“After a major accident that happened to my family and I, we had the pleasure of working with Lance Livingston. He kept us informed, answered us quickly, and most of all, was patient with my million questions.”

— Dakota M.

Wrongful Death 

When a death occurs but was preventable, the pain of loss is compounded. To help with the pain and alleviate the financial consequences of their loss, family members of wrongful death victims may pursue compensation from those liable for their loved ones’ death.

Liability for Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, a large number of fatalities in Texas are caused by negligence, recklessness and intentional acts. These avoidable deaths leave a hole in the lives of survivors and create significant losses.

Determining liability for a wrongful death starts with understanding the circumstances in which the fatality occurred. In every situation, people owe one another a duty not to engage in actions that unreasonably increase each other’s risk of death.

The specific facts of each case determine whether a death is wrongful or not. For example, suppose that a drunk motorist hits and kills a pedestrian crossing the street. Along with facing criminal charges, the motorist would likely be found liable in a wrongful-death lawsuit.

In this case, the act of driving drunk makes the death wrongful. However, if the driver was sober and the pedestrian drunk, the driver may not have been at fault.

Other instances where wrongful deaths often occur include:

  • Medical care and treatment
  • Industrial and construction worksites
  • Boating and other water recreational activities
  • Intentional violence
  • Defective products

Whether or not a death might be considered wrongful in a specific context depends on established legal standards. For example, medical malpractice cases are decided by judging the behavior of a health care professional against clear and mandated standards of care.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful-Death Lawsuit in Texas?

In Texas, certain family members of a deceased person can bring a wrongful-death lawsuit for damages. For purposes of wrongful-death lawsuits, these family members include:

  • The spouse
  • Parents
  • Children

Siblings and grandparents of a deceased person do not have standing to bring a wrongful-death lawsuit on the deceased’s behalf. However, the personal representative of the decedent may file a lawsuit if the surviving family members do not.

What Damages Are Available in Wrongful-Death Lawsuits?

Wrongful-death damages include compensation for numerous losses that accompany the untimely death of a loved one, such as:

  • Lost earning capacity of the person who passed away
  • Lost inheritance
  • Loss of comfort and companionship
  • Loss of service, support or maintenance from the decedent
  • Mental distress

When medical malpractice is the underlying cause of a death, noneconomic damages are limited by a cap that is adjusted for inflation.

No one deserves to experience the premature loss of a loved one. Let the attorneys at DLL Law fight to get you justice for your loss.


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