The death of a loved one can turn your entire life upside down. This loss can be even more profound when the death is sudden and could have been prevented. Losing a loved one due to the negligence or willful act of another party may entitle you to compensation.
Money is unlikely to be the first thing on your mind after a family member dies. However, recovering compensation can be essential to rebuilding your life and continuing on. This loss can severely impact your financial situation, especially if the deceased was the primary earner for your household.
At The Buzbee Law Firm, our team of Houston wrongful death lawyers can help you recover fair compensation after the death of a loved one. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started.
Determining Liability in a Wrongful Death Claim
The first step in pursuing compensation after a wrongful death is determining who is at fault. In many wrongful death cases, determining liability can be challenging, with several parties potentially responsible. Fortunately, an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you sort out who is to blame.
After hiring a wrongful death lawyer, they will immediately begin investigating your case to determine who is at fault and gather evidence to support your claim.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Houston, call 844-349-9196
Is Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer Necessary?
It is possible to pursue compensation in a wrongful death case without the help of an attorney. However, the likelihood of securing a favorable outcome drops dramatically.
Wrongful death cases can be very complex, and if you go up against experienced professionals on your own, your best case scenario is to recover far less than the value of your claim, while the worst case is to fail to secure compensation altogether.
Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 844-349-9196
Make Sure to File Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit on Time
Texas gives family members of wrongful death victims two years to file a lawsuit after the loss of a loved one. If you don’t file within this timeframe, you will likely lose your right to pursue compensation from the liable party.
However, it is critical to realize that there are many exceptions to the statute of limitations. Depending on the specifics of your loved one’s death, you may still be able to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires.
These exceptions also work the other way. The circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one could leave you facing a much smaller window to file a lawsuit. However long you have, a wrongful death attorney can ensure that all of the required paperwork is filed on time and that your right to pursue compensation is protected.
Recoverable Damages After a Wrongful Death
After a family member dies a wrongful death, you will likely be able to recover several different types of damages. These damages are divided into three overarching categories.
Economic damages are any losses you suffer due to the death of your loved one that have a direct impact on your finances. Common economic damages in a wrongful death case can include:
- Medical expenses incurred before your loved one passed
- Projected lost earnings the deceased would likely have earned over their lifetime
- Lost wages from work you missed because of the death
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial expenses
Any other losses resulting from the wrongful death of your family member are categorized as non-economic damages. Rather than cost you financially, these losses are of a much more profound nature, changing your life completely. Because of this, the money awarded for these damages tends to be significant.
Common non-economic damages in a wrongful death case can include:
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
In some wrongful death cases, family members of the deceased may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to serve as a punishment for the liable party and are only awarded in extreme circumstances. For a case to qualify for punitive damages, the at-fault party must have been criminally negligent or acted with the willful intent to cause harm.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Wrongful Death Lawyers Charge Their Clients Based on Results
Lawyers in many fields charge their clients an expensive fee to retain their services, along with a high hourly rate. Clients are forced to pay this money, even if they don’t win their case. However, wrongful death attorneys and other personal injury lawyers operate a bit differently.
If you hire a wrongful death lawyer, you will only pay them a single fee, which is entirely results-based. The fee your lawyer receives for their services will be assessed as a set percentage of the money you recover from the liable party. That means that the more compensation you recover, the bigger the payday will be for your attorney.
Alternatively, if your lawyer fails to secure damages on your behalf, they will not get paid for their services. Under this fee system, you can feel confident that your lawyer will work hard to get you as much money as possible, since their fate is tied to your own.
Taking a Settlement Vs. Going to Trial
Most wrongful death cases end up settling out of court. An out-of-court settlement is usually the preferred outcome for all parties involved because it is the quickest way to settle your case and means avoidance of the unpredictability of a trial. However, while you likely won’t need to fight it out in the courtroom, it is in your best interest to be prepared to do just that.
Unfortunately, the other party may be unwilling to settle for one reason or another, which will make a trial unavoidable. Furthermore, suppose opposing counsel discovers that you are unable or unwilling to go to trial. In that case, they will be in a much stronger negotiating position, and your chances of working out a favorable deal will be greatly diminished.
Discuss Your Case With a Wrongful Death Attorney in Houston Today
Pursuing compensation in a wrongful death case without the help of an experienced attorney is unlikely to yield favorable results. Wrongful death cases are often complicated, and attempting to recover compensation on your own is a tall order.
At The Buzbee Law Firm, our team of dedicated wrongful death attorneys in Houston has the experience necessary to give you the best chance of recovering fair compensation after a wrongful death. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started with a free consultation today.