Wrongful Death Cases in Wichita Falls
Our law firm will fight for accountability for your pain
Having a loved one die in an accident is a nightmare that too many people are forced to live. The shock and pain of having a family member die in a car accident, truck wreck, slip and fall or another type of preventable situation can be overwhelming.
You should have all the time you need to grieve and be with people you care about, but you also have to deal with the legal implications of the incident. Hoover Rogers Law, LLP will be honored to help. While you heal, let our Wichita Falls wrongful death lawyers worry about, investigating the accident, finding the answers you deserve, and negotiating to get you compensation.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
In Texas, the people who can file wrongful death lawsuits are the immediate family of the deceased — spouse, children, or parents. If none of these people act within a given timeframe, the executor of the deceased person’s estate may be able to do so with the family’s permission.
No matter who files the suit, damages may only benefit the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. One or more of these people may bring the action for the benefit of all.
Because every case is different there is no average wrongful death lawsuit award. When calculating proper compensation, the information considered includes:
- Funeral and burial costs
- The amount of money the deceased would have contributed to surviving family
- Income at time of death
- Average years expected to work
- Average life expectancy
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses during the period of final injury or illness
When is a death ‘wrongful’?
A death may be considered wrongful in Texas if the fatal injury was caused by a willful act, omission, gross negligence, unskillfulness, carelessness.
Proving wrongful death requires meeting various legal standards of negligence. In general, there are four elements to a wrongful death lawsuit:
- A duty of care was owed to the deceased
- That duty of care was breached by the at-fault person’s action or willful inaction
- This breach caused the death
- The death caused financial loss
In Texas, a lawsuit can proceed even if the allegedly at-fault person also dies (for instance, in a car accident with multiple fatalities).
Criminal and civil actions
Wrongful deaths may arise from car accidents, truck wrecks, slip and falls, toxic exposure, assault, and defective products, to name a few scenarios. These are civil matters, which are significantly different than criminal cases.
Criminal courts are concerned with penalizing those who have broken the law. Civil courts are focused on the needs of the victim. The goal here is to make the injured person whole.
In criminal cases, the district attorney or prosecutor decides whether to prosecute the suspect. The standard of proof here is that the crime was committed by the suspect beyond any reasonable doubt. The result of criminal cases includes imprisonment, fines, and restitution for the convicted person.
A fatal accident does not have to have broken any criminal laws for you to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit. Moreover, the standard of proof is lower in civil court – you only need to prove the at-fault party was responsible by a preponderance of the evidence. Your wrongful death claim is separate from any criminal charges that may be brought by the State of Texas in connection with the same death, and you can win your wrongful death case even if no one is convicted of a crime.
We stand up for grieving families
No amount of money can replace your loved one who died in an accident. It probably feels strange to even think about putting a value on the deceased’s life. Still, you need money to maintain your family’s standard of living as you rebuild your lives without that person’s contributions. A wrongful death claim can also help you get answers and a degree of closure by holding someone definitively responsible for the death.
You are already paying enough for another person’s recklessness. You shouldn’t have to go into debt as well. When it comes to fighting for families, our law firm does not back down.
Call, email, or chat online with Hoover Rogers Law, LLP right now to schedule your free case evaluation. For no money, and at no obligation, a member of our legal team can help you weigh your legal options. Contact us today to tell your story to an experienced Wichita Falls wrongful death attorney.