Losing a loved one in a preventable accident caused by someone’s careless conduct or neglect causes lasting pain and anguish.
Your initial feelings of grief and sadness may be followed by anger about a preventable loss and the practical worries about how you will run your household and handle unanticipated expenses.
Your family may be facing large hospital bills, funeral expenses and the prospect of maintaining your household without the financial support of your lost loved one.
At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our wrongful death attorneys understand the anguish and financial stress that the loss of a family member can cause. Your family should not have to endure financial hardship because of someone else’s negligence. The road to recovery is complicated and difficult, but you do not have to go through the most challenging period of your life alone. Let our experienced Corpus Christi wrongful death attorneys offer trusted guidance during this difficult time.
Our compassionate attorneys will review the specifics of the fatal incident and discuss your range of legal options. Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. is an established law firm that has helped thousands of people in Corpus Christi, Brownsville, McAllen and throughout the Rio Grande Valley recover after serious losses. Every wrongful death case has unique considerations. But we are proud of the results our personal injury attorneys have achieved for thousands of clients throughout South Texas.
Our attorneys are ready to hold an individual or business that caused your loved one’s death fully accountable for the loss you have suffered. If we handle a wrongful death case on behalf of your family, we will do so on a contingency fee basis so you will not pay any upfront costs. You will not owe us a legal fee unless we obtain compensation for you through an insurance settlement or jury award. Call Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. to obtain a free review of your case and learn how a wrongful death lawyer can assist you.
Legal Options For Surviving Family Members
The immediate family of a person who is killed as a result of another’s negligence has a legal right in Texas to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for their loved one’s losses. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that seeks financial restitution for a preventable death. A wrongful death lawsuit is brought by the family. It is entirely separate from any criminal prosecution pursued by the state after a death caused by misconduct.
For example, a drunk driver who causes the death of another person in a traffic accident on a San Antonio highway may be charged and convicted of intoxication manslaughter in Texas. The manslaughter conviction will likely involve a prison sentence and thousands of dollars in criminal penalties. But the criminal conviction won’t provide any financial compensation to the deceased’s survivors. The family of the deceased will need to pursue a separate wrongful death lawsuit in Texas civil court to pursue compensation from the drunk driver and the driver’s insurance company.
Texas law allows a spouse, child, or parent to file a wrongful death lawsuit after someone causes the death of their loved one. The definition of spouse includes both married and common-law spouses, and those who are legally separated. Children include both biological and adopted children. Unfortunately, under Texas law, surviving siblings are not eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
A wide range of accidents causing fatal injuries may be the basis for a wrongful death claim in Texas including:
- car accidents
- drunk driving accidents
- truck accidents
- oilfield accidents
- motorcycle crashes
- construction accidents
- defective products
- auto defects
- workplace accidents
- offshore accidents
At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C, we will carefully investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death and determine the legal options that are available to your family to pursue compensation and move forward. We bring more than 100 years of experience to each case we handle, and we have deep roots in Texas.
In some workplace accidents, a subcontractor or manufacturer of a piece of defective equipment or machinery may be potentially liable for a death. The family of the deceased worker may collect death benefits through the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance, if available, and have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault third party who caused the death.
Process of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A call to a lawyer begins the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
The lawyer will review the details of the accident and determine whether a valid wrongful death claim exists and explain the family’s options for seeking compensation.
Once the family retains the attorney, the attorney will investigate the death in detail and gather evidence to support the wrongful death claim. Texas does not require businesses to provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees, but many do. Workers’ compensation death benefits may be available in some cases.
Our experienced attorneys can investigate all the factors contributing to the accident. The attorney will identify those who are potentially liable for the death and look for insurance policies that are available to pay compensation.
The attorney will calculate the damages your family has suffered as a result of your loved one’s death.
The attorney will submit a letter to the appropriate insurance companies, seeking full compensation for your losses.
The submission of the demand letter may start the negotiation process to reach a settlement.
Our attorneys will negotiate to try to reach a just settlement and keep you informed throughout the process.
If the insurance company refuses to agree to a fair settlement, we will be prepared to take your case to court and present your claim to a jury.
Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death in Texas
While it may be difficult to act after the loss of a loved one, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the death of a family member in a preventable accident. Texas allows two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in most circumstances. But wrongful death cases often require detailed investigations before a claim can be filed. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Talking with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney will allow you to make well-informed decisions with your family’s future in mind.
Wrongful death claims can involve significant sums of money. Insurance companies will try to pay out the least amount possible to resolve a claim to protect their profit margins. When the stakes are high, you will need help from an experienced wrongful death lawyer in dealing with the insurance company.
You will want an experienced attorney representing you and advocating for your interests to have the best chance of being treated fairly. Our attorneys will explore all options to help provide your family with a secure future.
Types of Compensation Families May Seek In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A spouse, parent, or child who proves a wrongful death claim may recover compensation for:
- Financial losses such as medical expenses and funeral costs
- Loss of the deceased person’s future earning capacity, services, and household support
- Loss of parental guidance, counsel, and instruction that a parent would have provided a child
- Loss of household services
- Pain and suffering
- Exemplary damages in certain instances when a death is caused by a willful act such as a violent assault or grossly negligent conduct.
The types of compensation available in each case depend on the specific facts of the case. Our compassionate attorneys at Herrman & Herrman can review the particular circumstances of your loved one’s death and explain the types of compensation that your family would be entitled to seek through a wrongful death lawsuit. If the death was caused by gross negligence or willful misconduct, we can determine whether it is appropriate to demand punitive damages in addition to other damages.
How Can I Afford A Wrongful Death Lawyer
At Herrman & Herrman, we understand your family may be experiencing financial stress after a fatal accident, particularly if your lost loved one’s income provided financial support to the household. Your family should not have to endure financial hardship due to someone else’s negligence.
A personal injury attorney at Herrman & Herrman will represent you on a contingency fee basis. That allows you to obtain high-quality legal representation without having to pay money upfront.
Lawyer Fees for Wrongful Death Case
You will not have to pay a legal fee unless we are successful in obtaining a settlement or a jury verdict on your behalf. It is our way of putting your family’s interests first. If we do obtain money for you, then we receive an agreed portion of the settlement as payment for our legal services and expenses. Our attorneys at Herrman & Herrman are skilled negotiators. Most of the cases we handle are settled out of court, avoiding the stress and uncertainty of a trial.
Contact Our Attorney For A Free Review Of Your Wrongful Death Case
If you have lost a loved one in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Brownsville, or elsewhere in South Texas as a result of the negligence of another individual or business, call the wrongful death attorneys at Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. to discuss the way to move forward. We handle wrongful death cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other acts of negligence.