If you are interested in learning more about wrongful death law in Houston, this article is the right place for you. Losing a loved one is extremely painful, and the grieving process can be made even more difficult if your loved one died due to a preventable cause, like a car accident, negligence by a hospital, or another such problem.
If one of your loved ones died a wrongful death in Houston, you should know the basics about wrongful death lawsuits. Read on, and get the details now.
What Is A Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim can be brought against any defendant who has caused someone else’s death, either negligently, or through intentional harm. The “estate” of the deceased can file a lawsuit against the person who is liable for their death, on behalf of affected parties like surviving family members.
A negligent wrongful death could be applicable if a victim dies due to medical malpractice, negligence at the workplace (such as non-OSHA-compliant equipment), a car accident, or any other such problem.
Intentional harm lawsuits can be brought against individuals who purposefully caused someone’s death. For example, if a nursing home assistant purposefully did not administer medication to a patient in need, and the person died as a result, this could be construed as intentional harm.
These are just a few examples. Wrongful death claims can be brought about in a huge number of personal injury situations.
What Needs To Be Proven In A Wrongful Death Suit?
The plaintiff – usually the estate of the deceased person – must prove that the defendant is liable for the death of the individual in question.
For example, in a negligence case, it must be proven that the defendant had a duty of care to the individual, and that this duty of care was breached – directly resulting in the death of the victim.
The causation of the death must also be proven. For example, if a nurse administers an improper dose of morphine, which results in death, this must be proven in a court of law.
Finally, damages must be determined – there must be quantifiable damages such as lost wages, medical expenses, burial and funeral costs, pain and suffering, and more.
Who Can File Wrongful Death Claims?
Usually, a wrongful death claim is filed by one of the representatives of the deceased individuals’ estate – on behalf of those who survived the victim, and had a relationship with them.
In Houston, the parents, children, or spouse of the individual in question can file a claim for wrongful death. Children can do so even after the age of 18. The siblings of the deceased and their grandparents are not allowed to file a wrongful death claim, however.
Any one of these family members can file a claim, and they can also file jointly, as the state of Texas does not require any one particular individual to file.
If none of the family members file a wrongful death claim within 3 months of death, the executor of the deceased individual can file a claim on the behalf of their estate. The only exception to this is if a family member who is eligible to file their own claim blocks the estate from filing this claim.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
There are many different damages that can be recovered from a wrongful death lawsuit. In the State of Texas, damages are typically awarded to all family members affected by the death, as assigned by the judge or jury.
These damages can include pain and suffering, loss of love and companionship, funeral and burial costs, loss of the person’s income, loss of inheritance, loss of services the deceased individual provided, and much more.
Understand The Basics Of Wrongful Death Law In Houston – And Pursue Your Claim
Now that you understand how wrongful death lawsuits work in Texas and Houston, it will be easy for you to consult with an wrongful death lawyer Houston, and see if you have a case for the death of a loved one, and may be able to recover damages for your pain, suffering, and the premature loss of a family member.
Published by Charlesa Gibson