The premature loss of a spouse, parent, child, or sibling often takes a devastating toll on surviving loved ones. When this loss is the result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another party, the sense of loss and grief might be compounded by anger and resentment. If you are coping with the intense emotions associated with the loss of someone you love, the need to overcome insurance company hurdles and to meet legal deadlines might seem overwhelming. Despite the temptation to defer these challenges while you grieve, the law is inundated with unforgiving deadlines and mandatory legal procedures. An ill-advised statement to an insurance adjuster or failure to comply with the statute of limitations can derail a wrongful death claim.
At the Hampton Eppes Law Group, our caring and experienced Parker County wrongful death attorneys advocate for surviving family members and ensure that the voices of fatality victims do not go unheard. We recognize that no amount of money can give you back what you have lost, but we also know you might need to replace lost income, pay medical bills, cover funeral/burial expenses, and continue to cover monthly expenses. Our law firm pursues wrongful death claims on behalf of the deceased and their families to hold wrongful third-parties accountable for their actions and to protect the financial security of surviving loved ones. Our lawyers combine empathetic representation, compelling advocacy, and effective litigation strategies to tip the scale of justice away from insurance companies and toward our clients.
Our attorneys have over four decades of collective experience advocating for the rights of clients. Some of the most recent accolades our attorneys have received include:
Earned Top 100 Trial Lawyer designation by National Trial Lawyers (2013-2017)
Acknowledged on Top 40 Under 40 list by National Trial Lawyers (2013-2017)
Awarded Perfect 10.0 Attorney Rating by AVVO
Handling the Full Spectrum of Wrongful Death Claims
Our law firm has the expertise and experience to litigate a broad spectrum of wrongful death cases, such as:
- Car accidents (e.g. head-on crashes, SUV rollovers, drunk driving accidents, intersection T-bone crashes, rear impact collisions, etc.)
- Aviation accidents
- Nursing home fatalities
- Tractor-trailer accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Violent crimes
- Defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices
- Faulty consumer products
- Swimming pool drownings
- Medical malpractice (e.g. failure to diagnose cancer, anesthesia errors, surgical mistakes, etc.)
- Oil refinery and pipeline explosions
- Admiralty & maritime accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Workplace accidents (e.g. industrial, agricultural, construction jobs)
These are just a few examples of the types of wrongful death cases that our dedicated Parker County wrongful death lawyers handle for clients.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Texas Wrongful Death Act
While the law that governs wrongful death actions in Texas is complicated, we have provided some information to answer basic questions for surviving family members.
When does a death justify a wrongful death action?
The statute only permits a claim to be pursued if the cause of the fatality is the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another party.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas?
Although many people are affected by an individual’s death, the Wrongful Death Statute designates certain family members to bring such a suit. The claim can be filed by a spouse, children, or parents. This provision means that long-term paramours, unadopted step-children, same-sex partners, siblings, and others have no legal right to file a claim.
What compensation can the court award in a wrongful death case?
A wrongful death lawsuit typically is comprised of two separate types of claims which seek different types of damages. The claim brought by surviving family members is actually referred to as a “wrongful death” claim. The damages sought in this action compensate surviving family member for their personal harm suffered because of the loss of the decedent. These damages might include:
- Loss of decedent’s income
- Expenses related to psychological therapy or treatment
- Loss of decedent’s services
- Loss of decedent’s guidance and advice
- Reimbursement of amounts personally spent on decedent’s burial/funeral
- Emotional pain (mental distress)
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of society and companionship
- Punitive damages (cases involving egregious acts of wrongdoing)
The other claim in a wrongful death lawsuit is referred to as a “survival” claim. Survival claims are designed to compensate the estate of a decedent for damages the deceased would have been entitled to in a personal injury lawsuit if he or she had survived. This means that the estate will be subject to the same limitations and have the same rights to recovery as the decedent would have had in a personal injury case.
Because this approach differs from many states, a few examples are appropriate.
Example 1 Medical Malpractice: If your loved one died because of the medical malpractice of a surgeon, for example, the estate will be limited in recovery by the damage caps that apply to cases involving medical negligence in Texas.
Example 2 Workers Compensation: When a person suffers an on-the-job injury covered by workers compensation, the employee is not allowed to file a lawsuit for damages against the employer. The workers compensation system provides an exclusive remedy in this situation. The same limit would apply in a work-related wrongful death case.
The damages recoverable by the estate in the survival action could include:
- Pain and mental suffering endured by the decedent from the time of the accident until passing away
- Medical bills
- Funeral/burial expenses
Speak to a Seasoned and Caring Parker County Wrongful Death Lawyer Today!
If you have lost someone you love to a drunk driver, substandard medical professional, or a defective product, Hampton Eppes Law Group can answer your questions, explain your rights, and pursue the fullest financial recovery. We are committed to the principle that careless and violent parties who cause the death of another should pay for the harm they inflict on victims and their families. We invite you to contact us today at (817) 877-5201 for a free case evaluation.
Hampton Eppes Law Group
117 N. Main Street
Weatherford, Texas 76086