If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another person or business, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston. Wrongful death claims can arise from a number of situations as a result of another person’s or business’ negligence. For example, if a person has untimely died while at work, while on the job, while on a boat or on vacation, in a car accident, or as a result of medical malpractice, to name a few, their spouse, parents or children are entitled to receive monetary damages.
A wrongful death claim in Texas is subject to a statute of limitations (SOL) under section 16.003(b) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. A statute of limitations bars any lawsuit for wrongful death two or more years after the individual’s death, or the decedent’s death. Since this is a very short period of time, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in Texas and Louisiana who will help you recover the damages you are entitled to. Depedning on the circumstances surrounding your wrongful death claim, the attorneys of Ben Bronson & Assoicates may travel to all areas of Louisiana and Texas to discuss the facts of case and what options you may have.
Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
Pursuing a claim for a wrongful death case can help you find closure during this difficult time. It can also help hold the other party accountable for their actions and take steps towards ensuring that this situation is never repeated. Call Ben Bronston & Associates at 713-CALL-BEN (713-225-5236) for a consultation about your wrongful death claim throughout all areas of Houston, including the Heights, the Galleria, Memorial, Bellaire, Sharpstown, Highland Village, City Centre, Downtown, EaDo, Midtown and Rice Village. Attorney Ben Bronston is knowledgeable in representing Texas and Lousiana wrongful death cliams and will make every to help you receive the damages you are entitled to. To reach the Lousiana office for a consultation, call (504) 799-0771.
Houston Wrongful Death Information Center
Back to top
Wrongful Death Claims in Houston
Most wrongful death claims in Texas are the result of medical malpractice. However, claims for wrongful death can also arise from:
- Drunk driving accidents,
- 18-wheeler accidents,
- Accidents on the job,
- Car accidents,
- Construction accidents,
- Railroad accidents,
- Boat accidents,
- Industrial plant accidents,
- Public utility plant accidents,
- Work-related accidents, and/or
- Vacation accidents.
Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code provides for all information pertaining to wrongful death lawsuits in Texas and specifically states the remedies available to the decedent’s family. The only individuals who are entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death are:
- The decedent’s spouse,
- The decedent’s children,
- The decedent’s parents, or
- The decedent’s administrator or executor of his estate.
Back to top
Liability for a Wrongful Death Claim in Houston
According to section 71.002 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, an individual is liable for the wrongful death of another person if:
- The injury was caused by the defendant’s wrongful act, carelessness, default, unskillfulness or neglect;
- The defendant is an owner, proprietor, charterer or hirer of a public utility plant, industrial plant, railroad, street railway, stagecoach, steamboat, or any other vehicle that transports people or goods, and the injury was the result of the defendant’s wrongful act, carelessness, unskillfulness, default or neglect;
- The defendant is a receiver, trustee or any other person in control of a railroad, railway, boat, or any other vehicle used to transport goods or passengers, any industrial or public utility plant, or any other machinery, and the injury was the result of the defendant’s neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, default, or wrongful act, or the railroad, railway or other machinery under the defendant’s control or operation was in a bad or unsafe condition.
Back to top
Elements to a Houston Wrongful Death Claim
In order to prove a wrongful death claim in Texas, the spouse or family member of the decedent must be able to demonstrate:
- The death was proximately caused by the actions of another person, business or entity;
- The defendant was negligent or reckless with the decedent’s life;
- The decedent has a surviving beneficiary who is eligible to receive compensation for their death; and
- A monetary loss was sustained as a result of the decedent’s death.
Back to top
Houston Wrongful Death Damages
The damages applicable to a wrongful death lawsuit are defined in Chapter 41 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. In addition to traditional compensatory damages, such as economic and non-economic damages, the decedent’s beneficiaries may be entitled to exemplary damages. The forms of damages permitted in a wrongful death lawsuit are:
Compensatory Damages – Compensatory damages consist of both economic and non-economic damages in Texas; however, exemplary damages are not included in compensatory damages.
Economic Damages – Economic damages are generally intended to compensate the plaintiff for any actual loss or pecuniary or financial loss they may have suffered. Economic damages are included in compensatory damages, and do not include non-economic or exemplary damages.
Non-Economic Damages – Noneconomic damages are typically awarded to the plaintiff in order to compensate for any non-financial loss the plaintiff may have suffered, such as physical pain or suffering, mental anguish or emotional pain, loss of consortium (or loss of care and affection), loss of companionship and society, loss of enjoyment of life, and/or physical impairment or disfigurement. These damages are included in compensatory damages.
Exemplary Damages – Exemplary damages are also commonly known as punitive or punishment damages, and are allowed if the defendant’s actions were so extreme and grossly negligent that they should be punished for their actions. In order to receive exemplary damages, the decedent’s beneficiaries must prove the decedent’s death was caused by a willful act or omission by the defendant or because the defendant acted with gross negligence.
However, it is important to know there may be limits on the amount of damages in a wrongful death action. For example, if an individual dies as a result of medical malpractice, the economic and non-economic damages their beneficiaries may receive are capped at a little over $1.6 million, plus the cost of any necessary accrued medical or custodial care.
Back to top
Ben Bronston & Associates | Wrongful Death Attorney in Houston
Contact Ben Bronston & Associates today for a consultation about your wrongful death claim in Harris County, including the cities of Houston, Baytown, Humble, Katy, Pasadena, Seabrook, Spring, Sugar Land, Tomball and Webster. Licensed to practice in Louisiana, Ben Bronston also represents clients in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, LaFayette, Lake Charles, Sulphur, Opelousas, Abbeville, Metairie, and the surrounding areas in Louisiana. Ben Bronston is a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Houston who will make every effort to fight for the damages you deserve for your wrongful death claim. Contact Ben Bronston & Associates, Attorneys at Law at 713-CALL-BEN or (713) 225-5236 for a consultation about your Houston wrongful death claim today. To reach the Louisiana office for a consultation, contact (504) 799-0771.