Wrongful Death Attorney in Spring, TX

Losing a loved one is difficult enough – but what if you know their accident was preventable? What if your family member died because of someone else’s negligence? If this sounds familiar, you may need to explore a potential wrongful death lawsuit. This type of legal action can help you pursue justice and compensation for everything your family has endured. A wrongful death attorney in Spring, TX can explain more about this course of action. While it may provide compensation for financial losses, a wrongful death lawsuit can also help cover the emotional cost of this experience – and it might even help you achieve a sense of closure. Contact Hernandez Law Firm today at (936)-256-3115 to learn more about your legal options.

Wrongful Death

How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney in Spring Help Me?

Most Spring residents never consider the possibility that they might lose a loved one to an accident. However, we all face hazards every day that can destroy our lives. From an auto collision to a simple slip and fall, a few seconds is all it takes to end things forever. A wrongful death attorney in Spring, TX helps surviving family members take legal action on behalf of their deceased loved ones.

After the fatal accident, family members can meet with a wrongful death lawyer to discuss their options. The lawyer may ask the family to explain what happened, and they may ask questions to determine the specific details of the incident. Based on this information, the lawyer can recommend a course of legal action. Specifically, they may inform the family that they have a viable wrongful death lawsuit.

If the case has merits, the lawyer may move ahead with the family’s permission and file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Next, they may begin to compile evidence of negligence. Your wrongful death attorney in Spring, TX may request documents from the family – including medical records and income documents.

Most wrongful death lawsuits end with negotiated settlements. In other words, a trial is statistically unlikely. Instead, insurers are more likely to offer you a settlement outside of court. Your wrongful death attorney in Spring, TX can negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf. They may also help you avoid excessively low settlement offers that fail to cover your losses.

What Exactly is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury lawsuit. Family members file these lawsuits on behalf of their deceased loved ones. As with any personal injury lawsuit, the goal is to recover damages. These “damages” represent the losses incurred by the surviving family members as a result of the accident. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the family can recover compensation for these losses and limit the financial effects of the death. You can file a wrongful death lawsuit if someone else’s negligence caused the death of your family member. You must be sufficiently related to the victim in order to sue. Distant relatives and friends may not have the right to file these lawsuits.

What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Lawsuit and a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Aside from the fact that wrongful death lawsuits involve fatal injuries, there are a few differences to consider when comparing these claims to personal injury lawsuits.

Families pursue slightly different damages in wrongful death lawsuits. One unique damage associated with wrongful death lawsuits is funeral expenses. Another distinct damage is “loss of consortium,” which you may pursue after losing your spouse.

What Kinds of Accidents Can Lead to Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Texas?

Various accidents can be fatal. As long as your loved one lost their life in a fatal accident, you may have the opportunity to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Here are a few examples of fatal accidents that may lead to wrongful death claims:

  • Car Accidents: According to the Texas Department of Transportation, thousands of people die each year due to fatal auto accidents. These include motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian crashes, bicycle accidents, and so on. If your loved one died, you could potentially sue the at-fault party who caused the accident.
  • Slips and Falls: A slip and fall can easily prove fatal. This type of accident is particularly life-threatening for seniors. After slipping on a spill at a grocery store, your loved one might have struck their head on the floor – causing fatal injuries. You can sue the property owner for these kinds of fatal accidents.
  • Negligent Security: Family members can file negligent security claims if their loved one dies due to a preventable violent crime at an establishment in Texas. You can sue if the property/business owner should have created a better security plan prior to the attack.
  • Product Liability: Various products can malfunction in fatal ways. From defective blenders to faulty brakes, manufacturers can negligently distribute all kinds of harmful products. If these products kill your loved one, you can sue the manufacturer.
  • Workplace Accidents: Normally, fatal workplace accidents fall under workers’ compensation. However, accidents caused by negligent third parties may result in wrongful death lawsuits instead. For example, your loved one might have been struck by a passing motorist while working on a roadside construction site.
  • Medical Malpractice: Doctors can make various fatal mistakes. If you believe your loved one lost their life due to medical malpractice, you can sue the healthcare facility as part of a wrongful death lawsuit.

What Kinds of Damages Can I Claim in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Families should attempt to recover damages for all of the various issues they encounter after losing their loved ones. Speak with a wrongful death attorney in Spring, TX to discuss which specific damages might apply to your case. Damages fall into two separate categories:

  • Economic Damages: These damages represent your family’s financial losses.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These damages represent your family’s emotional or psychological losses. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages can be more complex – and difficult to value.

