Understanding Your Right to Compensation for Wrongful Death

October 30, 2015

When you lose a loved one in an accident or as a result of someone’s negligence or misconduct, seeking financial compensation may be one of the farthest things from your mind. While you are coping with the death of a family member, making funeral arrangements and simply figuring out how you are going to move on with your life, getting involved in a lawsuit is understandably the last thing you want to do.

However, seeking compensation for your loved one’s death is a critical part of the process and the sooner you take action, the sooner you can receive the compensation you deserve. If you wait too long, key evidence may fade away and you can even lose your right to file a claim entirely. As a result, we encourage all of our clients who are considering wrongful death claims to get started as soon as possible.

Who Can File a Claim for Wrongful Death?

In Texas, spouses, children and parents can file wrongful death claims for the loss of their loved ones. These claims are based on the surviving family members’ own losses, which typically include things like loss of financial support, loss of companionship and pain and suffering.

Often, family members’ wrongful death claims will be accompanied by what is known as a “survival action.” In a survival action, the representative of the deceased individual’s estate seeks to recover much of the compensation that the decedent could have recovered had he or she survived the accident. Assuming the survival action is successful, the compensation recovered is then distributed according to the decedent’s estate plan or applicable law.

Generally speaking, family members and the decedent’s estate can file wrongful death claims and survival actions in situations where the decedent could have filed a personal injury claim had he or she lived through the fatal incident. This includes:

• Fatal injuries caused by defective products, including drugs and medical devices
• Railroad, aviation and boating accidents
• Offshore accidents
• Slips and falls
• Vehicle collisions
• Workplace accidents

You can see some more common examples of wrongful death and survival claims here.

How Do I Know Who is Responsible for My Loved One’s Death?

In order to speak with an attorney about seeking compensation for your loved one’s death, it is not important for you to know who is responsible. One of the first things your attorney will do is undertake a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident and identify all parties that may be to blame. What is important is that you are prepared to share everything you know about what happened. Your attorney will use this information to aid in the investigation and piece together the facts necessary to pursue a successful case.

Depending on what happened, this may include asserting claims against:

• Contractors and subcontractors at job sites
• Product manufacturers
• Property owners and tenants
• Refineries, plants, and other facilities
• Trucking companies, bus companies, airlines, and other common carriers

In many cases, multiple parties will be responsible. To help ensure that you receive maximum compensation, your attorney will seek to identify all of the responsible parties and include them in your case.

Contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP about Your Wrongful Death Claim Today

At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we are sensitive to the tragic circumstances involved in cases of wrongful death. When we take your case, we will handle as much of the process as possible so you can focus on your family and grieving your loved one’s loss. We are passionate about helping our clients, and we want to make sure that you receive the money to which you are legally entitled.

To speak with one of our Houston wrongful death attorneys about your claim, please call (800) 489-2216 or contact us online today.

Get a Free Case Review by Calling Morrow & Sheppard Now.

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