Texas Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you lost your loved one unexpectedly, you’re suffering a devastating emotional loss. You may also have piles of unpaid bills. If another person or business was responsible for their death, you might be able to demand compensation to help cover those bills.
The compassionated Texas wrongful death attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury can help you pursue the financial damages you deserve. We’ll file a wrongful death lawsuit to punish the other party for their careless actions and recover the monetary settlement you need to pay for expenses related to your loved one’s death.
According to Texas statute 71.001, an individual can file a wrongful death claim if one party’s neglect, wrongful act, carelessness, default, or unskillfulness caused another party’s death. Our job is to hold that individual legally responsible, or liable, for your family member’s death.
More than one person could be responsible. For example, if your loved one passed away in a car crash, the negligent parties could include the other driver who was speeding and the maintenance company that failed to fix a pothole in the road.
If you believe you’re entitled to compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death, call Gibson Hill Personal Injury today at (713) 659-4000. We’ll schedule your free consultation and review your legal options.
What Can Cause a Wrongful Death?
Unfortunately, there are many accidents that could lead to wrongful death in Texas. When someone behaves carelessly or creates hazards that could harm another person, sometimes the resulting injuries are fatal.
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of wrongful death in the United States. That’s because there’s are so many causes of car crashes, including:
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Hazardous road or weather conditions
A defective car part or recalled vehicle could also lead to a fatal accident.
Commercial trucks, such as 18-wheelers and big rigs, are dangerously heavy and large. When they crash into a smaller vehicle, they can cause potentially life-threatening injuries. Multiple parties could be responsible for a truck accident that leads to someone’s death, including the:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Parts manufacturer
- Cargo loading company
- Owner of the cab
- Owner of the trailer
- Maintenance and repair company
Any of the parties listed above could exhibit negligent behavior that results in a truck accident death, like:
- Failure to check blind spots
- Underride or override crash
- Overloaded, uneven, or unsecured cargo
- Driver inattention
- Inadequate maintenance or repairs on the vehicle
- Incorrect maneuvering of the truck
- Hiring an inexperienced or unqualified driver
- Improper or sudden braking
- Turning at high speed
- Failure to replace recalled or damaged truck parts
Industrial and Construction Site Accidents
Work injuries happen every day. Unfortunately, workers in the industry and construction suffer the most job-related fatalities. Employees are at risk of death because of their daily exposure to heights, dangerous equipment, and toxic chemicals.
Fatalities could be the result of any of the following:
- Slip and falls
- Exposures to toxic substances
- Injuries from heavy machinery and equipment
- Collapsing structures or scaffolding
Medical malpractice happens when a doctor or other medical professional behaves negligently or recklessly in their job. Doctors, nurses, or other parties can make fatal errors aren’t just a mistake but also medical malpractice.
The most common medical errors doctors make include:
- Incorrect surgical procedure or surgical site
- Prescription error
- Improper transfusion
- Mistaken patient identity
- Surgical injury
- Inadequate treatment of an illness or injury
This broad practice area covers any consumer product that falls under the responsibility of a manufacturer, retailer, supplier, or distributor. It’s up to them to ensure their product doesn’t contain any defects and is safe for the public to use. If there are risks, they must disclose them on a warning label.
Some products, such as slow cookers, could explode and cause severe burns that lead to someone’s death. Other products, like the airbag in a vehicle, could fail to deploy and result in the occupant’s fatal injuries.
Your lawyer will use one three legal theories to pursue compensation for a victim of wrongful death due to product liability:
- Strict liability
- Breach of warranty
Defective Medical Devices
Manufacturers are responsible for providing patients with safe devices to cure medical conditions, alleviate pain, and improve quality of life. If there are risks associated with using the device, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that they are notified. Upon notice, the FDA will warn the public of potential harm they could experience.
A medical device could be defective because of its manufacturing process, design, or marketing efforts. Some negligent companies hide the adverse side effects their devices could cause, which can lead to someone’s death.
