When you lose a loved one in an accident, coping with the emotional trauma is priority number one. There are many issues to deal with, from financial notices to funeral arrangements, making the aftermath of your loved one’s death feel like a blur.
While legal matters may not be in the forefront of your mind, you need to discuss your right to compensation with a wrongful death lawyer in Katy as soon as possible. You and your family may be able pursue a wrongful death claim to recover your financial losses, but there is a time limit on how long you have to file the claim.
The personal injury attorneys at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can help. We will investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death, identify the responsible party, and pursue the compensation you need to move forward. Call us at 713-850-8600 today to schedule a free consultation. We can tell you if you qualify for damages and explain your legal options moving forward.
Do I Qualify to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The main factor in determining eligibility for a wrongful death claim is whether the death was “wrongful,” meaning it occurred because of the negligence of another party.
According to Texas Code Ann. § 71.002, you can hold someone liable for damages if they caused your loved one’s death through a wrongful act, careless behavior, unskillfulness, neglect, or default. If your loved one’s injury happened because of unsafe conditions at certain locations, such as railroads, steam boats, industrial plants, and public utilities, we can hold the site owner or proprietor responsible.
In addition to proving how a wrongful act caused your loved one’s death, you must show that you sustained financial losses to qualify for damages. Our attorneys understand how to obtain the compelling evidence necessary to prove your case. We can file your wrongful death claim according to the legal guidelines in Texas.
What Types of Wrongful Death Cases Does D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, Accept?
Our legal team has been helping families with all types of wrongful death claims since 2002. Our attorneys have the skills and resources to take on even the toughest cases.
Some of the most common types of wrongful death claims we manage involve:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents;
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Workplace accidents;
- Defective products and dangerous medications;
- Negligent security; and
- Acts of violence.
Even if your loved one’s accident did not involve the situations above, we may still be able to help. If someone else caused the accident, we will fight for compensation for you and your family members.
Which Family Members Are Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Each state provides parameters for wrongful death claims, including which family members are eligible to pursue damages. In Texas, only the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased can recover damages through a wrongful death claim. No other parties, such as the deceased’s siblings or grandparents, are eligible for wrongful death beneficiary status.
If you are unsure of your status, our attorneys can examine your case to determine if you can file a wrongful death claim.
What Types of Losses Are Compensable With a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death beneficiaries can recover both compensatory and exemplary—or punitive—damages. This includes compensation for future losses related to your loved one’s death. Since every case is different, we create a comprehensive damage evaluation for each of our clients to ensure they receive a fair award.
Examples of losses you may recover include:
- Loss of the deceased’s future earnings;
- The value of care, services, support, maintenance, and advice the deceased would have provided;
- Mental and emotional anguish from losing your loved one;
- The value of the loss of love, companionship, and consortium;
- Loss of inheritance; and
- Punitive damages, if the at-fault party caused your loved one’s death by acting with willful misconduct or gross negligence.
How Will the Court Divvy the Damages Among the Beneficiaries?
The court will grant a damage award and apportion the damages as per its discretion. In Texas, the jury in a court case has the power to award damages that are proportionate to the damages your loved one’s death caused.
The court then divides that award between the qualified beneficiaries in the claim. In your case, that means you will share the damage award among the rest of your loved one’s survivors.
How Will a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help My Case?
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, we have made it our mission to help hurting families in the wake of crisis handle their legal matters and obtain the maximum compensation possible. With our compassionate, personal approach, we listen to your story and counsel you on how to proceed.
There are various ways our team can be of assistance. We can:
- Investigate the facts surrounding your loved one’s death and determine liability;
- Explain your rights in a no-nonsense manner and give you a realistic overview of what you can expect with the claims process;
- Be the point of contact for the insurance companies and initiate the claim;
- Collect evidence and financial documents to support your claim;
- Take the time to understand all the ways in which your loved one’s death has affected your family and obtain a detailed damage assessment;
- Negotiate with the insurer for a larger sum; and
- Take the case to court, if need be, and continue to advocate for your rights during litigation.
Can I Afford a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Katy?
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, we work on a contingency basis. This means that our recovery is contingent upon you winning. We only collect our legal fees out of your settlement and you do not have to pay anything out-of-pocket. If you decide to use our services, we will explain our fee percentage handling costs in a transparent fee agreement.
Generally, if you do not win your case, you will not have to pay legal fees, so there is no risk in retaining our firm. Contact us today at 713-850-8600 for a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in Katy.