim’s age and projected income during what would have been their remaining working years.
Punitive damages are awarded in cases in which there is gross negligence. For example, punitive damages may be awarded in a case that involved a drunk driver or that of an unsafe workplace. These damages go beyond compensating the plaintiff, and are imposed as further punishment for the negligent, reckless person or company. According to Cornell Law, courts only impose punitive damages 5% of the time, meaning that punitive damages are exceedingly rare.
Loss of Companionship or Consortium
A jury can award damages associated with loss of consortium to the surviving spouse or children in a wrongful death case. Loss of consortium is the loss of a companion, as well as the loss of a mentor for young children. Loss of consortium is particularly relevant when there is a young child or multiple young children that are now left to grow up without either a mother or a father.
What types of compensation apply to the case of my spouse's wrongful death?
Pain and suffering is a separate type of compensation from the wrongful death claim and is pursued on behalf of the deceased. This penalty is determined based on the amount of suffering endured by the victim before his or her death. In some cases, this can amount to many days, weeks, or even years. In other cases, there may be no pain and suffering because death was determined to be immediate. Contact our Houston wrongful death lawyer today.
What is the Statute of Limitations For Wrongful Death Cases in Texas?
Generally, the surviving family has two years to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death in the State of Texas. This can be extended in certain cases for minors.
However, despite there being two years to bring a lawsuit, it is usually better to seek legal advice and bring a lawsuit as soon as possible after the death. Contact our Houston wrongful death attorneys today.
We Help Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones To Fatal Accidents
At the Houston wrongful death lawyers at Fleming Law in Houston, Texas, our wrongful death attorneys in Houston are highly skilled at constructing wrongful death cases that can hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm they have caused. By allowing our attorneys to help you and your loved ones, you will have the space necessary to focus on what matters most at such a difficult time while having the peace of mind that all appropriate action is being taken.
Contact The Wrongful Death Lawyers at Fleming Law
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you need to choose a wrongful death attorney with the skill and experience necessary to be able to help you create accountability and secure the full compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers, call Fleming Law, P.C., toll-free at 832-529-4812, or contact us online. Click here for directions.
We collect no fees until we obtain compensation for you.
My loved one was killed. How long should I wait to hire a lawyer?
Grief counseling: There are many grief counseling resources available, both online and in person. Grief counseling can help you cope with the emotional pain of losing a loved one.
Support groups: There are also many support groups available for people who have lost loved ones. Support groups can provide you with a safe space to share your feelings with others who understand what you are going through.
Financial assistance: There are some financial assistance programs available to help victims of wrongful death. These programs can help you pay for funeral expenses, medical bills, and other costs associated with the death of your loved one.
Legal assistance: If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may want to consult with an attorney. A wrongful death attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Here are some specific resources that you may find helpful after a death:
The Compassionate Friends: The Compassionate Friends is a national organization that provides support to families who have lost children. They offer support groups, online resources, and a 24/7 helpline.
The National Center for Victims of Crime: The National Center for Victims of Crime is a national organization that provides resources to victims of crime, including wrongful death. They offer information about legal rights, financial assistance, and grief counseling.
The American Bar Association: The American Bar Association has a section on civil litigation that provides information about wrongful death lawsuits. They also have a lawyer referral service that can help you find an attorney in your area.
At our law firm our attorneys offer exceptional representation to those who have suffered serious injuries in all types of accidents. We have received some of the highest reviews and ratings of any Houston personal injury lawyer. One of the unique aspects of our law firm is that when you are a client you will be in direct contact with the lawyer handling your case. We strive to keep our clients involved and informed in the handling of their case so they know what to expect and when to expect it.