The passing of a loved one can change your life in a flash. Your reaction to such a tragic event might involve taking some time for yourself and your family to grieve. It can mean spending time together and getting mental and emotional support to cope with your sudden loss. No matter how you choose to channel your grief, one of the last things you want to do is tackle a wrongful death/survival insurance claim or lawsuit.
If you believe that someone’s negligent, reckless, or malicious actions caused or contributed to your loved one’s death, you should speak with our wrongful death and survival lawyers in Houston immediately. While your family recovers, our legal team at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® can fight for your claim with compassion and conviction.
Do Not Delay Fighting for Your Family’s Recovery
In addition to the pain and emotional trauma, it brings, losing a loved one can result in financial woes, particularly if you relied on the person’s income to help pay your bills. Your weakened emotional state could potentially affect your own earning capacity, exacerbating your money problems further. A wrongful death and survival settlement can provide you with much-deserved financial recovery for your loved one’s death, potentially easing the budgetary stress that often follows tragedy.
A wrongful death claim for the loss of a child is not limited to the parents, but also includes siblings and grandparents. The wrongful death statute does not create any new cause of action; it merely provides a remedy for an existing cause of action.
Texas law does not provide an unlimited window to file your lawsuit. The state’s statute of limitations on wrongful death and survival actions is generally two years from the day of the incident that caused your loved one’s death. While a proper grieving process is understandably your priority, it is important to meet with an attorney to discuss your legal options as soon as possible.
We understand this is a difficult time in your life, perhaps the most emotionally wrenching thing you have ever gone through. While your loved one’s life was priceless, we can help you gain a measure of closure by demanding accountability from the responsible party or parties. We fight for fair recovery, helping ease any financial burden your loved one’s death has caused.
What Are Wrongful Death and Survival Damages?
In certain situations involving the loss of a person you love, you could receive financial recovery from the person, persons, or entity that caused or contributed to your loved one’s death. Our team will prove the at-fault party’s actions or failure to act led to your loved one’s passing.
Generally, if the negligence or misconduct of someone else was a factor in the death of your loved one, Texas law allows you and other family members to file a claim for monetary damages from the responsible party or parties. You can request monetary recovery for the following damages:
- Your loved one’s medical bills related to their accident and fatal injuries
- The costs of making your loved one’s final arrangements and burial
- Recovery of the loss of their contributions to your family
Your financial recovery will also cover mental anguish, emotional pain, loss of companionship, and similar non-tangible losses that occur following the death of a loved one. Non-tangible losses are those that have no specific dollar value.
What Determines if a Wrongful Death and Survival Case Is Valid?
If we can demonstrate that an individual or entity did not behave responsibly and caused or contributed to your loved one’s death, we could have a strong claim for wrongful death and survival damages.
The specific elements of a successful wrongful death case include:
- Proof that the at-fault party had a duty of care to your loved one
- Evidence that he or she breached this duty
- Proof that these wrongful actions caused or contributed to the loss of your loved one
We collect evidence that proves these elements of negligence, including:
- Your loved one’s medical records and bills
- Accident and incident reports related to their death
- Written and verbal statements from available witnesses
- Any available photographic or video images
The evidence we collect for you will tell the story of your loved one’s demise. It will help you identify the at-fault party and negotiate a favorable settlement. Our team presents it to the at-fault party’s insurer and uses it to strengthen your request for recoverable damages and our position during settlement negotiations.
Common Types of Wrongful Death and Survival Claims
Many situations exist that can trigger a wrongful death and survival claim. Anytime the circumstances of your loved one’s death meet the criteria listed above, we can pursue the party in question for damages and have a strong chance of winning.
Some common situations that lead to wrongful death actions include the following.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
If another driver’s careless or reckless actions caused a collision that resulted in your loved one’s death, our car accident lawyer can pursue a case against that driver. We also handle pedestrian, motorcycle, and bicycle accident cases.
If the accident that killed your loved one involved an 18-wheeler, we can potentially go after both the individual driver and the trucking company. This is because trucking companies have vicarious liability for employees’ actions. In some cases, we can also seek damages from the company that built the truck or the companies that built its parts.
