San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney
Wrongful Death Representing Grieving Spouses & Families

San Antonio Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful Death in Texas

Situations involving wrongful death are some of the worst to deal with because they not only involve the fatal injuries of someone we love, but they also involve acts of negligence. This means that the death could have been prevented had the liable party acted with reasonable care for the safety of others.

At the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, we help families across Bexar County and throughout Texas seek justice after the wrongful death of a loved one. We hold at-fault parties accountable and pursue fair compensation for our clients.

How Does Texas Law Define Wrongful Death?

According to Texas Statute 71.002, a person can be held liable if an individual's death is caused by "the person's or his agent's or servant's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default." When an individual or corporation acts negligently or violates their duty to act with reasonable care, they can be held responsible. This is absolutely crucial when such negligence or wrongdoing claims an innocent life.

In most types of personal injury cases, it is the duty of the injured party to file a lawsuit against the person who was negligent and caused them harm. However, wrongful death lawsuits differ because the individual who was the victim is no longer alive to file such action.

Certain parties may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit if they are able to prove that someone’s actions were wrongful, careless, or neglectful, and resulted in fatal injuries. This can also include actions that were a result of someone’s unskillfulness, such as an inexperienced driver causing a car crash.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Texas

According to Texas Statute 16.003, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two-years of the date of the death.

There are some situations in which the time limit to file can be extended, but they’re typically rare and a lot must be shown before this waiver is granted. If you are unsure whether exceptions apply to you, be sure to speak with a wrongful death attorney who can explain your rights.

Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Under Texas law, only certain parties are considered eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There are specific circumstances that determine exactly who may be eligible and it changes based on the situation and who the deceased individual is survived by.

The first priority in a wrongful death lawsuit goes to the decedent’s surviving spouse, and surviving children, and the surviving parents. Each of these parties may file a lawsuit individually, or they can come together to file a joint wrongful death lawsuit.

The surviving spouse, children, and parents must take action quickly. If they refuse to file a claim within three months from the date of the death, it is up to the deceased person’s personal representative or estate executor to file the wrongful death claim. The surviving family members can request that no wrongful death claim be filed, however.

Texas law does not allow surviving siblings to file wrongful death lawsuits, regardless of whether they are adopted or biological. However, adoptive parents may take action if their adopted child is the decedent. Similarly, adoptive children can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a lost adopted parent but cannot file a wrongful death claim for their biological parent.

You should recognize what rights you have before trying to take legal action. You may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and if so, you should speak with a legal professional who can help you understand the process and protect your rights.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death In Texas

In any situation in which a wrongful death lawsuit is being filed, it’s imperative to recognize what may have caused the fatal injuries. Understanding causation can help the eligible parties recognize their rights to take legal action and who may be held accountable.

In Texas, some acts of neglect and carelessness are more common than others, and many of them result in fatal injuries.

Before you take legal action, here are some of the most common causes of wrongful death lawsuit and how they can be pursued through legal action:

  • Auto Accidents: These include car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents. These happen far too often as a result of negligence and typically involve drunk driving, distracted driving, and other reckless actions.
  • Workplace Negligence: These are more common in places where work conditions are considered unsafe and include machinery problems, scaffolding collapses, untrained workers, no safety equipment, gas leaks, or other problems.
  • Medical Malpractice: Certain actions involving medical professional negligence can result in a patient suffering a fatal injury, including prescription errors, surgical errors, emergency room errors, or missed diagnosis. Understanding how to take action against a medical professional or facility is imperative to success.
  • Product Defects: When products, medication, or other items are defective, they can cause significant problems and even fatal injuries. For instance, defective auto equipment can cause serious crashes, and defective electronics can explode, resulting in fatal burns.

Find out how we may be able to assist your family by calling our wrongful death attorney in San Antonio at 210-226-2000. Your consultation is free and confidential.

How Our San Antonio Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help

Understanding your rights following a wrongful death is imperative. You can have an attorney on your side working to help you prove liability and guide you through the process to pursue the compensation you deserve during a time when you need it the most.

At the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, we work hard to help our clients understand the options they have to move forward and hold the negligent party accountable. Our experience and dedication can help level the playing field against the defendant, allowing you and your family to focus on grieving while we handle the legal matters that lie ahead.

Troy Brookover can take on claims involving:

Proving Liability in a Wrongful Death Case

While most personal injury cases require four steps to prove liability, wrongful death matters have an additional factor that must be considered. This, obviously, means showing that the actual death was a result of the negligence and injury caused by the act.

These are the five factors considered in proving liability:

  • There was a duty of care between the defendant (the person against whom you’re taking legal action) and the deceased individual to ensure safety
  • The duty of care was breached by the defendant due to a negligent action—such as drunk driving, speeding, etc.
  • The negligent action was the cause of an accident in which the deceased individual was involved
  • The accident resulted in physical damage to the deceased individual
  • The death was a result of the injuries the individual sustained as a result of the accident
  • What this means, is that the eligible parties cannot file a wrongful death claim against someone if their actions didn’t result in the actual death. For example, if someone was driving recklessly, crashed into the deceased, and caused serious injuries, though the individual passed away from something unrelated, the negligent driver can face a personal injury lawsuit, but they may not have been responsible for the death.

Proving your case in a wrongful death lawsuit can seem complicated. You deserve the help of an experienced San Antonio wrongful death lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options moving forward.

Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death may be described as a fatality that is the result of a corporation or another person’s reckless acts, carelessness, or negligence.

In Texas, surviving family members are entitled to compensation for:

  • Suffering
  • Pain
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of companionship
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Future and present financial losses
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Medical expenses

The amount that one can receive depends upon:

  • The health and age of the victim
  • Life expectancy
  • The degree of loss

In many cases, these variables are argued aggressively by life insurance companies, who seek to pay as little as possible to the surviving family. For this reason, it is important to seek and retain professional legal representation.

How We Can Help

In some cases, wrongful death suits are settled out of court. As a San Antonio wrongful death lawyer, Troy does everything within his power to settle your case out of court but will litigate on your behalf if necessary to seek the best possible outcome. Thanks to Troy’s experience and our team’s diligent efforts, many of our wrongful death cases are settled long before the arrival of a trial date.

Contact the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover today at 210-226-2000 to discuss your claim with our wrongful death lawyer in San Antonio.

What Our Past Clients Say

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