WRONGFUL DEATHS

What We Do For You

Our Houston wrongful death lawyers are your advocates in an unimaginable, unprecedented situation. The loss of a loved one is a tragic, difficult situation – one of the worst things we can face in this life. When such a tragic loss is due to the wrongdoing or carelessness of another, it makes the pain, the frustration even more unbearable. 

Such cases are known as wrongful death cases, and you have the right to compensation from the individual or company. However, this is about more than money. 

No amount of money replaces the loss of a spouse, parent, or child. However, the law gives you the right to hold these parties accountable. 

Wrongful Deaths and Your Rights

ON YOUR SIDE

At AP Law Group, our Wrongful Death Attorneys will fight for every right you have for your lost loved one. We hold the liable accountable because real closure requires real justice.

When you are forced to deal with the heartbreak of your loss, you’re left in an overwhelmed, numb state, with questions circling around you.  We understand, and we are here to be your advocates against those responsible. 

Our Houston wrongful death lawyers offer free consultations that are confidential so that you have the privacy and safety to share your situation. Moreover, there is no cost to our services upfront. You pay nothing for our services until and unless we win your case. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Wrongful Death?

Per Texas law, a wrongful death occurs when the death of your loved one is caused by one of the following. 

  • Neglect or negligence
  • Default 
  • Lack of skill 
  • Carelessness 
  • Wrongdoing

Beneath these broad terms, there are specific causes of wrongful deaths that vary quite a bit. The following are just a few examples of wrongful death claims. 

  • Fires caused by unsafe conditions, bad wiring, or faulty electrical systems
  • Animal attacks 
  • Violent assaults
  • Medical malpractice or errors in hospitals
  • Defective or dangerous products 
  • Abuse or neglect in nursing homes
  • Vehicle accidents caused by dangerous road conditions or negligent drivers
  • Construction site accidents
  • Slips, falls, trips, and other premises liability cases caused by an unsafe environment

Because an array of acts have the potential as a basis for wrongful death lawsuits, the easiest way to understand your rights is to speak with one of our Houston wrongful death lawyers.

Who Can File Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Only certain people related to the victim have the ability to pursue wrongful death lawsuits. Unfortunately, this excludes friends and colleagues. Instead, only the following individuals can file a wrongful death claim in the state of Texas: 

  • Parents and adoptive parents
  • Surviving spouses
  • Children, including biological, adopted, and adult children

It is important to note that Texas law, unfortunately, excludes siblings from the list of those able to file wrongful death claims. However, when none of the above parties take action, the person designated as the personal representative or executor of the deceased’s estate is able to file the claim.  

When you believe that someone’s death was preventable and wrongful, it is essential that you engage with a Houston wrongful death attorney. As your advocate in this awful situation, we can help you take the steps you need in order to obtain compensation. Let us help you hold those liable accountable and gain the justice you deserve. 

What is Considered a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death happens when a person is killed because of another person or entity’s negligence or misconduct. Although there can be a criminal prosecution related to the fatality, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action and is separate from any criminal charges the negligent may have done.

When you are unsure if you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, call the Wrongful Death Attorneys at AP Law Group in Houston.

What is "loss of companionship and society"?

Death is not always caused by natural means or accident, but others’ negligence as well. In these instances, relatives and their loved ones are entitled to compensation for their loss. Though life can’t be retrieved once lost, the family gets a relief to help them cope with the loss. Loss of companionship and society is a statutory right that allows the bereaved compensation for their loss. The money should compensate for the loss of love, security, attention, and companionship due to a spouse’s death or a loved one.

Since it’s hard to be compensated for your loss, getting a wrongful death attorney will ensure fair compensation. Death may leave you without any means of survival after losing the sole breadwinner. Contacting a Houston criminal death lawyer can assist you on the due process to ensure you’re not under-compensated.

What they Use to Determine the Loss of Companionship and Society

It may be challenging to determine compensation value; thus, a Houston wrongful death lawyer ensures the court uses the following factors to calculate the amount for compensation.

1. Length of Marriage

How old you are in a marriage is essential; a wrongful death attorney uses age to determine compensation. A younger spouse can get married and live a fulfilled life which is not the case with older ones who are likely to remain single.

