What Are My Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Suit
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Losing a loved one is a devastating experience, and it can be even more difficult if their death is caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. In these cases, you may have the option to file a wrongful death suit to seek justice and compensation for your loss.
But what are your chances of winning a wrongful death suit? Here are the factors that can affect the outcome of a wrongful death case and what you can do to increase your chances of success.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Texas
Understanding what constitutes a wrongful death in Texas. A wrongful death is a death caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another person or entity. This type of case seeks damages for a family member’s loss of a loved one.
Texas Wrongful Death Law
Wrongful death claims in Texas are covered by a statute that sets out the standards for bringing and winning a wrongful death suit.
Civil Practices and Remedies Code 71.002
a) An action for actual damages arising from an injury that causes an individual’s death may be brought if liability exists under this section.
(b) 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.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case?
CPRC Section 71.004
BENEFITTING FROM AND BRINGING ACTION.
(a) An action to recover damages as provided by this subchapter is for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.
(b) The surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased may bring the action or one or more of those individuals may bring the action for the benefit of all.
(c) If none of the individuals entitled to bring an action have begun the action within three calendar months after the death of the injured individual, his executor or administrator shall bring and prosecute the action unless requested not to by all those individuals.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
Some common examples of wrongful death include:
- 18-wheeler crash resulting in death
- Car accidents due to getting hit by a drunk driver.
- Workplace or construction site accidents due to unsafe conditions
- Criminal acts resulting in death, such as murder or manslaughter.
In these cases, the surviving family members of the deceased may have the right to file a wrongful death suit to seek compensation for their loss.
The Burden of Proof in Texas Wrongful Death Suits
In any legal case, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, meaning it is their responsibility to prove that the defendant is liable for the damages. In a wrongful death suit, this means that you must prove that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused the death of your loved one.
In Texas, the burden of proof for a wrongful death lawsuit is the preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
Proving a wrongful death case can be a challenging task, as you must provide evidence and convince a jury that the defendant is responsible for the death. A skilled and experienced legal representation can greatly increase your chances of success.
Factors That Can Affect the Outcome of a Wrongful Death Suit
Several factors can affect the outcome of a wrongful death suit. These include:
The Strength of Your Evidence
As mentioned earlier, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit. Thou must have strong evidence to support your claim and prove that the defendant is responsible for the death.
Some examples of evidence that can strengthen your case include:
- Medical records and expert testimony to prove the cause of death
- Eyewitness testimony or surveillance footage to prove the defendant’s actions or negligence
- Financial records to prove the financial impact of the death on the surviving family members
The Credibility of Witnesses
In addition to strong evidence, the credibility of witnesses can greatly impact the outcome of a wrongful death suit. If your witnesses are deemed unreliable or untrustworthy, it can weaken your case and decrease your chances of success.
The Conduct of the Defendant
In some cases, the defendant’s reputation can also play a role in the outcome of a wrongful death suit. If the defendant has a history of similar incidents, it can strengthen your case and increase your chances of winning.
In trucking accident lawsuits, violations of federal regulations can be powerful evidence that helps a wrongful death case.
How to Increase Your Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Suit
While there is no guarantee of success in a wrongful death suit, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of winning. These include:
Hiring an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
As mentioned earlier, having a skilled and experienced legal representation can greatly impact the outcome of a wrongful death suit. Choose a wrongful death attorney in Houston, TX, with the knowledge, expertise, and resources to build a strong case and fight for your rights in court.
When choosing an attorney, research their experience and success rate in handling wrongful death cases. Consider their reputation and years of experience as a primary factor.
Gathering Strong Evidence
As the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, it’s crucial to gather strong evidence to support your case. Vital evidence may include medical records, expert testimony, and other relevant documents or witness statements.
Your attorney can help you gather and organize this evidence to present a strong case in court.
Being Prepared for a Trial
While many wrongful death cases are settled outside of court, it’s important to be prepared for a trial in case a settlement cannot be reached. Trial prep means being ready to testify and present your case before a jury.
Your attorney can help you prepare for a trial and ensure you are comfortable and confident in presenting your case.
Wrongful Death Compensation
If you are seeking compensation for a wrongful death, there are several factors to consider. The amount of compensation you may be entitled to will depend on various factors such as:
- Economic Damages: This includes quantifiable financial losses, such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of the deceased person’s earnings, and the value of lost benefits or inheritance.
- Non-economic Damages: These intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and mental anguish, are not easily quantifiable.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, if the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future.
- Contributory Negligence: The compensation amount may be reduced if the deceased person was partially responsible for their death. This concept is known as comparative negligence in Texas.
It’s important to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can assess your case and help determine the potential compensation you may be eligible for. They will gather evidence, calculate the damages, and guide you through the legal process to maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.
How Much is the Average Wrongful Death Settlement in Texas?
The average wrongful death settlement can vary greatly depending on various factors, such as the circumstances of the case, the jurisdiction, and the damages involved. In Texas, for example, the average wrongful death settlement can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. It is important to note that each case is unique, and the settlement amount will depend on the specific details and evidence presented.
A few of the biggest factors are how clear liability is and whether there is enough insurance to cover the damages. To get a more accurate estimate of the potential compensation you may be eligible for, it is recommended to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can assess your case and provide personalized guidance.
Real-Life Examples of Successful Wrongful Death Suits
There have been many high-profile Houston wrongful death cases that have resulted in successful outcomes for the plaintiffs. Here is an example:
The Truck Driver Who Lost Control of Truck
One of the many fatal truck accident lawsuits won by Baumgartner Law Firm includes the case where a truck driver lost control of the big rig and traveled into the oncoming lane of traffic, killing a father and son. Baumgartner Law Firm represented the truck driver who sustained severe injuries and ultimately died. Our wrongful death attorneys obtained a multi-million dollar settlement on the courthouse steps.
The settlement we collected for the driver’s family was more than the other personal injury lawyers received for the family of the innocent father and son.
Get the Best Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me
While there is no guarantee of success in a wrongful death suit, having strong evidence, credible witnesses, and an experienced attorney can greatly increase your chances of winning. It’s important to understand the laws and statutes in your state and be prepared for a trial if necessary.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, it’s important to seek a top-notch wrongful death attorney near you and explore your options for seeking justice and compensation.
Contact the Wrongful Death Lawyers in Houston at Baumgartner Law Firm to Increase Your Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Suit.
Our wrongful death attorneys have over 35 years of experience winning wrongful death cases in Houston and across Texas. We remain undefeated in wrongful death litigation. Contact our law firm for a free consultation.
Baumgartner Law Firm
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069
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