Houston Wrongful Death Attorneys Advocate for You.
Losing a family member to an accident is absolutely devastating. Our Houston wrongful death attorneys are here to help grieving families. We want to provide aid during this difficult time. The death of a family member can cause intense mental anguish, pain, and suffering for the survivors. These damages are compounded when another person’s negligent or reckless actions are to blame.
Located in Houston, Texas, the Cobos Law Firm serves a broad range of clients throughout Texas and across the nation. Our personal injury attorneys have helped numerous families obtain compensation following a wrongful death incident. When you need help, our wrongful death lawyers are ready to advocate for you and your family.
If you have lost someone you love in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact our Houston personal injury law firm.
What Is a “Wrongful Death” Lawsuit?
The easiest way to define the term “wrongful death” is when a person’s negligent or intentional actions cause the death of another person. In such a case, the family members of the deceased person are entitled to compensation. This compensation helps them recover from the loss suffered by those family members.
A wrongful death claims exists if a family member dies due to the negligence of another individual. This might be in a refinery explosion, a vehicle collision, an eighteen-wheeler truck wreck, or doctor or hospital malpractice. It can also include a bar that overserves its customers (called a “dram shop” action).
Wrongful death laws in Texas and across the United States provide a way for the family members of the deceased individual to obtain compensation from the responsible parties who caused the death of their loved one.
Who Can File a “Wrongful Death” Lawsuit?
Certain family members can file a “wrongful death” lawsuit. This includes the surviving spouse, the children, and the parents of the deceased individual. An adopted child may file a lawsuit if the adoption was fully and legally completed.
What Is a “Survival” Lawsuit?
Like a wrongful death, a survival lawsuit provides a way for family members to obtain compensation following the death of a family member. A “wrongful death” action focuses on the loss suffered by the family members. However, a “survival” action focuses on the pain and suffering of the deceased individual.
In a survival action, the estate of the deceased individual would bring a legal action on behalf of the deceased individual. Any compensation awarded to the estate would then be distributed in accordance with the last will of the deceased individual.
What to Know About Texas Wrongful Death and Survival Lawsuits
When a person or company acts in a way that causes the death of another person, the responsible parties can be held liable to the perished individual’s family members under Texas law. Following such an incident, the family members of the deceased individual can file a wrongful death and survival lawsuit against the responsible parties. Such a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the deceased individual’s death.
A “wrongful death” claim is separate and distinct from a “survival” claim. However, both sets of claims are most frequently brought in the same lawsuit. Wrongful death or survival lawsuits hold a severe nature and high damage amounts (often millions of dollars). In turn, it is common for these lawsuits to require extensive discovery. This process can last for many months.
In a wrongful death claim, the standard of proof is the “preponderance of evidence.” This means that the victim’s family members must show that it is more likely than not that the Defendant caused the death.
Oftentimes, it is difficult to identify all the responsible individuals following a death. Sometimes it is obvious which person or company caused the incident, such as in a car crash caused by texting and driving. Other times, it is difficult to identify all the responsible parties, such as a refinery explosion where numerous subcontractors were involved in plant operations.
Many attorneys and law firms solely focus on only the most obvious defendants. In turn, these attorneys leave money on the table and fail to hold accountable many defendants. When considering whether to file a wrongful death or survival lawsuit, it is important to find a trustworthy law firm that will seek to hold all responsible individuals and companies accountable.
What Damages Can Be Obtained from a Wrongful Death or Survival Lawsuit?
An experienced wrongful death and survival attorney will file a lawsuit seeking compensation for family members for their non-economic and economic damages. This includes loss of companionship and death-related expenses. Such expenses can put a financial strain on the family, and include:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Funeral Expenses
- Grievance and Bereavement
- Other relevant expenses
While monetary awards cannot bring back the deceased individual, the jury will work to establish an amount that recognizes the harm caused by the responsible party and compensates the family member. Obtaining full compensation requires a highly skilled lawyer. They must express the emotional stress, pain and suffering, and the desolation the family went through because of the responsible party’s actions.
Why Choose the Cobos Law Firm for Your Wrongful Death or Survival Lawsuit?
The Cobos Law Firm team is aggressive and committed to ensuring that responsible individuals and companies are held accountable for negligent actions. Our Houston personal injury attorneys understand the nuances of wrongful death and survival actions. We have experience with many types of wrongful death cases.
- Car accidents
- 18-wheeler truck accidents
- Fire-related incidents
- Deaths related to defective products
At the Cobos Law Firm, our consultations are always free. This provides you an opportunity to evaluate our team. In turn, you can understand the strategic mindset, aggressive demeanor, and winning mentality that sets us apart. Moreover, we offer contingency legal agreements, which means that the existence and size of our attorney fee depends exclusively on how well we do for you.
Give us a call today or fill out our online form to begin the process of filing your wrongful death or survival lawsuit.
Houston Wrongful Death Attorney FAQs
In wrongful death cases, state law specifies what individuals may qualify for compensation. Texas law states that a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased can bring a wrongful death action.
However, any family member can and should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney after an accident. Depending on the circumstances of the case, there are possible exceptions to the rule.
The value of a wrongful death case differs significantly from a case that only involves bodily injury. This is simply because it is difficult to put a value on human life. Wrongful death cases have numerous factors that influence case value, including the venue in which the case is filed.
For this reason, it is important to hire an attorney who understands the value behind maximizing the recovery for the family members of the perished individual.
Loss of companionship and society refers to damages recovered by the loss of a loved one. The damages usually included are love, care, affection, comfort, and protection that the relative would otherwise have received.
Loss of companionship and society is merely one of the many reasons a family member of a deceased individual deserves compensation.
Although difficult, it is possible to obtain punitive damages in Texas. In Texas, these are also called exemplary damages. Punitive damages are any monies awarded strictly as a penalty against the Defendant. Moreover, the intent is to deter similar future actions by that Defendant.
Texas courts set limits regarding punitive damages in lawsuits. Such measures passed the Texas state legislature as part of “tort reform” and now exist as a consideration when assessing case value. The litigation process reviews all damages, and maximum compensation for our clients remains our singular goal.