If you have lost a loved one through someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, no award or settlement can compensate you for the loss you have suffered. A wrongful death claim is a legal action to hold the responsible party accountable and to seek justice for your loved one by recovering compensation for yourself and your family members.
At The Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC we handle wrongful death claims to help families uncover the truth about the death of their loved ones and recover compensation to offset losses associated with the death. Our wrongful death lawyer in Houston will fight for your rights and to obtain justice for your loved one.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a civil action filed against a party who has caused someone’s death through negligence or intentional harm. In Texas, it is filed to recover damages for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. A wrongful death claim can be brought only when a victim who would otherwise have a personal injury claim dies as the result of negligence or intentional harmful acts of the defendant.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
A wrongful death claim may be filed by the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased for the benefit of all. As stated in the statute, if none of these surviving family members have begun a claim within three calendar months after the loved one’s death, the executor or administrator of the deceased shall bring and prosecute the lawsuit, unless he or she is asked not to by all surviving family members who are eligible to file a claim.
Determining Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
The Texas wrongful death statute states that the jury may award damages in an amount proportionate to the injury resulting from the victim’s death. These damages will be divided amongst the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased, in proportions determined by the jury.
Punitive (exemplary) damages may also be recovered when the death was caused by a willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant. This type of damages is designed to punish the defendant and set an example to deter similar conduct in the future.
What Are Wrongful Death Damages Based On?
Damages awarded by the jury in a wrongful death claim are based on the losses surviving family members have suffered and are likely to suffer in the future because of their loved one’s death. These losses may include:
- Earning capacity
- Care, support, services, maintenance, counsel and advice of the deceased
- Love, comfort, society, and companionship of the deceased
- Emotional pain and suffering and mental anguish caused by the loved one’s death
Why Choose Us for a Wrongful Death Claim?
At The Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC in Houston, you are not just another number. We pay attention and take extra care, treating every client as an individual. Most of our clients come to us through personal referrals and we work to maximize the experience.