Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers
Wrongful deaths demand skilled attorneys with years of experience handling these cases. Call us today at (713) 352-7071 to get started.
The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one can turn your life and the lives of your family members upside down. Williams Hart does more than just seek compensation for those who’ve lost people close to them due to the carelessness or intentional actions of others – we bring peace and a measure of justice to those who deserve it most. While we know that no amount of money can turn back the clock, our team works tirelessly to ensure that grieving loved ones won’t struggle financially after such a tragic loss. That’s why we fight so hard on behalf of those who turn to us for help.
Billions Recovered for Our Clients
Contact us today at (713) 352-7071 to start your FREE consultation.
When you call our firm, you’ll get to speak immediately to a qualified, compassionate wrongful death attorney. We’ll be ready to answer your questions and be a shoulder to lean on during this challenging time. Our consultations are always 100% free and completely confidential, so call one of our Houston wrongful death lawyers of Williams Hart today to get started.
Types of wrongful death cases
Wrongful deaths occur under a wide variety of circumstances. A death is wrongful if it was the result of someone else's actions. Each of the following situations can give rise to a wrongful death claim:
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- We have won Over $1 Billion in Client Recovery
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- we have extensive experience with wrongful Death cases
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What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
In short, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim filed by family members who lost a relative due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct to recover compensation for their losses. They can ask for the damages that their deceased relative would have been legally entitled to collect had he/she survived the incident in which they were killed plus the losses that they suffered due to their relative’s untimely death.
For example, suppose that someone was hit by a drunk driver, suffered extensive injuries, and eventually passed away at the hospital as a result of these injuries. Had they survived the accident, they would have likely been able to recover damages from the drunk driver to compensate them for their pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, etc. However, because they passed away, their relatives can file a wrongful death claim on his behalf to recover these same damages, plus the losses that they suffered as a result of the person's death.
Don't delay justice! Call our wrongful death lawyers at (713) 352-7071
Are you Eligible to Sue for Wrongful Death?
Each state has its own rules about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, but here in Texas the surviving spouse, children (both adults and minors), and parents of the deceased are generally eligible to file. One of these individuals can file a claim on their own, or a group of them can file together. However, if no one from this cohort files a wrongful death claim within three months of the deceased’s passing, then the executor of the deceased’s estate can file a claim on behalf of the estate.
The wrongful death attorneys at Williams Hart firmly believe that the family should not have to shoulder the financial burdens that come with the loss of a loved one due to a tragic accident. It’s critical that you contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options. You have enough to deal with when you’ve lost a loved one, let us fight on behalf of your family, just as we have for thousands of other families before.
Get Answers to Your Questions
Wrongful Death FAQs
Ideally, the decedent’s heirs will reach an agreement on how to divide the resulting damages among themselves. However, if they have not made such an agreement, or are unable to do so, the court can make an apportionment for them.
Homicide is a criminal offense that is committed when one personal unlawfully takes the life of another. Homicide is an umbrella term that encompasses a few different types of unlawful killings, such as murder, manslaughter, etc.
Wrongful death lawsuits can only be filed for a limited amount of time after the deceased passes away. Each state has its own set of laws, or statutes of limitations, that set timeframes within which different types of civil lawsuits can be filed.
Here in Texas, we have a statute of limitations that requires wrongful death lawsuits to be filed within two years of the deceased’s passing. There are a few limited exceptions to this rule, but most wrongful death claims that are filed after more than two years have passed will be barred by this statute and not be heard by the court.
When someone dies due to the negligence or intentional actions of another party, the surviving family members of the deceased could f ile a wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties responsible. This can cover a wide variety of entities, from individuals to companies to employees or government agencies.
Multiple parties may share liability in certain cases. That’s why it is crucial to hire a wrongful death lawyer to help you identify all liable parties and hold them accountable. For example, if someone is killed in a drunk driving accident, responsible parties could include:
- The driver who chose to drive while intoxicated and caused the crash
- Persons who sold or served alcohol to the driver
- The owner of the establishment that overserved the driver
This is simply an example of how liability could be assigned to several different entities. Be sure to speak with your attorney about the specifics of your case as soon as possible.
While it is natural for surviving family members to want to resolve their wrongful death case as quickly as possible to see that justice is served and to grieve and rebuild their lives in peace, the reality is that a wrongful death claim could take months or years to resolve. While some settlements can be achieved in a matter of months, you should expect your case to take anywhere from one to four years to be completely resolved.
It’s vital to understand that with wrongful death cases, speed is not the most important factor to consider. It takes time to investigate the tragic accident, identify all potentially liable parties, and build a persuasive case. In Texas, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit according to our state’s statute of limitations, and you’ll want to allow your attorney plenty of time to negotiate for a fair settlement. If no settlement can be reached, they may advise you to file a lawsuit and seek damages in court.
What Damages can you sue for?
Damages awarded in a Texas wrongful death case can be broken down into the following three main categories: compensation for the decedent’s losses, compensation for surviving family members’ losses, and punitive damages.
Compensation that the decedent would have legally been entitled to collect from the defendant had he/she survived. Examples include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical Expenses
- Lost wages
Compensation for the losses the surviving family members suffered as a result of the untimely death. Examples include compensation for:
- Lost companionship, love and comfort
- Lost care, maintenance, and support
- Lost inheritance
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral Expenses
If the wrongful death was caused by a willful act (or omission), gross negligence, or by particularly egregious behavior then the court may award exemplary damages in order to punish the defendant and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
A History of Delivering Results
Examples Of Client Recovery
Obtained a $117,000,000 jury verdict for the family of a man killed in a plant explosion. The matter was settled for a confidential amount after trial.
Recovered $22,980,000 for a family that lost their husband and father in an explosion caused by the negligence of a large corporation.
Obtained $20,000,000 jury verdict for the victim of an assault. The matter was settled for a confidential amount following the jury verdict.
Obtained $11,000,000 jury verdict in a trial that resulted from the death of a husband and father in a motor vehicle accident with a commercial truck. The case settled after trial for a confidential amount.
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