The accidental death of a loved one causes deep pain and grief. Your loss is even more devastating when the death was preventable and was caused by someone’s carelessness or misconduct. Your feelings of sadness may be complicated by other emotions including anger at a senseless death and worries about paying your household bills.
While no amount of compensation will replace your loved one, compensation for your loss may ease financial stress and allow your family to move forward.
The McAllen wrongful death attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. understand that your family is struggling to deal with a difficult loss and the legal questions the accident raises. It may be difficult to think clearly now.
You need compassion and guidance that you can trust. Let our compassionate McAllen attorneys answer your questions and bring some clarity to the situation. We can review the details of the accident and discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. is a highly regarded personal injury law firm with an office in McAllen. Our attorneys have assisted many families in McAllen and throughout the Rio Grande Valley. If your case is the type that we handle, we will represent you on a contingent fee basis, so there will be no legal fee unless we obtain compensation for you.
Contact the McAllen fatal accident attorneys at Herrman & Herrman to learn how we can help.
Legal Options for Surviving Family Members in McAllen, TX
The close family members of an individual who is killed in McAllen or elsewhere in Hidalgo County as a result of another’s negligence have a legal right under Texas wrongful death law to file a lawsuit. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to recover compensation for a loved one’s death and hold the responsible individual or business accountable.
Under Texas law, a spouse, child or parent may file a wrongful death lawsuit. The law defines spouses to include married spouses, common law spouses and spouses who are legally separated. A parent or adoptive parent may bring a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of their adopted child.
Many different types of accidents that lead to preventable deaths in McAllen may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. They include:
- car accidents
- commercial truck accidents
- motorcycle crashes
- oilfield accidents
- workplace accidents
- construction accidents
- defective products
Our McAllen attorneys will thoroughly examine the factors that caused your loved one’s death. We will explain the legal options that your family has to seek compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral expenses, as well as your pain and suffering. We apply 100 years of legal experience to each case we pursue.
While it may be difficult to contemplate the future after a family member’s death, it is important to consult with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after a fatal accident. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action heard in the District Court of Hidalgo County or the appropriate county.
It is entirely separate from any criminal charges stemming from the accidental death, such as, for example, charges against a drunk driver who caused a fatal crash. A criminal conviction will not provide compensation to a family for their losses after the death of a loved one. The drunk driver may face both criminal prosecution and a wrongful death lawsuit.
Texas civil law permits two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in most cases. That time period is known as the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. Speaking with our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys will give you the information you need to make a decision with your family’s future in mind.
With any fatal accident, the financial stakes are high. Insurance companies will try to settle the claim for the least amount possible to increase their profits. The insurance company will have lawyers protecting the company’s interests. You will need the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer to negotiate on your behalf and prevent an insurer from taking advantage of you. Our attorneys will advocate for your interests to provide a secure future for your family.
What Types of Compensation May McAllen Families Seek in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The types of damages that may be sought through a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas include:
- Financial losses including medical bills and funeral expenses;
- Loss of your loved one’s future earning capacity and household support;
- Pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish;
- Loss of parental guidance, advice and instruction that a parent would provide a child;
- Exemplary damages may be sought in Texas in special circumstances when the cause of death involves gross negligence or willful misconduct such as a violent assault. Exemplary damages are also known as punitive damages.
Our attorneys can evaluate the details of the accident that took the life of your family member and advise you as to which types of compensation would be appropriate to seek.
Our law firm understands that your family may be experiencing financial stress after the loss of a loved one. We handle cases on a contingent fee basis. You have no out-of-pocket costs. We only receive compensation if we obtain money for you through an insurance settlement or a jury award.
Call Our McAllen Attorney for a Free Case Review of a Wrongful Death Accident
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident in McAllen or anywhere in the Rio Grande Valley, contact Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. for compassionate and knowledgeable guidance about the next steps to take. The consultation is free.
Our law firm handles wrongful death cases involving car accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents and other accidents involving wrongful conduct. Herrman & Herman has an office in McAllen to assist families in Hidalgo County and through the Rio Grande Valley.
Call us today.
McAllen Wrongful Death Q&As
McAllen Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases are complicated and require extensive investigation and preparation. You will need a McAllen wrongful death law firm that has the resources to devote to conduct a thorough investigation of the fatal accident to develop your case. You should select an experienced wrongful death attorney in McAllen who has handled numerous wrongful death claims to oversee the investigation. When choosing an attorney, you should select an attorney who you feel comfortable talking to and who answers your questions. You should ask the attorney how many wrongful death cases he or she has handled.
You should look for the following qualifications when selecting a McAllen wrongful death lawyer:
- Case experience in wrongful death claims
- Litigation experience
- Established, reputable law firm
- Good communication skills
- Handles case on contingency basis
Speak with a wrongful death attorney in McAllen by calling 361-882-4357.