2. Nature of Marriage

If you had a good marriage, you will be highly compensated for the lost memories that will never be due to death. If it was troublesome in the middle of a divorce, they’re nothing much that a spouse can claim.

3. Shared Interests and Activities

Couples tend to work as a team in all their areas of life death may cut short their plans. A wrongful death attorney ensures all no details are overllo0ked and fair compensation for your loss.

4. A Minor

If the one involved is a minor, parents are compensated for their loss by determining the age, relationship with parents, and how they are affected by their loss. For fair compensation, hire a Houston wrongful death lawyer to help you with the legal proceedings.

Benefits of a Wrongful Death Attorney

Losing a loved one is never easy, mainly if caused by negligence; thus, it’s essential to ensure the liable party is held responsible. To pursue maximum compensation, getting a Houston wrongful death lawyer will be beneficial.

1. They Understand the Legal Proceedings

The court can be confusing; hence, you need a good lawyer’s services on your side if you want to win the case. He will help you since he is aware of all court proceedings and advice you accordingly.

2. They Know the Potential Value of Your Claim:

Wrongful death claims tend to vary, and they can estimate your value since they have dealt with similar cases. He can evaluate your case to show the court how the loss has affected the family.

3. Help you to Avoid Mistakes

Minor mistakes can harm the case in the long run, and a Houston wrongful death lawyer ensures you prevent them.

Which relatives are allowed to sue for wrongful death?

A wrongful death lawsuit applies where a person dies because of another person’s intent to cause harm or due to negligence. According to the law, a deceased person cannot file for a wrongful death lawsuit, but it allows people, such as a relative, to present their claim in a civil court. 

The person filing for a wrongful death lawsuit needs to work with a wrongful death attorney, who presents their case to a court and claims monetary compensation from the person or company directly involved in the deceased’s death. This financial compensation covers medical costs incurred by the deceased before death, burial costs, loss of inheritance due to unexpected death, and income loss.

How Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Work?

Unlike the conventional law system, which prohibited a single person from filing for a wrongful death lawsuit, modern-day law allows a decedent’s representative or their estate to sue for damages including mental suffering, grief, or sorrow. However, the representatives are allowed to sue for wrongful death claims, depend on where you reside. Therefore, you will need to work closely with your Houston wrongful death lawyer to understand the wrongful death lawsuit in your state dictates.

Who can File for Wrongful Death?

Most states follow two types of systems regarding wrongful death claims: the Lord Campbell System and the Loss-To-Estate System. A wrongful death attorney will take you through how the system adopted by your state works and help you to understand whether you can sue for a wrongful death claim.

The Lord Campbell Act

It is the most common wrongful death statute adopted by most states. According to this statute, only a specific person or group can file for a wrongful death claim. These groups of people need to be specified by the state or related to the deceased. Suppose you are an immediate family member to the deceased. In that case, you should talk to an experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer, who will present your claim to a civil court, and you will receive monetary compensation. 

For example, a surviving spouse should present the lawsuit, or if the descendant had adult children, they could present the lawsuit. In case the decedent was a minor, the parents are responsible for presenting the lawsuit are the parents. If the deceased were a single adult, most states would allow distant relatives such as uncles or aunts to file the claim.

The Loss-To-Estate System

This wrongful death statute allows the decedent’s estate to file for a wrongful death lawsuit alongside a wrongful death attorney. The persons responsible for the deceased death will compensate the estate for any damages sustained due to the death. A representative such as a Houston wrongful death lawyer should present this lawsuit to the civil court. The Loss-To-Estate wrongful death statute also works if the deceased had a will. The court appoints a representative or an executor who will bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. The court disburses the money recovered from people responsible for the death to the beneficiaries after a while.

Hiring an Attorney

You should not wait too long before filing a wrongful death lawsuit, especially if the government or the government’s employee is responsible for the death. If you have any questions regarding a wrongful death lawsuit, you should consult with an experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer.

What is the exact definition of "wrongful death"?

Wrongful death is a legal term that describes a peculiar or inconvenient death caused by unlawful negligence or misconduct of an individual. The action of wrongful death entails contention of a legal lawsuit for monetary compensation against an individual or company accountable for the plaintiff’s death or fatal injuries.

