Wrongful Death Lawyer Houston, Texas
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Did You Lose Someone in a Fatal Accident?
Our nationally recognized firm helps families who have lost a loved one. In over 35 years, we have never lost a wrongful death case! Call us for a free consultation about your wrongful death case.
We have won countless multi-million dollar results in Texas wrongful death lawsuits from car accidents, 18-wheeler wrecks, and drunk driving accidents and have numerous multi-million dollar victories in wrongful death cases. Call us at (281) 587-1111 for a FREE consultation or complete an online consultation request.
Our wrongful death attorney Greg Baumgartner, has been recognized as among the best in Texas and received awards from organizations like Super Lawyers, Top 100 Personal Injury Lawyers, Peer-reviewed and preeminent rated by Martindale, and numerous other awards.
Why Hire Baumgartner Law Firm for Your Wrongful Death Case?
When dealing with the grief and pain from your loss, the last thing on your mind is trying to hire an attorney. Yet, that is what you should immediately consider.
We Know Your Pain
Our Founding attorney, Greg Baumgartner, lost his father in an accident. We understand your grief and want you to focus on healing while we take the steps necessary to protect your financial interests. Put our 35 years of expertise to work for your family. Call us at (281) 587-1111 for a free consultation.
Peer-Reviewed Preeminent Wrongful Death Attorney
Our law firm will represent you on a contingency fee basis. We charge no costs upfront, and no fee will be paid unless we put money in your pocket.
Undefeated in Wrongful Death Cases
We are undefeated in wrongful death cases. To make the victim’s loved ones feel safe and assured in winning wrongful death cases, our law firm demonstrates empathy, competence, and a client-centered approach throughout the legal process. We care, treat our clients like family, and understand the trauma of your loss.
We Get Exceptional Results
Our list of multi-million-dollar wrongful death wins is extensive. Only a top-rated lawyer will work your case. Your family will receive the personal attention you deserve. We care!
Steps We Take To Protect Your Interests
Investigation of the accident
- Identifying potential defendants who may be legally responsible for the accident.
- Obtain and preserve vital evidence.
- Documenting the financial or economic losses and the impact on the family from the loss.
- Documenting each person’s relationship with the deceased.
Settlement and Trial
- Evaluation of courts where a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed.
- Negotiating with the defendant’s insurance companies to protect the family’s financial future.
- Filing a wrongful death lawsuit when necessary.
- Do whatever it takes to win your case!
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas?
Different types of accidents may have different ways of proving negligence or wrongful acts. Here are some leading causes of fatal accidents in Houston, Texas.
Deaths caused by defective products or products with inadequate safety warnings, such as faulty appliances, vehicles, or pharmaceutical drugs, are termed dangerous products.
For example, a dangerous product case may be based on a design or manufacturing defect. A design defect is a condition that makes the product unreasonably dangerous, considering the use of the product and the risks of its use. The plaintiffs must show a safer alternative design to prevail on a design defect claim.
Car wrecks are the leading cause of fatal accidents. In a car accident fatality lawsuit, the other driver’s negligence is the basis for the case. This negligence in a car accident can be fatalities resulting from car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian accidents caused by negligence, reckless driving, running a red light, following too closely, rear-ending the deceased, or driving drunk and causing the car accident.
An accident with a big truck is an accident that often results in a fatality. The truck driver’s negligence for not following traffic rules or the laws that apply to truck drivers is usually a part of the claim. Also, the trucking company may not have trained the driver or enforced trucking safety rules.
In addition to winning cases against the negligent driver and company, we have sued manufacturers of the big rigs and companies that improperly loaded the vehicles, maintenance companies, and others.
The growth of Houston, Texas, has led to a rise in fatal accidents at construction sites. Most of these accidents could have been prevented by following OHSA rules. Fatalities resulting from unsafe conditions on someone’s property, such as slip and fall accidents, inadequate security leading to violent incidents, or dangerous premises, also apply.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death refers to a legal claim brought by the surviving family members or beneficiaries of a person who has died due to another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions.
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil matters that a family prosecutes for damages after a loved one’s death. A wrongful death lawsuit is separate from any pending criminal charges. A family may have input with the District Attorney on how a criminal case may proceed. But the criminal charges for the death of a family member are in the hands of the authorities and not the family.
