Allen Wrongful Death Attorney
Let the Attorneys at Grossman Law Offices Help You Seek Justice Against Those Responsible for Your Loved One's Wrongful Death
When someone is killed due to the negligence of a liable party, that is known as a wrongful death from a legal perspective. This rather cold and abstract legal term, however, does not do justice to the incredible amount of pain that the family of a loved one lost to this sort of tragic instance feels.
That feeling of loss can become even more acute when it is revealed that the wrongful death took place due to the careless behavior of the party responsible for the accident that led to the loss. Not only does this kind of tragedy result in an incredible amount of emotional turmoil that can take years and years to recover from, it can lead to substantial monetary losses as well.
There are many different reasons that wrongful deaths occur, and many different ways in which these accidents can take place. Deaths due to poorly manufactured or defective products, job-related accidents and accidents caused by intoxicated drivers are but a few of the reasons some of these tragedies take place. Normally, wrongful deaths take place with no type of advance warning whatsoever, and happen very quickly. When this kind of sudden and shocking loss takes place, a family can be left reeling for a long, long time. When experiencing this sort of devastating trauma, the last thing many grieving families want to think about is taking legal action. However, as you will learn, you have to be able to summon the strength needed to make sure your rights are protected.
If you have been affected by this kind of tragic occurrence, it is imperative that you be able to gather yourself and act decisively. If you are reading this article, there is a very high likelihood that you are at least beginning to consider your legal options. There are several reasons why taking legal action at this time can help you take a very large step toward healing from the devastating tragedy that has affected your family. This article is provided to you by the Allen wrongful death attorneys with Grossman Law Offices in order to help you learn some of the basics in regard to how the law works when a wrongful death takes place. You will also learn about the formidable opposition you will have to defeat in order to win your case, and the obstacles you will have to surmount. We will also let you know how we may be able to help your family recover monetarily so that you can recover emotionally from the accident that has taken your loved one away from you.
You need to know before we go any further with this article, however, that it is in no way designed to take the place of the advice of an actual lawyer who knows the specific circumstances surrounding your case. It is, again, only intended to give you some basic information in regard to the law and how it works when a wrongful death takes place. Please do not hesitate to call 1-855-326-0000 (toll free) for a free and confidential consultation if you would like to talk to one of our Allen wrongful death attorneys.
Why You Should Strongly Consider Pursuing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If your family has been affected by the sudden loss of a loved one due to a wrongful death, it is essential that you take legal action against those responsible; there are two main reasons why you should do so. The first is to attempt to secure the equitable restitution that you deserve for the suffering you have experienced. The second is to see justice done against those responsible for the terrible loss you have suffered. The grieving family members can, through the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit, be able to recover financially. Of course, no amount of money will ease the pain created by the tremendous loss you have experienced. However, the compensation that you obtain will help take care of some of the financial losses that are often suffered by surviving family members when this sort of tragedy takes place. If you are successful in your attempt to secure restitution, that will take care of pain and suffering, medical bills, funeral costs and other accident-related expenses - expenses not only incurred by the family, but also the victim of the fatal accident. You will be able to focus all of your energy toward recovering emotionally from your terrible loss once you are able to obtain the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled for the suffering you have been forced to endure.
Again, the second reason to take legal action against those responsible for the fatal accident through a wrongful death lawsuit is to make those parties face accountability for the negligence they committed that led to your loss. No criminal charges are typically filed in these kinds of cases; the only way you may be able to hold those responsible for the accident accountable for their negligence is by pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. By punishing those responsible for the accident severely, this is your best way of obtaining justice. When you do damage to a defendant’s bank account, you can virtually guarantee that defendant will think long and hard before committing the same kind of mistake in the future that will lead to another family experiencing the same kind of tragedy in the future. The Allen wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices will work passionately and tirelessly to ensure that all of the negligent parties responsible for your incredibly tragic loss pay dearly for playing a role in causing the fatal accident. Again, as you will learn in more detail later, even if a defendant is not facing jail time for its negligent actions you can still punish that defendant severely.
Do You have Grounds for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In all likelihood, the grieving family members of someone who dies in a wrongful fashion will not have the slightest idea of how the law applies to one of these kinds of tragedies. These family members, due to their complete unfamiliarity with this sort of law, have no way of knowing whether or not they have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent defendant or defendants that either played a role in causing the fatal accident or caused it outright. There have to be several conditions in place in order for you and your family to have the basis of a potentially successful wrongful death lawsuit. These conditions include:
- The wrongful death had to have been caused by an act of negligence committed by another person or entity. The party responsible could have either been the "sole proximate cause" of the accident that led to the wrongful death, or if could have played a role in causing that accident to take place. In legal terms, the phrase "proximate cause" means that the defendant played some sort of role in the accident taking place. The term "sole proximate cause" means that there can be only one defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a fatal accident.