Wrongful death claims are filed by a surviving family member of the deceased as it is a civil law concept. Even though illegal actions can cause it, wrongful death has no connection with criminal law. To understand the concept of wrongful death, conduct a Houston wrongful death lawyer.

Legal Grounds for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

A wrongful death civil lawsuit arises when an individual, company, or business body’s laxity actions contribute to a plaintiff’s unnatural death or accident. In many states, wrongful death claims are based on:

  • Careless or negligent conducts
  • Faulty Construction
  • Improper or illegal Sale of Alcohol
  • Unlawful acts
  • Intentional Homicide
  • Engineering Malpractice
  • Driving while drunk

Who Files for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In many states, wrongful death is filed by a wrongful death attorney of the deceased individual. The lawyer represents the surviving members or children of the deceased. On many occasions, the court appoints one family member of the deceased to act as a representative.

What to Look for when Considering a Wrongful Death Attorney

There are many attorneys out there. It is essential to know what makes a Houston wrongful death lawyer outstanding. The main factors to consider are:

1. Experience

It is crucial to work with a lawyer who has a series of successful wrongful death cases and litigation experience to ensure high chances of winning the wrongful death lawsuit.

2. Attentiveness and Dedication

When looking for a lawyer, it is a great idea to choose who dedicates a more significant part of their law practice in wrongful death cases. Also, work with an attorney who gives you the attention you require. With that, you are confident your case is handled by an attorney who is conversant with litigation, and your case will go through thorough representation.

3. Required Resources to handle the Claim

It is costly to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. From collecting sufficient information to help in the process to get a great representative, the expenses are hefty. Working with an experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer helps recover compensation as they have an in-depth approach to gathering information and litigating your claims.

4. Outcome

The last thing to consider when choosing a lawyer is their reputation in getting their maximum client recovery. Often defendants involved in a wrongful death lawsuit are of high ranks and are represented by high skilled lawyers who ensure they do not pay maximum recovery. Working with a Houston wrongful death lawyer with a reputation of securing maximum recovery for their clients is the type of lawyer to handle your case.

Keep in mind that a Wrongful death attorney pursues a wrongful death civil claim in situations where the perpetrator’s unsafe actions lead to someone’s death. In some states, wrongful death claims allege the defendant acted inattentively due to malpractice or consumption of dangerous drugs. The claims can also be based on assertions that the defendant had an intention of killing the deceased.

Essential Considerations In A Wrongful Death Case

Death is always tragic. However, the pain surrounding this event is often multiplied sevenfold when such circumstances may be attributed to the reckless or irresponsible actions of others.

Our team of Houston wrongful death lawyers wants everyone residing in and around Houston’s metro region to understand that the loved ones of an individual believed to have died as the result of another’s negligent actions might be entitled to compensation.

What Is Wrongful Death?

As wrongful death attorneys, we want you to know that the wrongful death concept is a facet of personal injury law. This means that you have legal options when someone else’s negligence causes the death of a loved one. This civil instrument enables the families of those killed in acute accidents or gradually due to other causes to take legal action against the purported guilty parties.

Examples Of Wrongful Death Cases

Houston wrongful death lawyers maintain that a wide array of individuals and establishments could be the subject of negligent demise claims including:

Individuals

The close associations of one killed in an automobile accident perpetrated by an intoxicated driver could bring forth a suit against the offending motorist. Moreover, one who knowingly sold alcohol to an already impaired person who ended up dying in some type of accident could be held accountable.

However, individuals might be subject to a wrongful death action against homeowners, workplaces, construction sites, and businesses for something as simple as not notifying unsuspecting guests or patrons of hazardous environments that ultimately resulted in fatalities.

Establishments

These civil instruments can also be brought against formal establishments like companies. For example, a team of architects or engineers who designed a product with a fatal flaw could be found liable if said mistake is linked to the downfall of one or many.

Houston wrongful death lawyers might also handle cases involving institutions such as surgical teams and hospitals for engaging in improper care resulting in a patient’s death.