Criminal and civil cases in Texas are separate. Criminal courts in Harris County are for punishment, and personal injury or a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case for compensation!
A wrongful death claim seeks to compensate the family with damages for losing their loved one by a civil suit. If someone else’s negligence caused the death of your family member, a jury or a wrongful death settlement determines damages from the responsible party.
The wrongful death case is independent of any criminal charges. Getting an experienced wrongful death lawyer should be a top priority after losing a family member.
Who Has a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
In Texas, people who can sue for the loss of a loved one are limited to parents, children, and spouses of the deceased. However, some other states may allow extended family members, such as grandparents or grandchildren, to pursue a wrongful death claim if they can demonstrate a significant loss resulting from the death. Bringing a wrongful death lawsuit requires an experienced injury attorney.
Call Baumgartner Law Firm for a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights, options, and the next steps to get justice for your family.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Death in Texas?
Texas law for proving a wrongful death case requires showing that the person or company was negligent. Here are the essential elements of proving liability for wrongful death in Texas:
Owed a Duty to the Deceased.
This could be a company that should have protected its employees. Another motorist should have followed a common law, traffic law, or any other circumstances.
Breach of That Duty.
Meaning the person or company was bound to act one way to avoid the accident or death but did not. This may be like someone running a red light and crashing into the victim. The negligent party must commit a negligent act for wrongful death in Texas to apply.
Caused the Death.
The death had to be caused by the failure of the defendants. An example could be a car accident that killed a person. But if the death victim died of unrelated causes later and not the accident, a personal injury case may be filed, but a wrongful death case would be doubtful.
Consulting with the top-rated wrongful death lawyers at Baumgartner Law Firm in Houston should happen as soon as possible.
Damages of the Family.
Individuals entitled to bring a wrongful death claim can have their damages assessed. Compensation is based on their losses for the loss of the victim or their loved one. A wrongful death claim is essentially valuing the individual losses of the person.
Our Houston wrongful death firm has protected the financial future of Texas families for over three decades by seeking and getting compensation. We have never lost a wrongful death suit for the surviving family or the deceased person’s estate.
What Does a Houston Wrongful Death Attorney Do?
Investigate the Case
After being hired, the first thing our experienced attorney does is investigate the case. The sooner we investigate the surviving family members, the better the chances of getting the evidence needed to win the case. Investigations will vary depending on the cause of the death. Locating witnesses is an important step to winning a wrongful death settlement.
For a car, truck, or other motor vehicle accident investigation, inspecting the vehicles, obtaining computer data, documenting the scene, and more are part of the inquiry. A wrongful death case seeks financial compensation for the surviving spouse or other family members.
The investigation of a product case will be about the product, prior claims, and safer alternatives for product liability.
For construction accidents, prompt investigation and review of the OSHA files. Wrongful death actions are never easy and require an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
Preserve Important Evidence
Preserving evidence is a vital step for any Houston wrongful death attorney after a fatal accident. Our death law firm is very selective in the cases we accept, so we have the time and resources to dedicate to winning your case. We will ensure we obtain the relevant evidence to prove your case to recover your compensation.
Let Us Be Your Spokesman
On top of the investigation, your attorney should act as your spokesman, advocate, and champion in dealing with the defendants and their insurance companies. We are uniquely qualified to represent your family because we have handled wrongful death lawsuits for over three decades.
Our personal injury law firm in Houston is recognized as among the best in Texas.
File Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If negotiations are unsuccessful, your Houston wrongful death attorney should take your wrongful death action to a Houston, TX, jury to determine fault or damages.
Experience matters in wrongful death lawsuits. The more expertise your Houston wrongful death attorney has, the better for you! Look for the best wrongful death lawyers near me.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Texas, the surviving spouse, parents, and children of the deceased must fight for the loss of a loved one. The Texas wrongful death statute establishes which persons may be entitled to compensation for loss or injury.
Contacting a wrongful death lawyer in Houston immediately after the accident is always wise. Call us at (281) 587-1111 to discuss a Houston wrongful death claim.
