Wrongful death attorneys work within the state’s legal system to help you secure compensation after the loss of a family member. In order to resolve your case, they focus on showing that someone else caused the death of your loved one.
Lawyers work to establish the following elements in each wrongful death claim:
Duty of Care
In order to move forward with a Texas wrongful death claim, a lawyer must show that another party owed your loved one a duty of care. Duty of care can vary based on the kind of accident that took your loved one.
For example, all drivers in Texas have a duty of care to follow the rules of the road and operate their vehicles in a safe and reasonable manner. Doctors have a duty of care to provide responsible care to their patients. Property owners have a responsibility to remove any hazards they know about (or should know about) on their property.
Breached Duty of Care
Once your wrongful death attorney establishes that someone else owed your family member of duty of care, they take steps to show that the party violated this duty. Individuals may violate their duty in several ways. For example:
- A driver could speed, run a red light, or drive the wrong way up the road
- A doctor could improperly diagnose an illness or prescribe the wrong medication
- A property owner could leave a spill on the floor without warning visitors
Any of these actions could represent a significant breach of the duty of care in Texas.
Causation for an Accident
A wrongful death lawyer must go beyond showing that the other party involved in the accident acted in a negligent way to build your claim. They also take steps to show that the party’s actions directly led to the wrongful death accident.
For example, let’s say a driver decided to exceed the speed limit and tailgate another vehicle. These actions breach the duty of care shared by drivers throughout Texas. However, if the driver never caused an accident, the situation would not progress further.
However, if the other driver struck the vehicle when they reached a stop sign because the tailgating driver could not stop in time, they would have directly caused the collision.