One of the most important economic damages after a wrongful death in Spring is the loss of future income. For example, your spouse might have been the primary wage earner in your household. Perhaps you relied on your spouse’s paycheck to pay the bills. Perhaps you are a homemaker or stay-at-home parent, and you do not have a career of your own.

In this situation, it is imperative to pursue compensation for the wages your spouse would have earned throughout their lifetime. Your wrongful death attorney in Spring, TX can help you fight for this compensation – allowing you to continue paying the bills for the foreseeable future. This damage can be especially crucial if you are supporting numerous dependents, such as children or seniors.

You can also pursue compensation for any outstanding medical expenses your loved one might have left behind before passing away. Many families in Spring assume that if the patient doesn’t survive, then you do not need to pay. However, this is not the case. For example, your loved one might have received extensive brain surgery to relieve the pressure of a hemorrhage. Despite their best efforts, the surgeons may have failed to save the patient’s life. The cost of this surgery would likely fall to the surviving family members. A wrongful death claim can help you cover these liabilities. Even if your spouse passes away during transport to a nearby hospital, you may still need to pay the ambulance bill.

Finally, you can pursue a third type of economic damage that is not possible with other injury claims: Funeral expenses. The average cost of a funeral in the United States can be quite high, and this can put additional pressure on families struggling to pay the bills. A wrongful death lawsuit helps you recover enough money to give your loved one a respectful funeral.

Non-economic damages are more abstract. Unlike unpaid medical bills or lost wages, you cannot prove the existence of these emotional issues by presenting a receipt or pay stub. Nevertheless, a wrongful death attorney in Spring, TX can help you recover these damages. Non-economic damages often fall into general categories such as “emotional distress” or “pain & suffering.”

A more specific non-economic damage is “grief.” You may also suffer from documentable mental health issues after losing a loved one, such as depression or anxiety. Orphaned children may begin to act out in school, while widowed spouses could experience a loss of purpose in life. The loss of a romantic relationship also represents legitimate damage in Texas. All of these various damages can increase the total compensation associated with a wrongful death lawsuit.

Do I Have to Go Through a Wrongful Death Trial?

You do not necessarily need to go through a trial in order to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. In fact, the vast majority of injury claims are settled outside of court through private negotiations. After an auto accident, you and your lawyer may communicate directly with an insurer to settle the claim. After meeting with an adjuster, your wrongful death attorney in Spring, TX may secure a fair settlement that covers all of your damages. In this way, you can avoid ever going to trial.

Insurers and defendants may be more likely to settle wrongful death claims outside of court. Even if there are questions about their alleged negligence, a fatal accident can cause a company or individual to experience serious reputational issues. In order to avoid these problems, a defendant may be highly motivated to pursue a private settlement and keep details out of the public sphere. This may give you additional leverage during settlement negotiations.

What Do I Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Case?

If you want to win your wrongful death lawsuit, you must establish that someone else caused your family member’s fatal accident. In other words, you must establish “negligence.” In Texas, negligence consists of four “elements.” You need to show the existence of all four elements if you want to ensure positive results:

  • Duty of Care: The first step is to show that the defendant owed your family member a “duty of care.” In other words, they were expected to take reasonable steps to ensure your loved one’s safety. For example, a motorist is expected to drive according to the speed limit. A grocery store owner is also expected to remove slipping hazards from their floors.
  • Breach of Duty: The next step is to show that the defendant “breached” this duty of care somehow. For example, a motorist might become intoxicated before driving. A property owner might decide not to fix a set of broken stairs even after becoming aware of the potentially fatal hazard.
  • Causation: Establishing a breach of duty is not enough. You must also show that this breach led directly to the fatal accident. For example, a motorist may have been drunk, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they caused the fatal accident. Your loved one might have slipped due to faulty footwear rather than a puddle of spilled milk. Establishing a connection between the alleged breach and the accident is crucial.
  • Injuries: Finally, you must show that the victim suffered legitimate injuries. Although the “injury” of your deceased loved one might be self-evidence, you also need to show your“injuries.” In the context of personal injury law, an “injury” could be grief, emotional distress, and other psychological issues suffered by the surviving family members.

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Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Spring, TX

Taking your first steps toward justice can be challenging after losing a loved one. However, a lawsuit may be easier than you realize after taking that crucial first step. After connecting with a wrongful death attorney in Spring, TX, you can step back and let your lawyers handle most of this process. Hernandez Law Firm can fight for your family’s best interests and pursue compensation on your behalf. This course of action may be especially critical if you are facing an uncertain future with orphaned children and unpaid bills. Call today at (936)-256-3115 confidently pursue justice and compensation.

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