The plaintiff has the burden of proof in a wrongful death lawsuit. You will need to produce evidence to prove that your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s actions that were either careless, neglectful, unskillful, or disregarded reasonable caution.
An experienced McAllen wrongful death lawyer will know what to look for during an investigation and can seek credible evidence that supports a finding of a wrongful death.
If your case goes to trial, your attorney must prove your claim by a preponderance of the evidence to convince a jury. A preponderance of the evidence means that the Hidalgo County jurors must be at least 51 percent convinced that your wrongful death claim is more likely than not to be correct. It is a lower standard than the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt—the standard for a criminal conviction. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit and is filed independently of any criminal action.
There are a number of accident situations in which a wrongful death may occur. They include:
- McAllen car accident caused by a careless or impaired driver
- McAllen truck accident caused by a truck driver’s error
- Motorcycle accident death caused by another driver’s careless driving
- Slip and fall accident caused by an uncorrected property hazard on another’s property
- Nursing home neglect or abuse leading to a patient’s death
- Medical patient’s death caused by a health care provider’s failure to follow the recognized standard of care
- An unsafe prescription drug, medical device or other dangerous product
- An attack by an aggressive dog that was not properly secured.
A McAllen wrongful death attorney at Herrman & Herrman is ready to review the circumstances of the accident that took your loved one’s life and discuss your legal options to pursue compensation.
A wrongful death is a legal term that describes a preventable accidental death that was caused by another’s carelessness or disregard for safety. Texas civil law states that a death may be a wrongful death if it was caused by another’s “neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” Not all accidental deaths in McAllen meet the legal criteria to qualify as a wrongful death.
The quickest way to find out whether your loved one’s death fits the legal definition of a wrongful death is to have an experienced McAllen wrongful death lawyer review the details of the accident and explain your rights. A compassionate McAllen wrongful death attorney is ready to assist you during a free case review.
Generally, Texas law specifies that the immediate family of an individual who was killed due to another’s negligent actions may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. The law allows the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim.
The personal representative of the estate named in the will may file a wrongful death action after three months if no immediate family members of the deceased have taken legal action.
A McAllen wrongful death attorney at Herrman & Herrman can help you assess whether you are entitled under Texas civil law to bring a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one’s accidental death.
There may be some narrow circumstances in which a fiancé who is serving as estate executor can bring a wrongful death action on behalf of the estate.
If no surviving children, spouse or parents step forward to make a wrongful death claim within three months of the individual’s death, then the person named in the will as executor may file a claim on behalf of the estate of the deceased. A fiancé may be named as executor or personal representative of an estate and have a right to file a wrongful death action under these limited circumstances.
A McAllen wrongful death lawyer at Herrman & Herrman can help you evaluate your legal standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one’s accidental death. Call 361-882-4357 to set up a consultation with a knowledgeable McAllen wrongful death lawyer.
Yes, the amount of time allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas is typically two years from the date of the individual’s death. A family may lose their right to bring a wrongful death action if they fail to do so within the statute of limitations. There are some exceptions to this rule.
If the cause of the wrongful death was not apparent and was only discovered later, then the clock on the two-year statute of limitations does not start ticking down until a reasonably prudent person would have known that they had a legal claim. A good example is a defective medical device that causes a death. If the discovery that the medical device had a fatal defect only occurs several years after the death, then the family of the person who died may have two years from the date of discovery to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
A minor child also may have additional time to file a wrongful death claim. For example, if a 12-year-old child lost a parent in a car accident caused by another motorist, the child would have until he or she turned 20 years old (two years beyond 18th birthday) to file a wrongful death claim seeking damages for the loss of a parent.
The initial step is to evaluate whether a family has a valid wrongful death claim. A knowledgeable McAllen personal injury lawyer can review the circumstances of your loved one’s death, identify who was at fault and discuss whether you have a cause of action.
If an attorney at Herrman & Herrman believes that you are entitled to file a wrongful death claim, our McAllen law firm will offer to handle your claim and represent you on a contingency fee basis. You won’t owe us a legal fee unless we recover money for you.
We will conduct a full investigation of the death and identify those who may be held financially liable. We will estimate your losses by gathering medical bills, funeral expenses, income that the deceased contributed to the household and other factors.
Your attorney will then notify the insurance companies of the pending wrongful death claim and attempt to negotiate a settlement that reflects the full extent of your losses. If the insurance company refuses to settle, our attorneys after consulting with you will be prepared to file a lawsuit and present your case to a Hidalgo County jury. Talk to a compassionate lawyer at Herrman & Herrman about whether you have a wrongful death case.