- There must be a beneficiary or direct surviving family member of the fatal accident victim who can pursue legal action against the responsible parties in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit.
- There had to have been some sort of tangible monetary loss incurred by the victim of the accident or his or her family members as the result of the financial evidence. These financial losses are referred to as "damages" in legal terms.
One of the conditions mentioned above must have been in existence at the time the accident took place in order for you to have the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit, and thus be able to obtain the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled for the suffering you have been forced to endure. If you are still not sure whether you have the grounds for this kind of legal action, please do not hesitate to call the Allen wrongful death attorneys with Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-326-0000 (toll free) for a confidential and free consultation.
As stated earlier, whether or not the defendant or defendants in your case face potential jail time for their actions, you can still pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The lack of criminal charges or the presence of criminal charges has nothing to do with your ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit against those to blame for the fatal accident that led to the loss of your cherished loved one.
For instance, a pedestrian may die after being struck by a vehicle operated by a distracted driver. When this sort of accident occurs, in most instances the driver will not be charged with a criminal offense due to the negligent act that he or she committed. If that driver was drunk at the time of the accident, however, then that driver will obviously be facing criminal charges in all likelihood. The family members of an accident victim can still take legal action in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit whether the driver was merely careless or criminally negligent. You lawsuit could actually be made stronger if criminal charges are filed, whether the defendant is found innocent or guilty.
The Potential Damages Obtainable through a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The term "damages," as mentioned previously, is used to describe the monetary losses that the surviving family members of an accident victim - as well as the accident victim himself or herself - incur when a fatal accident takes place. In a Texas wrongful death lawsuit there are two kinds of damages - wrongful death damages and survival damages. There are many cases where the court will take a very different look at both of these kinds of damages. It is essential, therefore, that both kinds of damages are sought in a wrongful death lawsuit by the grieving family members of someone wrongfully killed in a fatal accident. The grieving family members will have the best possible chance of securing the restitution that they deserve for the suffering they have experienced by pursuing this kind of legal action. In addition, the party or parties responsible for the negligent acts that led to the fatal accident will be forced to face accountability for that negligence.
The financial losses incurred directly by the family members of the person who suffered the wrongful death are referred to as wrongful death damages. There are many different family members who, either separately or collectively, will be eligible to pursue wrongful death damages. In order, these family members are the spouse, children and parents. However, only one plaintiff will be shown on the court record. Wrongful death damages will, in most cases, provide compensation for accident-related expenses such as medical bills incurred by the victim prior to death, pain and suffering experienced by the family due to the loss they have experienced, and funeral bills. However, there are other kinds of damages that the grieving family can pursue as well, including the loss of consortium or unique familial love that could have only been provided by the victim, as well as the loss of monetary support that the victim provided.
Survival damages, on the other hand, are those that the victim incurred, or, if he or she had survived the accident, would have incurred. Basically, the person seeking survival damages will be the only one eligible to do so, because that person will be acting as a "stand in," or proxy, for the accident victim in a piece of Texas wrongful death litigation. It is very important to note, however, that the family member seeking survival damages can also seek wrongful death damages. The closest living family member is the only one allowed to seek survival damages in this sort of case. In most cases, the first family member able to seek survival damages is the spouse. Next in line, from oldest to youngest, are the children if there is no living spouse or the spouse does not want to pursue legal action. If there are no living children, then the right goes to the parents. Finally, the right to pursue survival damages goes to the siblings in some cases. As you can see, the line of succession in regard to filing a lawsuit for survival damages is very clear. And, as stated previously, only one family member will be eligible to seek these survival damages on behalf of a lost loved one.
There are several kinds of survival damages that can be sought by a plaintiff in this sort of lawsuit in order to obtain the full and far compensation to which he or she is entitled for the suffering that has been endured. These include the medical expenses that would have been incurred by the accident victim had he or she survived the accident, the lost earning capacity of the victim, and any wages that the victim would have incurred due to having to miss time from work. Other kinds of survival damages that can be pursued by plaintiffs include the pain and suffering suffered by the surviving family members due to the accident, and the emotional and mental trauma suffered by the plaintiff because of the accident. The family may also be able to obtain restitution for any damage to the property of the decedent that may be applicable to the case, as well as for any long-term injury or disfigurement that victim would have suffered had he or she survived the accident.
