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Pasadena Wrongful Death Lawyer

A loved one’s unexpected death is an overwhelming event. If another party’s carelessness or recklessness contributed to the passing, families naturally feel angry and sometimes vengeful as they work through their grief.

Bringing a lawsuit could help a family channel their emotions productively. Wrongful death claims seek monetary compensation from the parties who contributed to the fatal incident.

If you are grieving a loved one’s death and believe another party could be partially responsible, contact a local personal injury attorney as soon as possible. With the help of a Pasadena wrongful death lawyer, you could honor your loved one by obtaining financial security for the family.

Incidents That Might Support a Wrongful Death Claim

Almost any event that leads to death could form the basis of a wrongful death claim if someone other than the decedent caused or contributed to the incident. If the decedent could have brought a personal injury lawsuit if they had survived, a family has the right to bring a wrongful death suit. Motor vehicle accidents often lead to wrongful death claims, but other incidents that could support a lawsuit include a:

  • Fall in a public place
  • Fire or explosion
  • Workplace accident, such as a maritime accident
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Medical error
  • Criminal assault
  • Drowning
  • Nursing home neglect or abuse

Whatever the circumstances, the critical element is that another party’s careless, reckless, or intentional act must have caused the death. An investigation from a wrongful death lawyer in Pasadena could reveal negligent or criminal behavior that contributed to the fatal incident.

Procedural Issues Concerning Wrongful Death Claims

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004 governs wrongful death claims. The law establishes specific rules regarding these lawsuits.

Who May Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?

A spouse, child, or parent may bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of themselves and the decedent’s other immediate family members. If a family member does not file a wrongful death claim within three months of the decedent’s death, the estate’s representative could file a claim. The estate’s representative is the person the Probate Court appointed to settle the estate. If no immediate family survives the decedent, the personal representative files the wrongful death lawsuit. If the personal representative files the claim, the decedent’s immediate family and heirs receive the proceeds.

The law gives families two years from the decedent’s date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

What Damages Can the Family Receive from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit compensate the family for the loss of their loved one, including the money the decedent was likely to earn over the course of their life. It also includes the amount the decedent would have saved and passed down to their descendants through inheritance. The value of the decedent’s services to the household, like lawn care, vehicle maintenance, childcare, homework help, or other chores, is part of the family’s damages. A family also gets damages for the emotional pain of losing their loved one prematurely.

Criminal Proceedings and Wrongful Death Suits

Sometimes a person might face criminal charges linked to a death they caused, such as from a drunk driving accident or a criminal act. The criminal proceedings have no bearing on a family’s wrongful death case, and there is no reason for a family to wait for the conclusion of the criminal matter to file their lawsuit. A Pasadena attorney could bring a wrongful death action immediately.

If there is no prosecution or the responsible party never faces criminal charges, that fact has no bearing on a wrongful death lawsuit. If the family could prove a party’s carelessness or recklessness contributed to their loved one’s death, they could receive damages in a wrongful death suit.

The civil lawsuit seeking damages for wrongful death could result in the family receiving money, but there will be no other consequence to the responsible party. The civil court cannot impose jail time, probation, or similar punishment.

Call a Pasadena Wrongful Death Attorney

If your family lost a loved one in a preventable accident, you might have a viable wrongful death claim. Bringing a lawsuit seeking damages could offer the family financial security and hold the responsible party accountable.

A Pasadena wrongful death lawyer could offer compassionate and capable representation to your family. Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP can help – so call us now.

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Pasadena, TX 77504
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