Experienced Houston Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Communities Throughout Texas
Losing a loved one in a preventable accident is devastating. While there is nothing that will ever be enough to make up for such a tragic loss, you and your family deserve justice and financial support.
Through a Texas wrongful death claim, family members of the deceased have the right to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Wrongful death claims are complex legal cases — plaintiffs need professional representation.
At the Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, our Houston wrongful death attorneys are compassionate and committed advocates for individuals and families in Texas. If your loved one was killed as a result of negligence, we are here to help you get accountability. To get a free, no obligation consultation with our Texas wrongful death lawyer, do not hesitate to call us at our Houston law office today.
Wrongful Death Cases We Handle in Houston, TX
Wrongful death claims come in a wide range of different forms. If your loved one was killed because of the negligence of a motorist, a property owner, a corporation, or any other party, you should consult with a qualified personal injury attorney right away.
At the Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, our Houston wrongful death lawyers handles all types of wrongful death claims, including:
- Car accidents;
- Motorcycle wrecks;
- Pedestrian collisions;
- Eighteen wheeler accidents;
- Drunk driving accidents;
- Dangerous and defective products; and
- Premises liability claims.
Texas Wrongful Death Law: Understanding the Basics
A wrongful death is one that occurs as a result of negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. In Texas, this type of legal claim is brought under the state’s wrongful death statute (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.001).
In order to hold a defendant or an insurance company legally liable for a fatal accident, a plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant’s wrongful actions or inactions — meaning their negligence, recklessness, or carelessness — contributed to the death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas
Unfortunately, not every close friend or close loved one of the deceased has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Under Texas law, only certain parties are eligible to bring a wrongful death case. The primary right to file a wrongful death lawsuit rests with the surviving spouse, surviving children, and/or the surviving parents. Within the first three months, these are typically the only parties that have the legal ability to file a claim.
However, if there is no spouse, child, or parent who is available or willing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, then a personal representative or the estate of the victim will have the right to pursue legal action. In some cases, sorting out who can or should file the claim is a complicated endeavor.
In wrongful death claims there is a two-year statute of limitations to settle your case or file a lawsuit against the liable party. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 16.003(b)
If you have any questions or concerns about eligibility and Texas wrongful death claims, call an experienced wrongful death attorney in Houston for immediate assistance.
"They deserve each one of the five stars."
"Mrs. Milano has been very generous and supportive when we faced a serious hardship with our claim. We have been very fortunate to meet her. As we were thinking that we hit a dead end, she took our case right away and defended us... Their dedication is priceless. They deserve each one of the five stars. Strongly recommended."
Compensation Available through a Wrongful Death Claim
Unfortunately, even in wrongful death cases, corporations and insurers often fight aggressively to limit the value of a settlement.
You can expect an insurance company to try to resolve the case for far less than you and your family deserve. You need a wrongful death attorney in Houston, TX who knows how to hold defendants and insurance companies accountable.
Among other things, wrongful death damages can include:
- Out-of-pocket medical bills;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of economic benefits, including insurance coverage;
- Mental anguish; and
- Loss of love, consortium, and companionship.
In some limited wrongful death cases punitive damages may also be made available. Under Texas Law (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 41.001), punitive damages (exemplary damages) can be awarded in cases in which a defendant engaged in especially harmful or reckless behavior. Although they are awarded to the plaintiffs, exemplary damages are not tied to a specific loss — they are meant to punish the defendant.
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Wrongful Death in Texas: What is a Survival Action Claim?
Survival action claims are often confused with wrongful death claims. While the two are often intertwined, they are distinct legal claims.
It is crucial that family members of the victim understand the differences between the two. With a wrongful death claim, eligible family members can seek financial compensation for their personal losses. In contrast, a survival action claim allows the representatives of the deceased to seek damages that the victim would have been able to recover had they survived the accident.
Our Houston, TX wrongful death lawyer can help you bring a survival action claim as well.
"They defended my rights very well."
"Highly professional and reliable. They explain to you with great care what you need to do at every stage and they know what to do during the case. They defended my rights very well. Thank you Milano Legal Group (Mr. and Mrs. Milano)."
Why Choose the Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys
We understand that no amount of money will ever be able to come close to making up for the loss of a family member. But we also know that your family deserves justice, accountability, and financial support.
We are committed to making the wrongful death claims and settlement process as easy as possible for our clients. Our legal team is prepared to deal with all aspects of your legal case. Among other things, our Houston, TX wrongful death attorney will:
- Explain your rights and options during a free consultation;
- Answer your questions and address your concerns;
- Investigate the accident, obtaining evidence to prove liability;
- Document your economic and noneconomic damages;
- Handle settlement negotiations with defendants and insurance companies; and
- Build a compelling, successful wrongful death claim.
Similar to other personal injury claims, many wrongful death lawsuits are settled before any litigation commences. We have experience representing families in settlement negotiations. At the same time, our law firm is trial-tested. We are always ready to take your claim to court.
Get Help From Our Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer Right Away
At the Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, our Houston wrongful death lawyers are compassionate and effective advocates for clients.
If your loved one was killed in an accident, we are here to handle your legal issues and hold the negligent party responsible while you focus on your family.
To set up a free, no obligation consultation, please contact us today.
With an office in Houston, we handle wrongful death claims in Harris County and throughout Texas.
