The Hartley Law Firm is an experienced Denton County personal injury law firm that assists families in their efforts to secure compensation for the death of a loved one.
Wrongful death lawsuits refer to instances where a person is killed as the result of another’s negligence. While the death of a loved one naturally presents challenges to surviving family members, an unexpected death involving negligence or recklessness is a unique and emotionally fraught situation. It can be understandably difficult to ascertain what steps to take after these accidents. While financial compensation may not be at the forefront of a family member’s mind, it is often critical to a full recovery. At the Hartley Law Firm, our Carrollton wrongful death attorneys have helped countless families recover compensation after a tragic loss. We offer our clients respect, compassion, and fierce advocacy during the entirety of their claims.
Wrongful Death Claims in Texas
A common misconception is that any lawsuit involving a death resulting from another’s negligence is a “wrongful death” claim. However, wrongful death and survival actions differ, although both fall under the umbrella of personal injury claims. Wrongful death lawsuits permit surviving family members to seek justice through financial compensation for a loved one who died because of another’s negligence. These claims allow certain surviving family members to recover compensation for the loss of their loved ones.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Generally, three types of damages are available after a successful wrongful death lawsuit: economic, non-economic, and punitive or exemplary damages. However, punitive damages are rarely awarded, and most compensation falls under the first two types. Economic damages look to the financial contributions the victim would have made if they did not die. These include damages such as:
- Medical expenses related to the death,
- Loss of the deceased’s expected earnings,
- Loss of employment benefits such as medical coverage or retirement plans,
- Loss of an inheritance, and
- The value of services the deceased would have contributed.
Non-economic damages are less tangible losses related to non-pecuniary harms the loved ones suffered. These damages include:
- The survivors’ pain and suffering;
- Loss of the care, advice, and training from the victim;
- Loss of companionship from the victim; and
- Loss of consortium from a deceased spouse.
Unlike the other two types of damages, punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party. Courts rarely award these damages, and they are available only when the at-fault party acts with gross negligence.
Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
While fatal injuries can occur after many types of catastrophic accidents, certain accidents are more likely to result in death.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
According to the most recent data from the Texas Department of Transportation, more than 3600 people suffered fatal injuries in a Texas motor vehicle accident in 2019. Essentially, one reportable crash occurred every 56 seconds, and one person died every two and a half hours. These fatal accidents often occur because of one or more negligent, careless, or reckless acts. Some common causes of fatal accidents include:
- Impaired Driving,
- Fatigued driving, and
- Roadway conditions.
Of course, these are just a few of the many causes of Carrollton car accidents
Many fatal injuries are the result of a dangerous or defective product. Generally, product liability lawsuits involve design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. Defects that can lead to severe injuries or death often involve:
- Defective vehicle components,
- Defective medication or medical devices,
- Defective infant products and toys,
- Inadequate instructions or warnings, and
- Tainted food products.
In some cases, manufacturers can be held strictly liable for any injuries resulting from the use of their products.
Wrongful death claims in Texas may also stem from acts of medical malpractice or medical negligence. The most common types of lethal medical mistakes involve:
- Medication errors,
- Surgery mistakes,
- Birth injuries, and
- Defective medical devices.
While most healthcare providers do everything possible to ensure a positive outcome, even doctors make mistakes.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
As disturbing as it is, nursing home abuse and neglect is common precipitating event for wrongful death claims. Many older adults rely on nursing homes and assisted living facilities for their daily care. These institutions are tasked with protecting and providing healthcare for some of society’s most vulnerable groups of people. Some common nursing home abuse and neglect wrongful death claims stem from :
- Physical abuse,
- Improper diagnoses, and
- Failure to monitor a resident’s condition.
When a resident experiences neglect or abuse at a Texas nursing home, they are more likely to suffer wrongful death.
Many people in the United States spend much of their time at their workplace; as such, it is understandable that these locations are often the site of injuries. While accidents may happen in any job, some occupations and workplaces are more hazardous than others. Work-related wrongful death lawsuits often involve accidents in specific industries such as:
- Rail and road transportation,
- Agriculture, and
Of course, some workplace accidents fall within the workers’ compensation system. Our dedicated Carrollton wrongful death attorney can help families understand which type of claim is most appropriate in their situation.
Contact Our Experienced Carrollton Wrongful Death Attorneys
After a fatal accident, loved ones go through a series of emotions as they grieve. Dealing with the financial loss of a family member’s death only heightens a person’s trauma. At the Hartley Law Firm, Austin Hartley represents injury victims with integrity, respect, and fierce advocacy. Unlike many other Texas law firms, our Carrollton wrongful death lawyer Austin commits to treating each client with compassion and ensuring that they feel comfortable discussing their goals and desired outcomes. Austin’s prior experience—combined with his legal knowledge and impressive litigation skills—makes him a true asset to any family facing these difficult situations.
- Auto vehicle accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sexual violence
- Medical errors
- Nursing home negligence
To learn more and to schedule a free initial consultation, contact our Carrollton wrongful death lawyers or connect with us through our online form.