It is rather simple to calculate objective, tangible damages such as repair bills and medical bills. But many of these aforementioned damages, as you can in all likelihood see, are quite subjective. Because these damages are intangible, it can be very difficult for an inexperienced lawyer to be able to accurately calculate them. And accurately calculating subjective damages can be nearly impossible for a non-attorney. The reason that, for lack of a better term, "putting a price tag" on subjective damages such as pain and suffering is so difficult is that it takes a great deal of experience to be able to do so. The Allen wrongful death lawyers at Grossman Law Offices, however, have represented clients in these kinds of cases for two decades. We, because of the extensive experience that we have, know how to provide an accurate calculation of the damages that you have incurred due to the tragic accident that robbed you of your loved one. In addition, we will provide the court with the hard evidence needed to be able to prove that hose damages are justified. In order to obtain the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled for the suffering you have been forced to endure, you will have to not only provide an accurate calculation of your damages, you also have to show that they are valid - not only the damages that your family has incurred, but also the damages incurred by the victim. If you fail in your attempt to accurately calculate and justify your damages, you will run the risk of seeing the defendant in your case escape having to face responsibility for the negligence it committed that led to the tragic loss you have experienced.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Worker’s Compensation
Any piece of legal action stemming from a workplace accident that leads to a fatality involves Texas work injury laws. Whenever this kind of tragedy takes place, the most important question that must be answered is whether or not worker’s compensation insurance coverage was purchased by the victim’s employer. The employer is covered by worker’s comp insurance in about half of the workplace accidents that result in a fatality. A company that purchases worker’s comp coverage is referred to in legal terms as a "subscriber." A subscriber to worker’s comp is protected from any sort of legal action stemming from and accident that leads to either an injury or a fatality in the State of Texas. However, there is one exception to that immunity. This exception takes place when the employer’s gross negligence leads to the accident that results in a worker’s death. In this sort of instance, the family members of the deceased employee can file a wrongful death lawsuit against that employer in order to attempt to obtain full and fair compensation.
At Grossman Law Offices, our Allen wrongful death lawyers have represented clients for the past two decades in not only wrongful death lawsuits, but also fatal work accident cases. It is imperative that you have the help of a seasoned and skilled attorney if you are thinking of taking legal action against an employer that has committed gross negligence. However, if you are trying to prove gross negligence, you will have to satisfy an extremely high standard of proof in order to convince the court of the clear guilt of the employer. This is why this is an incredibly difficult and complex kind of case. If an employer committed only standard negligence (or, in other words, simple carelessness), and that standard negligence led to the death of an employee of a worker’s comp subscriber due to a workplace accident, there is only one way the grieving family members can obtain compensation from that employer - through the worker’s compensation policy purchased by that employer. That policy, however, will more than likely not come anywhere close to providing adequate compensation to the bereaved family for the victim’s lost income and other damages that were incurred due to the fatal workplace accident.
At Grossman Law Offices, our Allen wrongful death attorneys can launch a detailed investigation of a fatal workplace accident in order to accurately determine all of the potentially liable parties that could have either contributed to the accident that took place or outright caused the accident. There is normally some kind of third party that plays some sort of role when this kind of accident occurs at a workplace and results in a fatality. If there are multiple parties that have contributed to an accident, then a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against each and every one of these responsible parties by the grieving family members. The bereaved family can attempt to secure restitution through the worker’s comp policy as well. In a manner of speaking, the grieving family can "piggyback" any third party lawsuits onto the claim for worker’s compensation. When a fatal workplace accident results from defective machinery or products, the manufacturer could be targeted by not only a defective product lawsuit, but also a third party lawsuit.
It can, as previously stated, be nearly impossible for someone with no legal background to be able to try to sort out all of these incredibly complex issues. It can even be overwhelming for an inexperienced attorney. The skilled and seasoned Allen wrongful death attorneys with Grossman Law Offices, however, have the experience needed to give you the best possible chance of securing the equitable restitution that you deserve for the suffering that you have experienced.
Medical Malpractice and Legal Action Stemming from a Wrongful Death
In some instances, an act of medical malpractice committed by a doctor or other medical practitioner results in a wrongful death taking place. But this kind of lawsuit has been made incredibly more complex in recent years due to tort reform in Texas. In fact, this kind of reform has made it exceedingly difficult for grieving families to secure restitution through a medical malpractice lawsuit - however, this reform has not made it impossible to take this sort of legal action.