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Wrongful Death Attorney FAQs
What is wrongful death?
A wrongful death is a death that occurs as a result of negligence, recklessness, or carelessness. In order to hold a defendant or an insurance company liable for an accident that resulted in death, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s wrongful actions or inactions contributed to the death. An important aspect of a wrongful death case is that it is filed on behalf of the deceased by his or her surviving spouse, surviving children, and/or surviving parents. However, if these parties are unavailable or unwilling to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, then a personal representative or the estate of the deceased person may pursue legal action.
What are some common causes of wrongful deaths?
A person may file a claim for wrongful death when a member of his or her family is killed due to the negligence of another party. Common causes of wrongful deaths include:
- Cyclist and pedestrian crashes: Cyclists and pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to serious accidents. Since they are largely unprotected when traveling on roads and sidewalks, even a minor collision with a vehicle can have catastrophic results.
- Defective products: Products that have been recalled, like motor vehicles and other poorly designed products, can routinely result in death. When a person’s death is due to a defective product, responsible parties can be held liable in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Automobile crashes: Automobile crashes are a common cause of wrongful deaths. Unfortunately, Texas has a high auto-accident rate, and this leads to countless deaths each year. Often, these deaths are the result of negligence. When a driver causes a fatal automobile accident due to distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving, impaired driving, or some other form of negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, he or she may be held liable for wrongful death.
- Workplace accidents: Workplace accidents are common, and they routinely result in the death of employees––specifically those who work in dangerous professions. Factory workers, firefighters, roofers, electricians, construction workers, agricultural workers, and ironworkers are just some of the employees whose occupations routinely place them in harm’s way. Despite the dangers inherent in these types of positions, employers are required by law to minimize risks and prevent harm to their employees. Therefore, when an employee loses his or her life due to an employer’s negligence, the deceased worker’s family members can pursue a claim for wrongful death against the employer.
- Slip-and-fall accidents: Finally, although most slip-and-fall victims survive their accidents, these types of events occasionally result in death. If surviving family members of a victim can prove that a manager or property owner was aware of a dangerous condition that caused a deadly slip-and-fall accident, then they can obtain compensation via a wrongful death claim.
How can a wrongful death attorney help me?
If you have recently lost a loved one in an accident, you are no doubt dealing with a lot of pain—both emotionally and financially. Although a lawsuit for wrongful death can’t heal the pain of losing a loved one, it can compensate you for the financial losses caused by your loved one’s passing. The best way to pursue a claim for wrongful death is with the help of an experienced attorney. There are multiple benefits to hiring a Houston wrongful death lawyer, including:
- A lawyer knows the legal process: Knowledgeable lawyers with experience trying wrongful death cases have a deep understanding of the civil legal process. So, when you hire an attorney, you benefit from his or her ample knowledge and experience. And, as your case moves through the various stages of the legal process, your attorney will be by your side each step of the way, ensuring that your rights are fully protected. In addition, your attorney will ensure that all required documents are properly completed and filed by their deadlines.
- An attorney takes care of the details: A lawsuit of any kind can be extremely time-consuming—particularly if you try to navigate the legal process by yourself. Without an attorney in your corner, you are bound to make some mistakes, and these mistakes—even minor ones—can cost you a lot of time and money. The wrongful death legal process is very complicated, and it has many deadlines and requirements. However, when you hire an attorney to handle your case, he or she will handle all of these details for you. In other words, with legal representation, you can be confident that all required documents will be completed and filed in a timely manner—thereby avoiding serious mistakes and saving you time and money.
- An attorney knows what your claim is worth: Without the help of an attorney, estimating the value of your claim is practically impossible. Wrongful death attorneys routinely value claims, making them uniquely qualified to provide clients with an accurate representation of what their cases are worth. So, if you want to have a true understanding of the value of your claim, you should hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer. When determining the value of your claim, your attorney will analyze the following factors:
- Medical expenses paid for your deceased loved one’s care
- Your loved one’s loss of earnings
- Your loved one’s funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering your loved one endured from the time of his or her injury until death
- An attorney provides you with support: Losing a family member is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. When you hire a Houston wrongful death lawyer to help you during this trying time, he or she will provide support—both legal and emotional—to you and your grieving family. In addition to the emotional trauma caused by losing a loved one, the financial impact that can accompany such an event can be overwhelming. When you hire a wrongful death lawyer, however, you obtain peace of mind that an experienced and knowledgeable legal advocate is working hard to obtain financial compensation on your behalf. In addition, your legal representative will handle all the details of your case—both big and small—thereby allowing you to focus on healing and being with your loved ones during this extremely difficult time in your life.
- An attorney can take your case to court: Finally, although most lawsuits settle, there is always a chance that your case will go all the way to trial. If your case does proceed to trial, your wrongful death attorney will handle the process from beginning to end, doing whatever it takes to increase the odds of a successful verdict.
How are damages in a wrongful death case calculated?
Wrongful death damages include losses suffered as a result of the death of your loved one. In order to calculate the damages in a wrongful death case, the following types of losses are considered:
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost inheritance
- Lost maintenance, services, support, and advice
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship, society, comfort, and love
If your case proceeds to trial, the court will determine how to divide these damages among you and your surviving family members. However, the dollar amount of damages is different in every case. Therefore, in order to obtain an accurate estimate of what your case may be worth, you should contact an attorney for assistance.