There are few things as tragic as a life cut short due to a wrongful death. This is particularly true if the deceased leaves behind children, a spouse, siblings, close friends, and other family members. These loved ones are then left reeling from the tragedy, trying to make sense of what happened to cause the unexpected loss. No amount of money can ever truly right such a terrible wrong; however, a successful lawsuit can help provide for the financial future of those who were dependent on the deceased’s income or the hard work, care, and other services he or she performed at home.
What Is Wrongful Death?
The term wrongful death is used to refer to someone who dies as a result of the legal fault of someone else. A wrongful death may occur as a result of the negligent or intentional action or inaction of another person or entity deemed legally responsible. The state of Texas defines wrongful death in the following way in statutes section 71.002: “A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual’s death if the injury was caused by the person’s or his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.”
Potential Causes of a Wrongful Death
- Automobile accidents
- Commercial trucking accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Oilfield injuries
The above is not a comprehensive list. A wrongful death may occur as the result of an almost limitless array of possible events which result in the untimely death of one person due to the action or inaction of another person or entity who is legally responsible.
Who Can Sue for a Wrongful Death?
The person or people legally able to sue for a wrongful death varies from state to state. In Texas the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the victim can legally sue for wrongful death. Grandparents, siblings, and more distant family members may not sue for wrongful death.
What Types of Damages Can Be Claimed?
The types of damages that the surviving family is able to sue for in a wrongful death case also varies from state to state. For Texas wrongful death suits the following types of damages can be claimed:
- Financial loss due to the lost earning capacity of the deceased
- Financial loss due to the lost services, care, maintenance, and support the deceased would have provided
- Emotional and mental pain and suffering
- Lost positive effects from love, comfort, and companionship
- Loss of inheritance, based on what the deceased would have accumulated and left behind
Dies & Parkhurst Represents Wrongful Death Clients
Dies & Parkhurst understands what a painful and difficult time it is for the families of wrongful death victims. We are committed to helping our clients win the justice they need for emotional closure and the financial compensation they need to continue their lives without their loved one. If you have suffered a wrongful death tragedy please contact us so that we can consult with you on your legal options.