Everyone is responsible for driving safely, maintaining their properties, controlling their pets, producing safe products, and maintaining safe work environments. When a person or business fails to maintain that reasonable standard of care and that lack of care results in death, the negligent party may face legal action from a Fort Worth wrongful death attorney.
Texas offers wrongful death remedies to help surviving family members recover from the untimely and preventable death of a loved one. Through a wrongful death claim, beneficiaries of the estate may recover damages to cover emotional anguish, the loss of companionship, the loss of guidance, and the loss of support a loved one might have provided had he or she survived. A claim cannot bring back your loved one, but it can provide a sense of justice and closure for those who must grieve and move forward.
At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, we help survivors navigate the complexities of wrongful death claims in Fort Worth and surrounding areas. We can take over the burden of filing a claim for all of a deceased individual’s beneficiaries while you focus on healing in the wake of a tragedy.
Why Choose Aaron A. Herbert’s Law Firm?
Clients choose The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., to represent them in their wrongful death claim due to our affordability, commitment to open communication, and extensive knowledge of Texas wrongful death and personal injury law.
- Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis for maximum affordability in wrongful death cases. If we do not secure a settlement on your behalf, you do not pay any legal fees. In addition, we take an agreed-upon percentage of your final settlement as payment. We value our contingency fee system because it effectively reduces your out of pocket costs.
- Our personal injury attorney Aaron A. Herbert is a specialist in personal injury trial law. In fact, Herbert is one of less than 2% of Texas attorneys who holds a Certificate in Personal Injury Trial Law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
- The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. aims to provide personal attention to each one of our valued clients. We have access to a strong network of resources and experts to benefit your case and fight for your right to compensatory damages.
What Is Wrongful Death in Texas?
Texas Statutes section 71.001 defines wrongful death in the state. You can bring an action for wrongful death in Texas civil court if the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party causes the death of another person. This statute is vital to proving a wrongful death claim to the court so that the surviving spouse, children, and parents can receive compensatory damages.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Many catastrophic events happen in Texas nearly every day. These accidents end in severe injuries and many people die as a result of these injuries, including innocent bystanders who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many accidents can give rise to wrongful death claims.
Usually, if the deceased could have filed a personal injury lawsuit for his or her accident if he or she did not die, the case qualifies as a form of wrongful death. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., has experience litigating multiple forms of wrongful death claims.
• Accidents involving railroad trains, heavy trucks, and buses
• Industrial accidents and fatal workplace injuries
• Medical malpractice
• Motor vehicle accidents, including collisions with cyclists and pedestrians
• Chemical leaks and explosions
• Falls and crush accidents at construction sites
• Defective products
• Unsafe premises
• Collisions with drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol
• Collisions with distracted drivers
• Motorcycle crashes
• Fatal dog attacks
If someone’s negligence or malicious actions proximately cause someone’s death, the deceased’s survivors can file a wrongful death claim in Fort Worth with help of a wrongful death attorney.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Fort Worth?
Only certain family members and estate executors can file wrongful death claims. Spouses, children, and parents are the only family members who can initiate a claim. If a family member chooses to pursue the claim on behalf of other beneficiaries, he or she must take action within three months of a loved one’s death. After that time, an executor may file a claim on the family’s behalf.
Evaluating Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
Many factors determine the type and amount of damages available through a wrongful death claim. A jury will evaluate all the evidence surrounding the decedent’s death and the liability rules that may govern the type of accident. For example, vehicle accident cases often involve a modified comparative negligence rule while product defect cases involve strict liability laws.
The attorney you choose will play an invaluable role in determining the extent of loss your family will experience as the result of the death. The age of the decedent and children involved, the family structure, income level, and the projected life expectancy of the decedent if he or she hadn’t died all play a role in calculating a fair request for damages. Once awarded, a jury will outline the division of damages among recognized beneficiaries.
What Is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Murder?
Many people wonder what the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a murder case are, since both involve an innocent person’s death caused by another party. However, three key differences exist between murder cases and wrongful death claims.
- First, murder cases involve an intentional act to end another person’s life. While wrongful death involves death and negligence, the negligence in question is not always intentional. A defendant in a wrongful death claim does not always want to kill another person. Most often, the death is accidental in nature.
- Second, wrongful death claims and murder cases follow different court processes. Criminal courts try murder cases, while civil courts hear wrongful death claims.
- Third, the goals and outcomes are different in a murder case than a wrongful death claim. In a murder case, the goal is to punish the person who killed the other by imposing jail time or other criminal charges. In a wrongful death claim, the goal is to provide compensatory damages to a grieving family. This compensation includes economic and non-economic losses such as lost wages and pain and suffering.
What Is the Survival Statute?
Texas also offers the Texas Survival Statute to recover compensation on behalf of a deceased person who suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence. However, the Survival Statute differs greatly from wrongful death claims. If a deceased person could have claimed damages from a personal injury claim if he or she lived, his or her personal estate representative or heir can claim those damages posthumously.
How to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas
Proving a wrongful death claim in Texas requires a number of steps. First, the court requires proof that’s attorney the plaintiff is a spouse, surviving child, or parent of the deceased person in question. Next, the plaintiff will have to prove that the at-fault party is liable for what happened to the deceased loved one. Generally, the court requires proof of three elements to establish negligence in a wrongful death claim.
- First, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to prove that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the deceased loved one. For example, if the deceased died as a result of a car accident, the attorney must prove that the at-fault party had a responsibility to follow the rules of the road and practice safe driving. This fact would establish a duty of care. Different cases will involve different duties of care. Medical malpractice suits will involve establishing the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, while workplace liability will be a question when involving at-fault employers.
- Next, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to prove that the at-fault party breached the established duty of care. In the case of a car accident, the court will require proof that the at-fault party failed to honor traffic laws or practice safe driving.
Finally, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to prove that the breach of duty of care led to the death of the deceased. It is not enough to simply prove that the at-fault party breached their duty of care. For example, if the at-fault party ran a red light while the deceased had the right of way and crashed into his or her car, an attorney can prove that the injuries from that accident led to the deceased’s death. If the death in question came from another source, such as a car mechanical failure, an attorney will not be able to prove the defendant is liable.
Proving these elements requires a strong background of Texas wrongful death law. For best results, obtain the services of The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C.
Why You Need an Attorney for Your Wrongful Death Claim
An attorney can provide numerous benefits for your wrongful death claim, alleviating stress off you and your family so you can focus on healing, not paperwork.
- Your attorney will have access to experts who can provide testimony in court on your behalf.
- Your attorney will have the resources and authority to conduct a full-scale investigation into the circumstances of your loved one’s death. He or she will gather all necessary pieces of evidence to craft a case on your loved one’s behalf, such as medical records, security footage, and witness testimony.
- Your attorney will have extensive experience in the courtroom and know the strategies necessary to increase your chances for the best possible outcome. He will prepare you and your family for the trial beforehand and tell you everything you should expect.
- Some wrongful death cases will involve complex litigation and multiple at-fault defendants. When it comes to these cases, the defendants may have large corporate legal counsel on their side. Your attorney will have experience standing up to these attorneys and can continue to argue effectively on your behalf.
Contact a Fort Worth Wrongful Death Attorney
If a loved one recently died because of someone else’s negligent behavior, you may need a skilled attorney on your side to hold the responsible party accountable and secure fair compensation for your losses. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert has a track record for success in personal injury and wrongful death claims. We treat every case with individual attention and care. For more information about our wrongful death practice, reach out to us today at (817) 500-4878.