The original intent of tort reform when it was passed by the Texas Legislature was to reduce the amount of frivolous lawsuits. The purpose of reducing these frivolous suits was to ease the stress on a judicial system that was already overloaded. The actual result of this tort reform, despite the good intentions, was to make it incredibly hard for people who had been legitimately harmed due to medical malpractice to take the legal action necessary to make sure their rights were protected and to obtain the compensation to which they were entitled. To make matters even more difficult, these tort reforms placed caps, or limits, on the amount of money that either an attorney could negotiate on behalf of a bereaved family or awarded by a judge or jury. This basically means that when someone suffers a wrongful death due to medical malpractice, that victim’s grieving family will find it very hard to obtain the compensation to which it is entitled for the suffering that it has been forced to endure. However, if the lawsuit is limited to only one provider, this kind of legal action is made even harder. When the Allen wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices conduct an investigation into a medical malpractice claim, however, we look for all of the potentially liable parties that may have contributed to the incident that contributed to the wrongful death. If some of the parties that played a role in that incident have the protection of limited liability afforded by tort reform, there are others that do not enjoy this protection. If you find that you have the grounds for a third party lawsuit, you may possibly be able to pursue the same kind of legal action that we referenced previously; the "piggyback" process that can be used in regard to worker’s compensation claims that stem from a fatal workplace accident.
It is imperative that you are made aware of the fact that many different law firms will choose not to represent clients in any sort of case involving medical malpractice, because it is extremely difficult to win this kind of litigation. Not only is this true because of tort reform, but also other very technical aspects. The Allen wrongful death attorneys with Grossman Law Offices, however, relish a challenge. We know how complex this kind of case is, but we have the extensive experience that you will need in order to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled if the negligence of a medical practitioner led to you being robbed of a beloved family member. We will work tenaciously and passionately to make sure that your rights are protected and you have the best possible chance of winning your case.
The Obstacles that You will have to Surmount in Order to Win
A wrongful death lawsuit typically involves some kind of insurance policy, and because of this there will usually be a huge amount of money at stake. The grieving family members of the deceased have not only very likely incurred significant damages, the victim also incurred substantial damages prior to his or her death. If the insurance company representing the defendant loses its case, then it will have to pay a very large sum of money to the plaintiff.
Because so much money will potentially be on the line, the insurance carrier covering the defendant will do whatever it can to defeat your case. An insurance carrier cares about only one thing - protecting its policy and, as a result, protecting its profits. That insurer could not care less about how devastating the experience has been for your family or how much suffering you have experienced. All that insurer wants to do is to see to it that your claim is completely denied. Failing that, it wants to make sure that your claim is reduced as much as possible. No matter how strong your evidence may be, the defendant’s insurer will work extremely hard to defeat you. You will need the help of a seasoned and skilled Allen wrongful death attorney in order to have any reasonable chance of securing the restitution that you deserve for the loss that you have experienced. The insurance company that you will encounter will be an incredibly formidable opponent, and one of the biggest reasons that you will need the help of an attorney.
The insurance company, in most cases of a wrongful death, will be trying to protect a policy. In order to protect that policy, it will, in all likelihood, attempt to make it look like another party - or even your lost family member - was to blame for the wrongful death. The insurer will, through its adjusters and defense lawyers, will attempt to defend its policy in an extremely aggressive manner - even if it means resorting to relatively questionable means. For example, you can expect the insurance company to not only call your loved one’s actions into question, but his or her very lifestyle as well, in an attempt to defeat your case. It will be up to you and your Allen wrongful death attorney to provide the hard evidence needed for you to build the best possible case - one that will speak on behalf of the loved one you have lost in such tragic fashion. If you cannot provide that evidence, there is a distinct possibility that the defendant and its insurance provider will be able to basically talk their way out of having to face responsibility, and will thus not be held accountable for the negligence that was committed. However, because the Allen wrongful death attorneys with Grossman Law Offices have represented clients in these kinds of cases for the past two decades, we have the experience that you will need in order to defeat the methods and tactics that the insurance company will use in an attempt to defeat your case. We will make sure that your rights are protected, that you are treated fairly, and that you have the best chance possible of obtaining the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled for the suffering that you have been forced to endure.
Another obstacle that will often result in a plaintiff losing a wrongful death lawsuit is that of time. The statue of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas is two years from the date of the death. In some cases, typically when gross negligence has occurred, that timeline can be extended. However, in the vast majority of cases, the grieving family of a lost loved one has but two years in order to pursue legal action and force those responsible for the wrongful death to be held accountable for the negligence they committed. Two years may seem like a very long time, but from a legal perspective that is actually not the case. It is imperative in the vast majority of cases that all of the potentially responsible parties are properly identified in order for a plaintiff to have the best chance possible of securing equitable restitution. And a thorough investigation into a fatal accident is a must in order to provide that accurate determination. In some cases, these kinds of investigations can take up to a year or more. Basically, the more the number of potentially liable parties, the longer it will take for a thorough investigation to be conducted. An asset check must also be performed in order to make sure that the defendant or defendants in your case have enough money to provide you with equitable restitution. It would obviously be a waste of time to take legal action against a defendant that is unable to pay you because it does not have enough money.