Who Can Bring Forth Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Our team of Houston wrongful death lawyers urges wants you to understand that only a select few may initiate such claims. Texas law stipulates that the spouses, children, and parents of the deceased subject are eligible to file these cases. Adopted children or parents are also permitted to engage in such actions provided the adoption process was completed and recognized by a court of law.

Proving A Wrongful Death Suit

Texas residents contemplating such actions are implored to retain the services of a wrongful death attorney possessing a plethora of experience and a proven track record trying such cases.

Success in such endeavors requires the deceased subject’s representatives and legal team to demonstrate to a ruling entity that the accused party or parties engaged in some negligible behavior, this action somehow resulted in the deceased’s demise, the suing family members sustained significant financial setbacks as a result of their loved one’s passing, and the damages they seek are strictly intended to assuage these trying economic circumstances.

Schedule a Free Consultation

A wrongful death lawsuit is often a complicated and emotionally draining process. Fortunately, when those facing these circumstances need to find a competent and compassionate wrongful death attorney, the AP Law Group is where their search should begin and end.

Our team of lawyers possess significant experience trying such cases and producing solid results. Schedule a free case evaluation today, and let us help you fight for your future. 

Why hire a Houston wrongful death attorney after a fatal accident?

Accidents are common. The only variance is whether the accident was major or minor. Some of the worst accidents involve a collision with a drunk driver or a negligent driver. Although some of these people are the worst drivers, they are not the main reason why there are accidents.

In some instances, accidents occur in dangerous places. Additionally, issues such as faulty cars pose a significant issue. If you have been involved in an accident, here are a few reasons why you should hire Houston wrongful death lawyers to represent you after the incident:

1.They Will Help to Prove the Injuries

After being involved in an accident, you may have a hard time trying to prove that you incurred injuries as you try to claim compensation. When you hire Houston wrongful death lawyers, you have advocates who will conduct an investigation.

Then, they will table the evidence they have gathered regarding the injuries. They will also bring forth evidence incriminating the party that caused the accident.

When you hire our Houston wrongful death lawyers, we fight to defend you, and we will utilize our knowledge of the law accordingly. Ensure you have hired an attorney who is skilled and resourceful. Your wrongful death attorney should be in a position to reconstruct the accident scene while also interviewing the witnesses and obtaining the accident reports.

2. Handle the Insurance Firm

Our Houston wrongful death lawyers understand the law. In a wrongful death case, you likely have a lot to deal with, and it will be easier for us to deal with the insurance firm while you take care of yourself and your family. Moreover, negotiations are an integral part of dealing with insurance firms, and that is why you should hire an attorney to assist in such instances.

Your wrongful death attorney should craft any written and verbal statements because we write everything in your best interests. Also, your litigator should handle all the details while ensuring your best interests are safeguarded. In this case, the most important thing is to get paid by the insurance company so that you have what you need to move on.

3. They Can File a Case If Need Be

In certain circumstances, wrongful death cases can be settled out of court. However, when the out-of-court settlements fail, how should you go about it? If you are working with a lawyer, we would file a case on your behalf. Your wrongful death attorney will oversee the court case and ensure you get compensated for all the damages you have incurred.

4. Negotiating for the Settlement

After an accident, the insurance firm participates in the negotiation process. If you are not conversant with the extent of the injuries and the damage you have incurred, hire a lawyer, and they will ensure you get the best deal after the negotiation process comes to an end.

If you experienced a wrongful death, you need an advocate on your side who understands. More importantly, you need a team who can bear the weight of your case while you recover. As your advocates, our Houston wrongful death attorneys strive to pursue your best interests while shouldering the weight of the case. Let us secure your future as you fight to move forward.

Will punitive damages be available in my wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death claim is a civil case filed by the surviving family members to ensure that the offender is held responsible for their loved one’s death. Such a lawsuit can include economic and non-economic damages. While all states permit a wrongful death claim, the rules vary by state, which is why it is vital to get a wrongful death attorney in order to make this claim.

As Houston wrongful death lawyers, we know Texas’s wrongful death claims often arise from the following.

Above all, the most common cause is vehicular accidents. Government data shows that one person is killed every 2 hours and 21 minutes on Texas roads. Moreover, one person is injured every 2 minutes and 4 seconds, and one reportable crash occurred every 59 seconds.

