Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Texas with $10+ Billion Won for Clients
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 difficult and emotional wrongful death cases you could ever imagine. 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. We have the experience to help you through these types of cases, and we'll fight as hard as we can for you.
When you look at our track record, you'll see that there isn't a firm in Houston or in Texas that has accomplished what we have in the last 10 years. That's because we're all in for our clients. No matter what.
The best advice we can give you during this painful time is that if you lost someone you love, it is incredibly important that you call us right away. When you meet with an experienced Houston wrongful death attorney, you'll start the process of getting answers. We're located in Houston, Texas, but the legal team from Arnold & Itkin serves clients from coast to coast. We understand what you are going through, and our Texas wrongful death lawyers consider it our responsibility to ensure that you and your family are justly compensated for your loss.
Why You Can Trust Our Houston, Texas Wrongful Death Law Firm
- We have won billions of dollars 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.
The Ins & Outs of Texas Wrongful Death Claims
When a person loses their life as a result of the negligent behaviors of another, they are just as entitled to monetary compensation and legal address as any other injury victim. Unfortunately, they are in no way able to fight against the wrongs that led to their fatality. Therefore, a wrongful death claim can be made by family members who have lost a loved one due to the immoral or unlawful behaviors of someone else.
A family can seek retribution against the person who killed their loved one by bringing a wrongful death claim case. Even if the person at fault is already being persecuted in the criminal courts for murder or manslaughter, there is still room for a civil lawsuit involving a wrongful death claim. In fact, when fatality results from a company rather than an individual, the only recourse that can be taken is to file wrongful death.
Wrongful death claims are brought by civil action when the loved ones of the deceased are attempting to be compensated for death-related expenses. These may include the financial strain that may be put on the family as a result of lost income, medical expenses that the family has been left with, or grievance and bereavement compensations. In a wrongful death case, the standard of proof is the preponderance of the evidence. This means, instead of the defendant being innocent until proven guilty, the burden of proof is on them to prove that they did not, in fact, cause the death.
Examples of Texas Wrongful Death Claims
Individuals can bring forward wrongful death claims in a wide variety of situations.
Two of the most common ones involve the following:
If a person was killed while on the job, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if a company failed to maintain equipment in a refinery and that failure was responsible for an explosion that killed a contract worker, a wrongful death claim may be able to be brought against the company.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
If someone was killed in a crash because another driver ran a red light, a wrongful death claim might be able to be brought against the driver who violated traffic laws. If in this same accident, the vehicle’s airbag was defective and failed to deploy, an auto product liability claim may also be brought against the manufacturer of the airbag and vehicle. It is essential to consult with a qualified attorney regarding your unique situation as there may be multiple parties responsible.
Wrongful Death FAQ
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?
The simplest way to define wrongful death is when a person’s negligence or intentional acts cause the death of another. There are laws in place to provide a civil avenue for those suffering the loss of a loved one in such situations. Every state has different statutes on wrongful death claims, including how long after the death a survivor can file a claim, who can file a claim, and what type of damages can be awarded.
While wrongful death can be broad, it does not cover just any kind of incident that causes the death of another. The negligent or reckless behavior of another must have led to the tragedy. This can include a variety of incidents, with some incidents being much more obvious than others.
For example, the following could qualify as wrongful death claims:
- Car accidents caused by drunk driving, texting, or other issues
- Workplace accidents caused by lack of training or supervision
- Assault, attacks, or other criminal actions that led to the death of another
- Malpractice by a doctor who failed to identify or treat an ailment correctly
- Drowning accidents due to property damage/premises liability
- Defective products or drugs that caused the user to suffer death
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Texas?
Losing a loved one is difficult for anyone, but when that loss is the result of the negligence of another party, the devastation can be that much more difficult to bear. If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by another party, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against that individual or company. Laws vary from state to state regarding who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased, but close family members of the victim often bring forth wrongful death claims. For example, in Texas, eligible beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim include spouses, children, and parents of unmarried children.
In most cases, the following individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Life partners
- Any other dependents
Children and spouses are given the primary right to file a wrongful death claim. This means a parent, sibling, or another relative will likely not be able to file a claim if children or a spouse is pursuing one, as immediate family members are typically considered the primary dependents of an individual. To determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, you should consult with a lawyer about the circumstances of your case.
It is important to note that a statute of limitations exists in cases of wrongful death claims. This means that there is a time limit for how long you can wait before filing a wrongful death claim, so you must act quickly when addressing these issues if you and your loved ones wish to receive accurate compensation. In matters like this, it is important to speak to a lawyer to make sure all of your rights are protected.
To learn about filing for wrongful death in Texas, visit Sec. 71 of the Civil Practice & Remedies Code.
What Damages Are Recoverable in a Texas Wrongful Death Claim?
While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, a person filing a wrongful death claim may be able to recover financial compensation for three general types of damages depending on the applicable laws of the state where the lawsuit is filed.
- Economic Damages – Economic damages include things such as funeral and medical expenses related to the death, loss of the deceased’s future earnings, and loss of the deceased’s future benefits.
- Non-Economic Damages – Non-economic damages are things that have less tangible value. This includes pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of inheritance, and loss of consortium.
- Punitive Damages – Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages as a way of punishing the responsible party for willful or grossly negligent acts.
Who Gets the Money After a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When a person dies, they leave behind many family members. So, it's reasonable to wonder what family members will receive any money obtained from a wrongful death lawsuit's settlement or verdict. A variety of factors can influence who receives compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. Family members who might be able to claim damages for a Texas wrongful death lawsuit include: children, adopted children, spouses, and parents. Siblings and other more distant relatives of a person who has died are unable to file a wrongful death claim in Texas.
In Texas, juries decide who will receive compensation for verdicts. First, a jury will consider if the decedent has any children to share the compensation. If all surviving family members are adults, a jury will consider multiple things.
Things a jury considers when splitting compensation between adult family members include:
- If the family members are capable of being fair while dividing compensation
- If the family won't divide compensation without dispute
- If the family will allow their attorneys to work together to split the compensation
Texas Wrongful Death Compensation, Children, & Guardian Ad Litem
When splitting compensation for wrongful death involves children, the law helps protect them with something called guardian ad litem (GAL). Courts appoint a person as GAL for children because they know that a child isn't old enough to act in their own financial interest. A GAL is supposed to make sure that a child is fairly represented so they can receive a fair amount of compensation from a wrongful death case.
Evidence That Qualifies a Wrongful Death Suit
To bring a suit forward, you must have substantial evidence. In wrongful death cases, there are some critical elements involved that can help you prove the validity of your claim. This includes the fact that the responsible party owed your loved one a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and as a result, caused their death. In cases involving criminal actions, the intent will likely need to be proven or demonstrated. This can require extensive evidence, witness testimony, expert opinions, thorough legal investigation, and much more.
Contact Our Houston Attorneys for a Free Consultation: (888) 493-1629
If you have recently lost someone you love in such an accident, we encourage you to contact us 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.
While past success is never a guarantee of future performance, we do feel our case results are indicative of our commitment to the pursuit of justice. We are experienced, aggressive trial lawyers who are committed to our clients' success. We encourage you to read more about our firm or to browse through some of our past victories. If you would like to discuss your case, give us a call today at (888) 493-1629. We are proud to offer a completely free and confidential consultation of your case. We are here to help you and your family.
Do not hesitate to call (888) 493-1629 or fill out our online case evaluation form to send us a message!