Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer

Austin wrongful death lawyerIf you have lost a loved one in an accident, you may be wondering where to turn for help. Money can’t undo the death of someone you love, but it can compensate for some of the pain and financial consequences. If your loved one died due to another party’s actions, you might be able to hold the wrongdoer responsible.

An Austin wrongful death lawyer can help you seek justice for your loved one and provide you with the resources you need to move forward. At Loewy Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers understand how difficult it is to process the loss of a family member. Our team strives to provide compassionate, assertive legal representation to those affected by wrongful death. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you through a free legal consultation.

What Is Considered a Wrongful Death in Texas?

The Texas Wrongful Death Statute lists specific elements that must be present for a successful wrongful death case. Under Texas Statutes section 71.001, a death must be caused by one or more of the following to be considered wrongful:

  • The carelessness of another party: This includes situations where someone acts carelessly and causes an accident resulting in another person’s death.
  • The neglect of another party: This includes any failure to provide care or attention that results in the victim’s death.
  • The default of another party: This refers to a failure to fulfill an obligation.
  • The unskillfulness of another party: This refers to lack of skill or expertise by a professional, resulting in the victim’s death. Examples include medical malpractice cases like botched surgery or inadequate treatment by a doctor.
  • The wrongful act of another party: This refers to any intentional actions resulting in the victim’s death, including murder, assault, and other crimes.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

When a person dies due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another, their surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. In Texas, this includes:

  • Spouses (including separate, divorce, and common law spouses)
  • Parents
  • Legally adoptive parents
  • Biological children
  • Legally adopted children
  • Adult children

Who Cannot File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Other relatives
  • Long-term unmarried partners
  • Step-parents
  • Foster Parents
  • Foster children

In some cases, the relatives of the deceased may file a lawsuit jointly on behalf of their loved one. They may also file separately.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when another person’s negligence or intentional act causes someone’s death. Some of the common causes of wrongful death in Austin, Texas, include:

  • Construction Accidents: Construction sites can be incredibly dangerous places due to hazardous equipment, high levels of noise and debris, and other conditions. Injuries suffered at construction sites often result in wrongful death claims due to the negligence of employers or other parties.
  • Car accidents: Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes of wrongful death in the United States. A driver operating their vehicle in an unsafe manner or under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be held liable for any injury or death caused by their negligence.
  • Boating accidents: When someone is out on the water, they may face the dangers of sudden storms, collisions with other boats, and drowning. Boat owners must obey all safety regulations and take proper precautions while operating their boats to protect others, and they may be liable if they fail to do so.
  • Motorcycle accidents: Motorcycle accidents can cause devastating injuries and death due to the vulnerability of motorcyclists on the open road. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to the negligence of others, such as distracted drivers or those who fail to yield the right of way.
  • Premises liability: Property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe and secure for anyone who enters their property. If they fail to do so, they can be held liable for any injury or death resulting from their negligence.
  • Bike Accidents: When a car collides with a bicycle, the result can be devastating. Because bikes and their riders are extremely vulnerable while on the road with cars, the bicyclist’s injuries can be severe.

What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Action?

wrongful death attorneys in AustinA wrongful death lawsuit may not address all the financial details associated with the sudden death of a loved one. In Texas, survivors of the deceased may choose to file a survival action alongside a wrongful death claim. In a survival action, the compensation is similar to what the victim could have recovered had they survived and filed the lawsuit themselves.

A survival action allows plaintiffs to sue for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced before their wrongful death, medical bills incurred due to the incident, lost wages, and property damage. By bringing both claims together, families can seek justice for their loved one’s wrongful death and compensation for medical costs and other damages.

Possible Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

When a wrongful death occurs, families may face considerable financial hardship. Fortunately, under Texas law, wrongful death victims’ surviving family members have the right to seek monetary compensation for their losses through a wrongful death claim. These claims may allow the family to recover compensation for:

  • Mental distress: Mental distress refers to emotional suffering caused by losing a loved one.
  • Loss of inheritance from the decedent’s life being cut short in the accident: This refers to any money or assets that the deceased would have likely left behind had they not been killed.
  • Loss of income: Loss of income refers to any earnings or benefits the deceased would have received had they lived, including wages, salary, pension, and other benefits that would have been available to the deceased had they lived.
  • Loss of the decedent’s support and companionship: Loss of support refers to the loss of companionship, comfort, advice, guidance, or protection that the deceased would have provided had they lived.
  • Loss of household services: This refers to any services the deceased provided around the house, including childcare, maintenance and repairs, housekeeping, and other services the deceased would have provided had they lived.
  • Loss of the decedent’s guidance and support: This refers to any guidance and support that the deceased would have provided to the family, such as advice or comfort.

What is the Wrongful Death Claim Process?

The wrongful death claim process can be confusing and emotionally taxing, especially when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. However, it is helpful to understand the legal process so that you can take the necessary steps toward seeking justice. The wrongful death claim process typically involves the following:

  1. Evaluating your claim and identifying liable parties: First, an experienced wrongful death attorney will evaluate whether you have a valid wrongful death claim and identify all liable parties. This includes researching applicable state laws and regulations, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and establishing negligence on the part of the responsible party.
  2. Calculating the damages: After determining who is liable for the death, an attorney will help you calculate the damages you can seek from the wrongful death, including compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
  3. Filing an insurance claim: Your lawyer may then file an insurance claim seeking compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
  4. Negotiating a settlement: An experienced attorney can negotiate with the insurance company toward a fair and favorable settlement.
  5. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit: Your attorney and the insurance company may not be able to reach a settlement. If this happens, your attorney can help you file and pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.

Wrongful Death Claims vs. Criminal Cases

When a wrongful death occurs, the responsible party can face criminal charges. However, these criminal cases aim to punish the wrongdoer and not to help the deceased’s family recover. A separate action for wrongful death should be filed in civil court to seek damages from the liable party. In most cases, you can file a wrongful death claim even if there is no conviction or criminal charges issued.

How an Austin Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

Wrongful death lawyerA wrongful death attorney in Austin from the Loewy Law Firm can provide invaluable legal help in the event of a wrongful death. A qualified wrongful death lawyer will assist you through the complicated process of filing a wrongful death claim and make sure to meet all legal requirements. They will also evaluate your case, advise you on how best to pursue compensation, and represent you in negotiations and court. In addition, your Austin wrongful death attorney will strive to protect your rights throughout the process and ensure that justice is served.

Speak With an Wrongful Death Lawyer in Austin Today

If your loved one was a victim of wrongful death, it is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Our Austin wrongful death law firm has a proven track record of success in restoring justice for those injured by another person’s negligence. Contact us today for a free legal case review to learn more.