Texas Wrongful Death Statute
Under Texas law, a claim for wrongful death arises when a person dies due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act. The Texas Wrongful Death Act is codified in Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
Section 71.002 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code defines who can bring a wrongful death claim in Texas. The deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and parents may bring a wrongful death claim, individually or collectively, within two years of the death. If none of these parties bring a claim, the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate may bring the claim on behalf of the estate.
The damages that can be awarded in a Texas wrongful death claim are also governed by the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Section 71.004 of the code allows for the recovery of damages for loss of companionship, society, love, affection, loss of inheritance, and mental anguish.
In addition to these damages, the deceased person’s estate may also recover damages for medical expenses, funeral expenses, and any pain and suffering the deceased person experienced before their death.
Survival Claims in Texas
Survival actions can recover damages where the loved one survived the accident and later passed away from his injuries. Survival claims differ from wrongful death claims. Survival claims relate to the personal injuries of the deceased before they died. In Texas, a survival claim is the personal injury claim of the deceased before death.
A survival case is viewed from the perspective of the deceased for damages. Survival cases address compensation or a survival action for the deceased person’s estate as if the decedent had lived, such as pain and mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, medical bills or expenses, and funeral and burial or funeral expenses.
How Much Can You Sue for a Wrongful Death in Texas?
In Texas, the amount that can be sued for a wrongful death depends on various factors, such as the deceased person’s age, occupation, earning capacity, and the circumstances surrounding their death.
Under Texas law, the surviving family members of the deceased person may be able to recover compensation for a range of damages, including but not limited to:
1. Loss of companionship and support
2. Loss of earning capacity and financial support
3. Mental and emotional pain and suffering
4. Funeral and burial expenses
There is no specific limit on the amount of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas (except for medical malpractice). However, specific procedural requirements must be followed, such as filing the case within two years of the date of death.
If you’re considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas, consult an experienced attorney who can advise you on your legal rights and options.
Texas Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death law allows claims brought for their loss from the death of a loved one. Some examples of wrongful death damages include:
- Pecuniary losses include loss of care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, and any contribution you reasonably would have received from the decedent.
- Loss of companionship and society refers to the family losing love, comfort, and companionship because of death.
- Mental anguish refers to the emotional pain and suffering you have from the death of a loved one.
- Loss of inheritance – This is the present value of assets the decedent would have left to you as part of their estate.
Punitive or exemplary damages may be available sometimes, but only where the death was caused by a “willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant.” (Tex. Civ. Code Title 4 Sec. 71.009).
We have won countless huge settlements for families who have lost a loved one. Check out our results page for some recent examples of wins by an award-winning Houston wrongful death attorney at Baumgartner Law Firm.
How Long Do You Have to Sue For a Wrongful Death?
Texas has a time limit to bring a wrongful death claim. The general limitation period is in Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code Section 16.003. Which law provides a 2-year time limit to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death damages.
It is very tempting to put off retaining a Houston wrongful death lawyer for your wrongful death claim, especially when dealing with the terrible grief of losing someone. Delaying the hiring of an attorney makes proving the case more difficult. Knowing the wrongful death statute of limitations in Texas is important.
The longer the delay after the accident, the more difficult it becomes to gather needed evidence. Waiting makes it harder to locate witnesses. Significant evidence such as “black box” or computer data after a car accident may be destroyed or lost.
And identifying responsible parties at the last minute can be risky. Also, many top-notch personal injury law firms do not accept cases close to the statute of limitations for professional reasons. Waiting can hurt your case and hamper your attorney.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
No- most Houston wrongful death suits settle before trial. Some settle before a lawsuit has been filed. Many factors go into consideration by both the family and insurance companies regarding a settlement.
However, most cases with substantial insurance coverage will result in a lawsuit. Nevertheless, most wrongful death cases settle before a jury verdict! Wondering how long Houston wrongful death lawsuits take?
Get started right away. Call a leading wrongful death lawyer near me at Baumgartner Law Firm.
How are Wrongful Death Settlements Divided?
Each family member who can bring a wrongful death case in Texas has their damages determined based on their relationship with the deceased. If the case settles, an agreement would have been reached on the individual claims. If the case goes to trial, a jury would decide damages for each plaintiff seeking compensation.
Historically, the closer the relationship with the deceased, the more compensation. For wrongful death, spouses usually get the most money. Followed by minor children, adult children, and parents of adult children.
