Lakeway Wrongful Death Lawyers
Experienced Legal Help from Our Wrongful Death Lawyer in Lakeway, TX, Makes a Difference
Death may be inevitable, but it doesn’t feel that way when a loved one passes away because of someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Instead of feeling grief or loss, you feel anger and frustration. You may wonder what you can do to get justice in this situation.
At Evans & Herlihy, we want you to get that justice. Monetary compensation won’t help with the sorrow you’re feeling, but it can help with the financial burdens left when someone passes unexpectedly.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person or business, you have the right to fair compensation. Contact the Lakeway, TX, wrongful death attorneys at Evans & Herlihy to discuss what we can do for you.
Lakeway Wrongful Death Lawsuits Can Be Complicated
Wrongful Death Claims
In Texas law, “wrongful death” is a death caused by another person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” “Default” means failing to do something they were supposed to, and unskillfulness can mean anything from medical malpractice to bad product design or manufacture.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas
Wrongful death occurs in the same context as many other accidents. If death has resulted from a careless or negligent act, it will be considered a wrongful death.
- Vehicular Accidents: Deaths that occur as a result of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. This is true whether one of the drivers is at fault for speeding, DUI, or distracted driving or the accident is due to poorly maintained roads or inadequate signage.
- Work Accidents: Your place of work should be reasonably safe. Employers must obey state and federal safety laws and ensure employees have access to health care when needed. An employer may be liable for wrongful death due to workplace injury if this is not the case. Work accidents can include slips and falls on wet floors and serious machinery accidents.
- Product Issues: Product liability laws make companies responsible for designing and manufacturing products that are safe for use. However, defects may not be discovered in time to prevent accidents. When death results, the manufacturer may be liable for wrongful death.
- Property Accidents(Premises Liability): Residential and commercial property owners have a duty to keep their properties safe for visitors and guests. Failure to notice and repair damage that results in a loss of life can lead to liability and a wrongful death suit for the owner and manager of the property.
- Medical Malpractice: Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and even healthcare systems can all make mistakes that result in the death of a patient. When this happens, a wrongful death lawsuit due to medical malpractice can be filed.
At Evans & Herlihy, we want to be sure you and your loved ones are not the victims of others’ wrongful acts. If a loved one has died because of another person’s negligence, the wrongful death attorneys in Lakeway will review the events in the case and advise you on the best steps to take.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Lakeway, Texas?
Under Texas law, not everyone may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Those with the legal right (“standing”) to file a suit include the surviving spouse, any children, and the deceased’s parents. Friends, other relatives, and business partners do not have standing.
Since the passage of Obergefell v. Hodges, legally married same-sex partners and those in recognized common-law marriages may also file wrongful death claims.
These lawsuits must be filed within the timeline established by the statute of limitations. In Texas, you must file within two years from the date that your loved one died.
If no family member exists to file a suit, or if none of them chooses to do so within 90 days, the executor of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death suit. If they do, then any surviving family members can prevent the suit if they choose to do so. If the executor chooses to file, any compensation would be distributed according to the will.
Types of Compensation
Of course, there are no guarantees in law. When filing a wrongful death suit, everyone asks, “How much will my settlement be?” There is no specific amount, but there are certain categories of damages and types of compensation you can receive.
- Economic Damages: Economic damages have an absolute dollar value. These can include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of future earnings, loss of retirement or benefits, and other loss of economic support.
- Non-Economic Damages:These are damages less easy to quantify with a receipt or dollar figure. They include physical pain and suffering of the deceased, psychological pain, loss of consortium (for spouses), and loss of caregiver (minor children).
- Punitive Damages:These are only awarded if the behavior was exceptionally heinous or the conduct was particularly malicious. A drunk driver on their 8th ticket or a surgeon who was intoxicated during the operation might warrant punitive damages.
Why Aren’t They Going To Jail?
Another question survivors of a wrongful death often have is why the perpetrator isn’t going to jail. The answer is that a wrongful death suit is a civil lawsuit, like any personal injury case. The only remedy you can get is monetary damages or, in rare cases, injunctive relief (meaning the other person may be required to avoid doing certain things).
Another reason is that in a wrongful death case, the degree of negligence does not rise to the level of criminal behavior, even though death resulted. In a few cases, the individual may be charged with criminal negligence, meaning they should have realized their behavior was likely to result in serious harm or death.
Criminal charges are reserved for individuals who acted with intent (called “malice” in legal terms) or who acted with reckless disregard for human life. The courts distinguish between speeding on an open road and speeding through a crowded intersection.
Evans & Herlihy Is Well-Positioned to Help You
Winning Lakeway Wrongful Death Lawsuits – Experience Matters
To win a wrongful death lawsuit, your Lakeway wrongful death lawyers must be able to prove negligence. This process involves showing the actions or inactions of the defendant caused the death of your loved one.
- Duty of care. To show negligence, your attorney must prove that a duty to act a certain way existed. For instance, a property owner has a duty to keep the premises free of hazards and dangerous conditions.
- Breach of duty. Your attorney must then show that the defendant breached the duty, either by a deliberate act or by failure to act. For instance, suppose your family member fell through a rotted set of stairs at their apartment. We would need to show that the property owner knew the stairs were rotted and failed to have them repaired promptly.
- Causation. We must then show that the action or inaction of the defendant was directly and legally responsible for the death. Suppose that falling through the stairs caused your loved one to die, but it turns out that the property owner had had them repaired, but the repair company used substandard parts. In that case, the property owner would not be responsible.
- Injury. The injury leading to the death must be related to the breach. This might seem obvious, but sometimes appearances are deceiving. For instance, suppose someone fell through the stairs and died, but the autopsy revealed that they died of a heart attack and fell afterward as they collapsed. In that case, the fall was not the cause of injury.
These complexities are why you need a skilled wrongful death attorney to help you with the details of recognizing and filing a wrongful death claim.
Contact Our Lakeway Texas Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Learn Why Clients Choose Us
Grief is a powerful emotion, and those in the throes of it may find it difficult to make it through the day, much less manage a legal process. At Evans & Herlihy, our Lakeway wrongful death lawyers have a proven reputation for successfully handling cases like this. We are known for providing the highest quality service in all our personal injury cases.
We offer excellent service in Lakeway, Texas, because of our:
- Experience: We have decades of experience handling wrongful death cases in Texas.
- Approach: We appreciate the sensitive situations in which we operate. Our professionals are sympathetic communicators but aggressive negotiations and litigators.
- Reputation: We are well-known for our record of success.
When you engage the Evans & Herlihy Lakeway wrongful death lawyers, you can rest assured that we will work tirelessly to achieve justice for your loved one. We are committed to proving your case and helping you to get the settlement you need and deserve.
If you have lost a loved one due to the wrongful actions of another, contact us today at (512) 732-2727 to schedule a consultation. Once we better understand what happened, we can help you move forward.