Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers

Wrongful Death Attorneys in Texas with $20+ Billion Won

There is nothing more devastating than losing someone you love in an accident, especially when caused by another party's reckless or negligent actions. At Arnold & Itkin, we have worked on some of the most challenging and emotional wrongful death cases imaginable. Spouses who lost their life partners. People who lost family members. Each time we take on a case like this, it's serious to us. The emotion is high. The stakes are higher.

When you look at our track record, you'll see that no other law firm in Texas has accomplished what we have. That's because we're all in for our clients, no matter what.

The best advice we can give you is that if you lost someone you love, call us right away. When you meet with a Houston wrongful death attorney from our legal team, you'll start the process of getting answers. We have offices in Houston, Dallas, Midland, and Baton Rouge, and we serve clients from coast to coast. We understand what you are going through, and our lawyers consider it our responsibility to ensure that you and your family are justly compensated for your loss.

Abogados de lesiones personales en Houston

Compassionate Help for the Grieving

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Why You Can Trust Our Houston Wrongful Death Law Firm

  • We have won more than $20 billion on behalf of our clients.
  • You do not pay unless we win. We take all the risk.
  • We have won cases for clients from all 50 states.
  • We have won cases that set both state and national records.
  • We offer completely free and confidential consultations.

Examples of Wrongful Cases Our Texas Firm Has Won

Our Texas wrongful death attorneys made history when we represented the mother of a young woman who was in her apartment when a crane collapsed. After the fatal crane accident, her mother reached out to our law firm, and we took on the case. The primary wrongdoer was Greystar, a real estate developer that failed to secure the crane properly following a storm forecast. Despite this failure, the company refused to take responsibility for the incident, so we took them to court.

The jury saw through the defendant’s tactics and awarded a record-breaking $860 million verdict  on behalf of our client.

Other wrongful death cases we have won include the following:

  • $222 million verdict for the widow of a man who was killed in a fatal industrial accident.
  • $209 million verdict for the family of a fatally injured oilfield worker.
  • $81 million settlement for two adult children who lose their mother in an incident.
  • $44.6 million settlement for three refinery workers who were severely or fatally injured.
  • $29 million settlement for a fatal offshore accident.
  • $27.7 million verdict for a fatal offshore oil rig accident.
  • $10 million settlement for a family who lost two loved ones in a truck accident.
  • $8.9 million settlement for a family who lost their father in a fatal motor vehicle accident.

Our Texas wrongful death lawyers at Arnold & Itkin have been there for grieving families throughout the country—helping them hold negligent companies responsible, dealing with complicated proceedings involving insurance companies, and finding the truth. To see for yourself, we encourage you to browse through our victories

Recent Wrongful Death Cases We’ve Filed

When you have lost someone you love, we are the Texas wrongful death law firm to call. We handle cases from coast to coast, representing clients from every state, and we are known for our results in wrongful death claims. 

Just some of our recent wrongful death claims include the following:

To learn more about cases our firm is involved with, check out our firm's latest news and updates.

Do You Need to Hire a Local Wrongful Death Lawyer?

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a situation where one individual's negligent or intentional actions lead to the death of another person. Laws exist to offer civil recourse for those grieving the loss of a loved one under such circumstances. Each state has distinct statutes governing wrongful death claims, encompassing the time frame within which a survivor may file a claim, the eligible individuals who can file a claim, and the types of damages that may be awarded. While wrongful death can be broad, it does not cover just any kind of incident that causes death; there must be a link to negligence or recklessness.

For example, the following incidents could qualify as wrongful death claims if they result in death:

Wrongful death claims offer families a way to hold the responsible parties accountable, separate from any criminal proceedings. This is particularly vital when a corporation is at fault, as a wrongful death lawsuit might represent the sole avenue for recourse. Families filing wrongful death suits seek monetary damages for the financial and emotional impact of their loss, including lost income, medical expenses incurred prior to death, and compensation for their pain and suffering. Unlike criminal cases, wrongful death claims require proving the case by a "preponderance of the evidence," meaning the evidence must show it is more likely than not that the defendant's actions led to the wrongful death. This shifts the burden to the defendants, challenging them to prove their actions did not result in the fatal outcome.

Key Elements in a Texas Wrongful Death Claim

In Texas, the success of a wrongful death lawsuit hinges on clearly demonstrating negligence. 