The most common defective medical devices still on the market or recalled include:
- Paragard IUD
- Breast implants
- Surgical hernia mesh
- Hip and knee replacements
- Essure birth control device
- Retrievable IVC filters
- Stents, pacemakers, defibrillators, and heart valves
- AMS Transvaginal Mesh
Most pedestrian deaths are the result of a driver’s negligence. If a motorist gets behind the wheel and doesn’t pay attention to their surroundings, they might not see the person on foot trying to cross the street.
Any vehicle that collides with or runs over a human being can cause severe harm. The sheer size, weight, and force of the impact could result in death.
The most common causes of pedestrian deaths due to motor vehicle drivers include:
- Improper navigation of a construction zone
- Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone or eating food
- Driving too fast for the conditions, such as bad weather or poor visibility
- Reckless driving, such as weaving in and out of traffic, running a red light, or sudden lane change
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Driver inattention in a school zone
- Driving at excessive speeds, especially at a crosswalk
- Failure to check for pedestrians before making a left-hand turn
Property owners, managers, and business owners must keep their properties safe for visitors. If there’s damage on their premises, they should repair it promptly and remove any hazards.
If someone suffers a fatal injury on another person’s property, the owner may be held responsible for paying the surviving family financial compensation in a wrongful death claim.
The most common reasons victims of premises liability suffer fatal injuries include:
- Negligent security
- Fire or explosion
- Slippery or wet floor
- Cracked or uneven sidewalk
- Poorly lit parking area, stairway, or walkway
- Inadequate maintenance and repairs
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Defective elevator or escalator
Dog bites can lead to broken bones, torn tendons, and life-threatening infections. If someone’s dog bites a person and causes death, they could be held responsible for resulting expenses.
Under the Texas One Bite Rule, the dog owner can be deemed negligent if they knew about prior aggressive behavior or failed to control their dog to prevent injury.
A dangerous drug is one that causes severe side effects and death. Pharmaceutical companies are supposed to release warning labels so that the public is aware of potential adverse symptoms.
Unfortunately, victims can be harmed by a defect in the drug’s design, marketing, or manufacturing. When dangerous drugs cause fatal injuries, the responsible parties can be held liable.
Some well-known medications that could cause unfavorable side effects include:
- Ortho Evra
How to Pursue a Wrongful Death Case
If your loved one died as a result of someone’s negligence, your lawyer could help you file a wrongful death lawsuit for compensation for your damages.
Only specific family members can pursue this type of case in the civil court system. They are:
- Surviving spouses
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
The above individuals can file alone or as a group.
You must follow the statute of limitations, a strict deadline for bringing legal action against another party. The wrongful death statute of limitations in Texas is two years. That means you have two years from the date your loved one died to sue the negligent party.
If you’re an adult and your parent died, you would be eligible for a wrongful death claim. Adoptive children can pursue compensation for their adoptive parent’s death, but they can’t file for their biological parent’s death.
When someone files a wrongful death lawsuit, they’re trying to win compensation for the estate and surviving family members for their losses. These losses are also called damages. The damages available in a wrongful death case include:
- Mental and emotional anguish, pain, and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost services, care, support, or advice that the deceased would have provided to their family if they survived
- Lost love, companionship, and society
- Lost inheritance and other monetary assets the deceased would have saved and left to their relatives if they hadn’t died
Contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury
Losing a loved one to wrongful death is a devastating experience. At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we want to make sure the negligent party who caused it suffers the consequences of their actions. You can count on us to help you fight for your loved one’s right to just compensation.
Our compassionate Texas wrongful death lawyers will dedicate our time and attention to your case. We’ll treat you like a priority and be there for you when you need us. We work hard to resolve cases efficiently so that you get the financial compensation you need and deserve as quickly as possible.
If your loved one passed away because of another person’s careless actions, let Gibson Hill Personal Injury assist you with your wrongful death case. Call us at (713) 659-4000 today for a free consultation.