For any wrongful death case in Texas, the personal relationship with the deceased is the controlling evidence for damages.
In general, wrongful death proceeds are intended to compensate surviving family members for the loss of their loved one and may include damages for loss of companionship, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of services, and loss of inheritance and survival damages.
While no amount of money can truly make up for losing a loved one, wrongful death proceeds can help alleviate the financial burden that often accompanies such a tragedy.
Baumgartner Law Firm Personal Injury Practice Areas
At Baumgartner Law Firm, our personal injury attorney in Houston, TX, helps clients throughout Texas maximize their damages to get the compensation they deserve. We have recovered millions of dollars and represented thousands of accident victims.
Since 1985, our firm has limited the practice to serious injury cases and produced exceptional results in the following areas:
- Auto & Car Accidents
- Catastrophic and Severe Injuries
- Construction Site Accidents
- Truck & 18-Wheeler Accidents
- Daycare Negligence & Child Injury
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Dram Shop Lawsuits
- Wrongful Death
Our founding attorney, Greg Baumgartner, has over 35 years of experience in personal injury trial law and has been peer-reviewed preeminent for decades.
Caring Wrongful Death Lawyer in Houston
Baumgartner Law Firm has been repeatedly recognized as one of Texas’s best personal injury law firms. Over three decades of experience protecting the best interests of families with wrongful death in Texas.
Our undefeated Houston wrongful death lawyer has the case expertise and case evaluation techniques your case deserves. Best of all, we treat you like family! Our aggressive approach to holding the responsible party accountable has been tested and fine-tuned! Check out our recent results and our 5-star Google reviews.
For over 35 years, we have remained undefeated in wrongful death lawsuits. Call Baumgartner Law Firm at (281) 587-1111.
Wrongful Death Resources:
Baumgartner Law Firm Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions
In Texas, proving wrongful death means proving negligence led to the death of your family member. Negligence means that the person who caused the accident acted in a way that is different from a reasonable person. Negligence can include running a red light, driving drunk, or failing to maintain a safe workplace.
Yes, at Baumgartner Law Firm, we have had many fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers. While the drunk driver will probably end up in jail, having the drunk driver behind bars does little to help the family's financial situation after a fatal accident. A civil wrongful death case is the mechanism that provides compensation for the family after the death of a loved one.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case. In contrast, criminal charges such as murder are criminal cases handled by the District Attorney. These two cases are separate; a person can be liable for a wrongful death and still be found innocent of criminal charges such as murder.
Parents, children, and spouses in Texas can sue for wrongful death. Often, multiple family members are plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit. Each plaintiff can have their own attorney.
Settlement proceeds are divided by agreement or by judge or jury award. Generally, the closeness of the relationship to the deceased is a substantial factor in the amount of compensation for any individual plaintiff.
Only parents, spouses, and children can file a wrongful death case in Texas.
A wrongful death case in Texas is defined in the Texas wrongful death statute. Close family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit if the death is caused by negligence or other wrongful acts by either a person or corporation.
The general statute of limitations is two years from the accident date. There are exceptions to the general statute of limitations, and consulting with a personal injury attorney should be done as soon as possible.
Punitive damages are appropriate when the acts of the negligent party or especially outrageous or dangerous. A good example would be when a person gets drunk and gets behind the wheel. If the conduct is particularly dangerous, punishable damages are available to some plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Survival cases are damages of the deceased before they perish. If someone lived for a time after the accident, their estate would be entitled to seek survival damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, and other personal injury damages.
Wrongful death damages are for the loss of the relationship with the deceased. Damages would include loss of consortium, financial assistance, advice and counsel, and other damages unique to the relationship between the parties.
A wrongful death case can take anywhere from six months to several years. If the insurance coverage is limited, a case may be resolved quickly. If there are issues regarding who is responsible or if there is substantial insurance coverage, the case will take longer to resolve.
In Texas, an executor of the deceased person's estate can bring a lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members. However, each family member can also bring a lawsuit themselves.
Compensation for a wrongful death case is based upon the deceased's relationship with each family member who is a party to the lawsuit. The closer the relationship, the larger the potential there is for damages. Generally, and priority of amounts, larger claims usually go to these family members in this order—spouses, minor children, parents of minor children, adult children, and finally, parents of adult children.
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