Many wrongful death cases result from preventable on-the-job accidents. If your loved one was fatally injured in a workplace accident, we may be able to pursue wrongful death damages from a third party, such as a site owner or equipment manufacturer.
If your loved one met their demise while under the care of a negligent medical professional, they may have suffered medical malpractice. In this case, we may be able to pursue the individual and the medical facility where your loved one received treatment.
Sadly, wrongful death cases sometimes involve homicides. Even if a judge or jury cleared the individual of criminal charges, we might still have a valid wrongful death claim because the evidence threshold in civil court is significantly lower than the requirements of a criminal case.
Who Can Receive Wrongful Death Damages?
The following parties qualify to receive wrongful death damages after losing a loved one to another party’s negligent, reckless, or malicious actions:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving parents
- Surviving children
In cases of extreme negligence, recklessness, or malicious behavior, we can also pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages are rare and are additional recovery a judge or jury orders as punishment for the at-fault party’s behavior. We will review your case to determine if this could be an option for you.
Wrongful Death Claims
There are a variety of reasons that may lead to the loss of a loved one, and each situation is unique. If your family member has been killed in an accident caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness, you may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and other losses. The Houston personal injury lawyers at the law firm of D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can help with all types of wrongful death cases, including those involving car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, construction site accidents, nursing home abuse, dog bites, defective products, and more. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Contact us today to learn how we can help you recover compensation for your losses.
In Texas, there are two main types of wrongful death claims: survival actions and wrongful death actions. A survival action allows the decedent’s estate to pursue any legal rights they had when they died. This includes causes of action such as fraud, breach of contract, and intentional torts. A wrongful death action only allows beneficiaries to pursue claims that would have existed if the decedent were still alive. These include claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship.
In addition to these two main categories, there are also several other types of wrongful death claims which exist under specific circumstances. For example, there is a cause of action available to certain members of the military who died while serving overseas. There is also a cause of action available for victims of domestic violence. And there is even a cause of action available when someone dies due to the fault of a corporation. These three examples are just some of the many different situations where people can bring wrongful death lawsuits.
If you believe that a third party was responsible for causing your relative’s death, you should contact a lawyer right away. You will need to file a lawsuit against the person or company that was allegedly responsible for your relative’s death. In order to win this type of case, you must prove that the defendant acted negligently. Negligence means that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would act under similar circumstances.
How Our Team Builds Your Wrongful Death and Survival Case
The process of getting monetary recovery for your family’s loss can be long and exhausting. You do not have to be overwhelmed by the details of building your case and proving your right to recovery. When we represent you, our law firm will do the following:
- Listen to your version of the events that led to your loved one’s demise
- Identify and contact the liable party and their insurance provider
- Read and review your loved one’s medical records
- Identify and consult medical and industry experts as needed
- Identify, locate, and interview witnesses
Few personal injury cases are resolved in court versus with a settlement. When we handle your case, we track and collect your evidence. The strength of your evidence can help steer settlement negotiations in your favor. We fight hard to ensure you get the monetary recovery your family deserves.
Reviews and Recommendations From Previous Clients
When they talk about working with our law firm to resolve personal injury cases, our previous clients say:
- Sherry Creech: Very hardworking people. Helped me when I could find no one. THANK YOU. We Are SO GRATEFUL…Recommend D. MILLER and ASSOCIATES PLLC to all that need a hardworking dedicated team of professionals.
- Adrianne Frencl: Every time I’ve called, they have been very courteous and attentive. They also answered all the questions I had regarding my case and made me feel like they truly care about my claim.
Read more reviews like these on our client testimonials page. They can give you insight into our commitment to outstanding client service.
Call Our D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® Team for Help With Your Wrongful Death and Survival Case
Has your family lost one of its members due to negligence? If so, you could be entitled to monetary recovery. The legal team at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® is here to fight for your rights during this trying time in your life. For a free case evaluation with one of our wrongful death team members, call our office today.
Related Frequently Asked Questions
- How Long Do I Have to Report a Car Accident to Insurance in Texas?
- How Should You Deal With Your Insurance Company After an Auto Accident?
- What Is the Deadline to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit from an Auto Accident in Texas?
- Does Pain And Suffering Include Medical Bills?
- What Happens If You Can No Longer Work After a Car Accident?