This process involves proving several key elements that, together, confirm the validity of the claim:

  • Duty of Care: It must be established that the defendant had a responsibility to act safely toward the deceased. This duty varies depending on the situation but generally requires acting as a reasonably careful person would.
  • Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must prove the defendant failed to meet this duty through their actions or lack of action, showing a disregard for the safety of the deceased. This breach must be directly connected to the death.
  • Causation: It's crucial to link the defendant's breach of duty directly to the deceased's death. This step involves presenting clear evidence that outlines how the defendant's actions or inaction set the stage for the tragic event.
  • Damages: Plaintiffs need to quantify the financial and emotional losses resulting from the death.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas

In Texas, wrongful death cases arise from various tragic circumstances, each leaving families grappling with unexpected loss and seeking justice. Some common causes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Car Accidents: Texas roads witness a significant number of fatal accidents involving cars every single year. Often, these accidents result from reckless driving, intoxication, or negligence. If a person was killed in a traffic accident due to another driver running a red light, a wrongful death claim may potentially be filed against the driver who broke traffic laws. In some cases involving work vehicles, the lawsuit could be filed against a company that hired the driver if it can be proven that the company was negligent. Additionally, if the same accident involved a defective airbag that failed to deploy, an auto product liability claim could also be brought against the airbag and vehicle manufacturer. 
  • Truck Accidents: The presence of heavy commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers, on Texas roads significantly increases the risk of fatal accidents. These tragedies often result from issues like driver fatigue, overloaded cargo, or lack of proper maintenance. In instances where a truck driver's negligence or a company's failure to ensure safe operating conditions leads to a fatal crash, the victim's family might have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. 
  • Work Accidents: Especially prevalent in high-risk industries such as construction, oil and gas, and manufacturing, workplace fatalities can occur due to unsafe work environments, inadequate training, or failure to adhere to safety regulations. For example, if a company failed to maintain equipment in a refinery and that failure was responsible for a refinery explosion that killed a worker, a wrongful death claim may be able to be brought against the company.
  • Industrial Accidents: Fatalities in industrial settings, such as explosions, equipment failures, and harmful exposure to toxic substances, underscore the critical importance of safety protocols. Should an industrial accident result from the employer's negligence or safety violations, the deceased's family may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death action.
  • Offshore Accidents: The dangerous work environment of offshore oil rigs, commercial fishing vessels, and maritime transportation can lead to deadly incidents, including ship collisions and falls overboard. Families of those who have been lost in fatal maritime accidents might seek compensation through wrongful death claims.
  • Defective Products: Fatal accidents can also occur due to consumer goods, automotive components, or industrial machinery failing because of design or manufacturing defects. In such cases, manufacturers could be held accountable for wrongful death, providing families a path to claim damages for their loss.

What Are Survival Damages in Texas?

In Texas, "survival damages" represent a category of compensation available through a "survival action." This type of claim is initiated by the estate of a deceased individual to recover damages and losses that the deceased would have been entitled to claim had they survived. Essentially, the survival action concept allows the legal rights and claims of the deceased to persist beyond their death, pursued by their estate or appointed personal representative on their behalf.

Components of survival damages can encompass a range of losses, including:

  • Medical expenses incurred by the deceased person because of the injury leading to their death.
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before their death.
  • Lost wages or earning capacity from the time of injury until the time of death.

How Are Survival Actions & Wrongful Death Claims Different?

It's crucial to differentiate survival damages from the compensation sought in wrongful death claims. While wrongful death actions are filed by the surviving family members to address the financial and emotional impact of their loss, survival actions are focused on redressing the damages the deceased incurred personally prior to death. This distinction underscores the comprehensive approach of Texas law in addressing the multifaceted impact of a person's untimely death, ensuring both the rights of the deceased and their families are represented and respected in the pursuit of justice.

Wrongful Death: Protecting Minors with Guardian Ad Litem

In Texas, when wrongful death compensation involves minors, legal safeguards are in place to protect their interests. This is where the role of a guardian ad litem (GAL) becomes critical. Courts appoint a GAL to represent children in these cases, recognizing that minors lack the legal capacity and experience to manage their financial affairs, especially in the context of receiving compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. A guardian ad litem is tasked with ensuring the child's rights and interests are adequately represented throughout the legal process. This includes advocating for a fair and just portion of the compensation that accurately reflects the child's loss and future needs. The GAL serves as an independent voice, evaluating the circumstances and making recommendations to the court on behalf of the minor.

Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyer in Houston: (888) 493-1629

If you have recently lost someone you love in a fatal accident, we encourage you to contact our Houston wrongful death attorneys immediately. No matter whether the incident involved a motor vehicle crash or the use of a defective drug, we have the experience you need to investigate your claim and take the necessary legal steps properly.

We have been successful in recovering billions on behalf of our clients.

For example, our Texas wrongful death law firm helped represent the family of a 58-year-old man who was killed after falling 12 feet in a parking lot while on the job. We took on the case and found that the parking lot violated OSHA and ANSI regulations—namely for the fact that it was missing a guardrail. Attorney Jason Itkin tried the case for 6 days and was able to recover a $2.9 million verdict—even though the defendant's pre-trial settlement offer was only $200,000.

