Pasadena Wrongful Death Lawyer
Providing Empathetic and Individualized Legal Representation
Losing a loved one unexpectedly brings immense emotional and mental turmoil. Additionally, it often entails unforeseen economic costs and financial burdens. When the untimely death of your loved one is a result of someone else's negligent or reckless actions, grief can swiftly transform into anger.
If your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death, you deserve justice and answers. At Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, our team of Pasadena wrongful death attorneys is dedicated to advocating for families like yours. We strive to secure full compensation for families who bear overwhelming financial strain following a preventable tragedy.
Contact our firm today to receive a complimentary case evaluation. During this consultation, we can address your rights, answer any questions you may have, and discuss the subsequent steps. Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay us if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
Defining “Wrongful” Death in Texas
In general, under Texas's wrongful death statute, a death is considered "wrongful" when it arises due to another person's negligent, reckless, careless, or wrongful conduct. This includes situations where a fetus does not survive due to medical negligence or other forms of misconduct.
If the deceased individual would have had grounds to pursue a personal injury claim had they survived, their death is likely deemed "wrongful." Consequently, certain surviving family members possess the right to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for the death. They can seek compensation for losses, or damages, associated with the deceased's passing.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death claims frequently arise from various types of accidents, including:
- Car accidents, such as drunk driving incidents, hit-and-run accidents, or collisions involving ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft
- Truck accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Premises liability incidents, such as slip and falls, swimming pool accidents, and cases involving negligent security
- Construction accidents
- Work accidents
- Cases involving assault, manslaughter, homicide, and murder
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
Texas law designates specific categories of individuals entitled to file a wrongful death claim.
First, the law permits the surviving spouse, surviving children (including legally adopted children), or surviving parents (including legal adoptive parents) of the deceased (referred to as the decedent) to initiate a wrongful death claim. Any of these parties can file the claim independently, or all eligible parties can choose to file the claim collectively. Irrespective of the claimant, the case represents all surviving eligible family members, each of whom receives a share of any compensation obtained through the wrongful death claim.
If a surviving spouse, child, or parent fails to bring a wrongful death claim within three months of the decedent's passing, the decedent's personal representative, typically the administrator or executor of the decedent's estate, may then file the claim. However, this claim is brought on behalf of all surviving eligible family members, unless the surviving spouse, surviving children, and surviving parents object to its filing.
Compensation in a Texas Wrongful Death Claim
No amount of money can reverse the loss or alleviate the pain caused by the tragic passing of your loved one. However, a wrongful death claim aims to provide compensation to the deceased individual's estate and eligible surviving family members for the personal and economic losses endured due to the death.
Compensation sought in a Texas wrongful death claim may encompass:
- Medical expenses incurred for the deceased's final injury or illness caused by the at-fault party
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages suffered by the decedent from the onset of the last injury or illness until death
- Lost earning capacity or expected financial contributions to the family, including benefits like health insurance and pensions
- Lost inheritance or the value of assets the decedent would have reasonably accumulated and left to surviving family members if they had lived a normal life expectancy
- Loss of the decedent's care, maintenance, services, support, guidance, advice, and counsel
- Loss of the decedent's love, comfort, companionship, and intimacy
- Conscious pain and suffering experienced by the decedent before death
- Emotional pain and anguish experienced by surviving family members
- In rare instances where the decedent's death results from egregious or shocking conduct, typically of a willful or reckless nature, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages do not aim to compensate for any loss but rather to "punish" the at-fault party and deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Compensation obtained through a wrongful death claim is generally divided among surviving eligible family members in proportion to the loss experienced by each individual due to the decedent's death.
Consult With a Pasadena Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligent or reckless actions, you have the right to seek compensation and hold the responsible party accountable. Reach out to Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC today for a free consultation with a compassionate wrongful death lawyer in Pasadena. We do not charge any fees to commence work on your case, and our payment is contingent upon successfully recovering compensation for your family.
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What is negligence?
“Negligence” refers to careless, reckless, or wrongful (including unlawful) behavior. Often, this type of behavior leads to serious accidents, injuries, and even deaths. Some examples of negligence include someone who runs a red light because they were texting while driving, a shop owner who fails to put out a “wet floor” sign after an employee mops up a spill, or a dog owner who allows their dangerous dog to roam free and unleashed in a public park.
How do I know if I have a case?
You likely have a personal injury case if you were injured and suffered measurable damages—such as medical bills or pain and suffering—due to the careless, reckless, negligent, or wrongful conduct of another person or party. In other words, if someone else is to blame for your injuries, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim. The best way to know whether you have a case is to contact an attorney at our firm for a free consultation. During this initial meeting, we can go over the details of your situation and provide personalized counsel tailored to your circumstances.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
The exact value of your personal injury case depends on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include the severity of your injuries, the extent of your damages, whether you had to take time off work to recover, how much time you had to take off work, whether your injuries resulted in a disability, and your degree of fault (if any) in causing the event that led to your injuries. It is not possible for any attorney to estimate the value of your claim without first reviewing the specific details involved. We encourage you to reach out to our Houston personal injury attorneys at Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC to request a complimentary case review.
Will I have to go to court?
Not all personal injury cases go to court. In fact, many settle in pre-trial litigation or as a result of your attorney’s negotiations with the insurance company. However, if the liable party refuses to play fair, you want an attorney who is not only willing but also has the experience needed to aggressively represent you at trial. At Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, we will prepare you for what to expect with your case, including whether or not you may need to go to court.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
In most cases, there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in Texas (surrounding states may have different laws). This means that you typically have just two years from the date of injury to bring your claim in court. Sometimes, when an injury is not discovered right away, the statute of limitations will be deferred to two years from the date on which the injury was discovered or reasonably could have been discovered.
There are some exceptions to this two-year deadline, but they are rare. We encourage you to act quickly after an accident or injury to avoid losing your right to seek compensation for your damages. If the statute of limitations expires, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case. Even if you think it might be too late, reach out to Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC to discuss your legal options.