What is covered by a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim includes both compensatory and punitive damages.

Compensatory damages are those awarded directly for the injuries sustained.

  • medical expenses
  • funeral expenses
  • the victim’s lost work wages
  • moral damages
  • mental and emotional injuries
  • loss of possible inheritance

These are the usual claims made and can be proven by documentation from medical doctors, police officers, psychologists, and accountants.

Additionally, our Houston wrongful death lawyers would point out that courts can award you punitive damages. These are not automatically included in wrongful death claims, so you need to file for them separately.

Punitive damages are personal to the injured party and are awarded for two reasons: to punish the offender for grossly negligent or immoral conduct and to deter others from conducting similar actions in the future.

How are punitive damages computed?

There is no one formula in computing for punitive damages, but a wrongful death attorney can help you file a proper, just, and fair claim. Houston wrongful death lawyers know that it can be challenging to claim punitive damages since the standard of proof required is not just preponderance of evidence as is applicable in civil cases, but one that is of “clear and convincing evidence.”

Some argue on the constitutionality of such an award. However, many also aver that punitive damages are not unconstitutional per se since they can serve as deterrents for future grossly immoral or negligent misconduct. What is unconstitutional is when the award is grossly excessive, as in the case of BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559 (1996), Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Leatherman Tool Group, Inc., 532 U.S. 424 (2001), and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (2003). 

An effective wrongful death attorney can make a proper claim for you that is proportional to the injuries your deceased loved one and your family have sustained.

When can I make a claim?

As your Houston wrongful death lawyers, we encourage you to act immediately on a wrongful death claim since the statute of limitations is two years from the victim’s time of death. This might seem like plenty of time. However, it’s important to understand that delays may make your case harder to prove. 

Leading Causes of Fatal Accidents

What Is Wrongful Death?

Merriam Webster defines wrongful death as “a death caused by the negligent, willful, or wrongful act, neglect, omission, or default of another.”

If your spouse, parent, or child is killed due to negligence or an intentional act by a person or company, those responsible may be criminally charged and ultimately punished for their crime. However, you may also file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court for financial damages. 

When your loved one was taken from you prematurely, you may also have suffered the loss of companionship, physical and financial support, or future inheritance. Moreover, you may have been left with substantial medical bills as well as burial costs.

If this has happened to you, you need the services of the Houston wrongful death lawyers at the AP Law Group. A wrongful death attorney at the AP Law Group will help you get the financial compensation you need to best move on from this tragic event.

Leading Causes of Fatal Accidents

Losing someone you love is always painful, but it is especially difficult to bear when the death was caused by an accident that could have been avoided. Common causes of fatal accidents include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Architect or engineering malpractice
  • Boating accidents
  • Aviation accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dangerous medications
  • Defective products

The Houston wrongful death lawyers at the AP Law Group understand the emotional anguish these negligent acts cause for the spouse, parents, or children left behind. Additionally, we recognize that dealing with legal issues surrounding the loss of your loved one can be overwhelming. 

When you hire a wrongful death attorney from our firm, we can lighten the burden by dealing with the insurance companies, negotiating settlements, and, if necessary, bringing your case to court.

Why Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney with The AP Law Group?

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil lawsuits and an area of tort law separate and apart from criminal suits. These types of suits are governed by statute and the rules that apply to them vary from state to state. If you’re considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Houston, it’s important to hire Houston wrongful death lawyers who are well-versed in Texas civil law.

One of the most critical aspects of a wrongful death claim is to make sure it is filed within the two-year statute of limitations. If your loved one was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident that sent her to the hospital for six months after which she died, the two-year clock does not begin ticking until her actual passing.

As the plaintiff, in order for your wrongful death lawsuit to prevail in court, you’ll need to prove her death was the result of the injuries she sustained as a result of the defendant’s negligence or willful act. Sometimes a case is not clear cut. An accident reconstruction might need to be done, or there may be multiple parties responsible for the fatality. 

In some cases, witness statements may need to be obtained. All of these things take time. The sooner you hire the AP Law Group, the quicker our resourceful Houston wrongful death lawyers will get to work compiling all the evidence needed to win you the compensation you both need and deserve.

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