We are experienced, aggressive trial lawyers who are committed to your success. We encourage you to read more about our firm or browse our victories. If you want to discuss your case, call (888) 493-1629. We offer a completely free and confidential consultation of your case. We are here to help guide you through the legal process.

Do not hesitate to call (888) 493-1629 or fill out our online case evaluation form

Common Questions

  • Can You Sue for Wrongful Death in Texas?

    Yes, you can sue for wrongful death in Texas. Under the Texas Wrongful Death Act (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 71), surviving family members and the deceased's estate may bring a wrongful death claim when the death is caused by the negligence, carelessness, unskillfulness, or wrongful act of another party.

  • Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?

    In Texas, a wrongful death suit can be filed by specific surviving family members of the deceased, as outlined in the Texas Wrongful Death Act. The eligible individuals who can file a wrongful death claim include the spouse of the deceased, children of the deceased (including legally adopted children), and parents of the deceased (including adoptive parents). Siblings and other relatives are not eligible to file in Texas. If the eligible family members do not initiate a claim within the time limit, the personal representative or executor of the deceased person's estate may file the wrongful death claim unless a family member requests explicitly that a suit not be filed.

  • Who Is Entitled to Compensation in a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

    In Texas, compensation awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit is typically distributed among the eligible surviving family members. The distribution of compensation depends on the specific circumstances of each case. The court may consider various factors, such as the extent of each family member's financial dependence on the deceased, the degree of emotional suffering, and the nature of their relationship with the deceased. In some cases, the court may award a portion of the compensation to the deceased person's estate, which can then be distributed according to the deceased's will or the state's intestacy laws if there is no valid will.

  • What Is the Average Payout for Wrongful Death in Texas?

    While it's impossible to provide an exact average payout, both settlements and jury verdicts in wrongful death cases can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars—depending on the case's specific circumstances. It is difficult to provide a specific average payout for wrongful death cases in Texas, as each case is unique and depends on various factors. These factors include the circumstances surrounding the death, the amount of economic and non-economic damages, and the specific details of each case.

  • How Long Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take in Texas?

    Generally, a wrongful death lawsuit may take several months to a few years to reach a resolution. Some cases may settle relatively quickly through negotiations, while others may require extensive investigation, discovery, and a trial, which can extend the duration of the process. The duration of a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas can vary significantly depending on the case’s specific circumstances. Several factors can influence the timeline, such as the complexity of the case, the number of parties involved, the availability of evidence, and more.

  • Is There a Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

    Yes, there is a deadline for filing a wrongful death claim in Texas, known as the statute of limitations. In general, the statute of limitations for Texas wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the deceased person's death. There may be some exceptions to this, such as when the claim involves a minor or if the defendant's wrongful act was fraudulently concealed. However, these exceptions are rare, and it is essential to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to ensure your case is filed within the required time frame.

  • What Is the Time Limit for Wrongful Death in Texas?

    In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of the individual's death. This legal timeframe is crucial as it sets the period within which the deceased's family or estate representatives must initiate legal action against those responsible for the death. Failure to file within this period can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation through the courts.

  • What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

    In a wrongful death lawsuit, damages aim to compensate the deceased's family or estate for the loss and suffering resulting from their loved one's untimely death. These can include economic damages, such as lost earning capacity, medical and funeral expenses related to the deceased's final illness or injury, and loss of inheritance. Non-economic damages may also be sought, covering pain and suffering, loss of companionship and support, and mental anguish experienced by the survivors. In some cases, exemplary (punitive) damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer for gross negligence or willful misconduct and to deter similar behaviors in the future. The specific damages available can vary based on the case's circumstances and the relationship between the deceased and the claimants.

  • Are Punitive Damages Awarded in Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

    In wrongful death lawsuits, punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, can be awarded, but they are not automatic. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly reckless, egregious, or malicious behavior and to deter similar conduct in the future. The awarding of punitive damages is subject to specific legal standards, and claimants must present clear and convincing evidence of the defendant's gross negligence or willful misconduct. The decision to grant punitive damages rests with the court or jury and is made in addition to compensatory damages that cover economic and non-economic losses.

  • What Is the Burden of Proof in a Wrongful Death Case?

    In a wrongful death case, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, who must establish the defendant's liability for the deceased's death by a "preponderance of the evidence." This legal standard is lower than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" requirement used in criminal cases. To meet this burden, the plaintiff must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant's negligence or wrongful actions directly caused the death. Essentially, the evidence presented by the plaintiff must tip the balance in favor of their claims, convincingly demonstrating that the defendant's conduct resulted in the loss of life and justifying the claim for damages. This involves proving elements such as duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

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