There is another reason why it is imperative that an investigation into the accident that robbed you of your loved one is conducted as soon as possible. Essential evidence can quickly disappear, through both nefarious and natural occurrences. The more you delay in hiring a legal representative, the higher the chances that your case will be damaged as a result. There is a very high probability that the defendant in your case has already started an investigation into the accident that robbed you of your loved one. We would hope that investigation would be conducted in an above-board manner, but we have seen many examples of unethical behavior on the part of a defendant or a defendant’s representative. From the moment that a fatal accident takes place to the moment that a plaintiff hires a lawyer, the defendant has a window of opportunity. During this window, the defendant has unfettered access to an accident scene, and its investigation is not observed. That provides ample opportunity to tamper with or destroy evidence, such as critical records. If you do not have an investigation launched on your behalf to make sure your rights are protected, there could very well be nefarious activities underway that could do irreparable damage done to your case - and you may very well not ever know it until it is too late. You simply cannot delay any further in enlisting the assistance of an Allen wrongful death attorney if you are to have any reasonable chance of making sure your rights are protected. As difficult a time as you are going through, it is imperative that you fight through your grief and take decisive action. The alternative is the distinct possibility that the defendant will do great damage to your case by not acting in an ethical manner.
Even if the defendant is acting ethically, you still need to have an investigation conducted on your behalf as quickly as possible, because the critical evidence you need in order to be able to prove your case. If a car accident caused the wrongful death, for instance, the physical scene of the accident can undergo rapid alterations due to road construction, weather conditions and other factors. Witnesses’ memories can become clouded or they can decide they no longer want to be involved in your case. These and other reasons make it vital that you get the help of an experienced Allen wrongful death lawyer just as soon as you possibly can. By having an investigation performed on your behalf, you can obtain the proof you need to win your case. You will be able to force those responsible for your loss to face accountability for their negligence, and you will secure the equitable restitution that you deserve for the suffering you have experienced.
How Grossman Law Offices Can Help
The sudden and shocking loss of a loved one, as we well know, is one of the most catastrophic experiences that a family can ever have to endure. Life has to go on, of course, but accident-related expenses such as loss of vital income and pain and suffering can be crippling for the surviving family members. We want to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled so that you can recover financially and focus your energy on recovering emotionally. And we would also like to help you make sure those responsible for your loss are forced to face accountability for their negligence. We want to help you recover monetarily, whether that restitution comes from one defendant or several defendants. And we also want to make sure the defendant changes its behavior so it does not make the same kind of mistake in the future that can lead to another family having to suffer as has yours.
As we previously mentioned, the insurance carrier that is involved in your litigation will do whatever it can to make sure your compensation is significantly slashed or your claim is completely denied. Unless you have an experienced attorney working on your behalf, you must not have any sort of communication at all with an insurance carrier. And you should never accept any kind of settlement offer from an insurance company without first having an experienced lawyer look it over to make sure it is fair. If you accept a bad settlement, that can lead to years of financial misery because the money will run out before all of the accident-related expenses have been paid. If that happens, then your family will be responsible for any expenses that remain.
At Grossman Law Offices, our Allen wrongful death attorneys are here to help you obtain the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled for the incredible loss you have suffered due to the negligence of others. We have defeated nearly every major insurance company over the last two decades, so they are well aware of our reputation for success. As a result, they will often times offer fair settlements to our clients. They would rather do that than risk losing even more money by taking us on in court. A plaintiff enjoys two major advantages by receiving a fair settlement; one, the plaintiff is paid much quicker, and two, the plaintiff does not have to deal with the stress and uncertainty of a trial.
If a trial does become necessary, however, we will devise an effective and strong strategy that will give you the best possible chance of prevailing in your case and securing the equitable restitution that you deserve for the suffering you have experienced.
Please to not hesitate to call the Allen wrongful death attorneys with Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-326-0000 (toll free) for a confidential and free consultation if you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party or parties. We will listen to the details of the accident, give you an honest assessment of your case’s strengths and weaknesses, and let you know how we may be of assistance. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you have any questions whatsoever on wrongful death law in general, your case in particular or anything you have read in this article.