Mesquite Wrongful Death Lawyers
Call Grossman Law Offices if You've Lost a Family Member in a Wrongful Death Accident
When someone is killed because of the negligence of a liable party, that is referred to as a wrongful death from a legal perspective. This is a rather abstract legal term, however, that does not come anywhere close to describing the incredible amount of pain that the family of a lost loved one experiences due to this sort of tragic occurrence.
The feeling of loss becomes even more acute when a wrongful death takes place due to the careless behavior of the responsible party. Not only can this sort of tragedy lead to emotional turmoil that can last years and years, it can also lead to substantial monetary losses as well.
There are several different ways that a wrongful death can take place, and there are also several reasons why this sort of tragedy takes place. Job-related accidents, accidents caused by a drunk driver, or a poorly manufactured or defective product are but of the few reasons why these kinds of tragedies occur. Wrongful deaths can happen in an instant, and many times with no sort of warning whatsoever. This kind of sudden and shocking loss can leave a devastated family reeling for a very long time. In many of these kinds of instances, the last thing that many grieving families want to think about is taking legal action.
However, it is imperative that, if you have been affected by this kind of tragedy, you summon the strength needed to act in a quick and decisive manner. If you are reading this article, then there is a very high likelihood that you are at least open to looking at your options from a legal perspective. There are many reasons why filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas can be a very important step toward being able to heal from the catastrophe that has struck your family. This article is brought to you by the Mesquite wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices in order to give you some of the basics in regard to wrongful death law, what you can expect from the opposition in your lawsuit and the obstacles that will be placed in the way of you being able to be successful in pursuing legal action. And we will also let you know how we may be able to help you and your family recover financially so that you can turn all of your energy toward recovering emotionally from the terrible loss you have suffered.
You must be made aware of the fact that this article is only provided to give you some basic information in regard to wrongful death law. This is in no way intended to act as any sort of substitute for the counsel of an actual lawyer who knows the specific circumstances surrounding your case. If you would like to talk to one of our Mesquite wrongful death lawyers, please call 1-855-326-0000 (toll free) for a free and confidential consultation.
Why You Need to Take Legal Action if You have Lost a Family Member
When a fatal accident takes place, there are two main reasons that you should pursue a wrongful death lawsuit - to seek monetary compensation and to see that justice is served. The grieving family members of an accident victim can, through filing a wrongful death lawsuit, secure the restitution they deserve for the suffering they have experienced. Of course, no amount of money can ever make up for the incredible sorrow that your family is going through. However, this kind of tragedy can often lead to incredible financial losses for the surviving family members - this is particularly so if the wrongful death victim was the primary wage earner for the family. By obtaining compensation from those responsible for the tragedy through the means of a wrongful death lawsuit, the grieving family can take care of expenses related to the tragedy such as funeral costs, pain and suffering (not only experienced by the family, but the victim as well) and medical bills. It is always important to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas, but when the family’s main financial provider is the one who dies, this is particularly important. By securing the restitution that you deserve, that can help you recover monetarily from your tragedy so that you can focus all of your energy on recovering emotionally from the devastating loss that you have experienced.
As covered earlier, the other main reason to take legal action is to force those responsible for the accident accountable for the negligence that either contributed to the fatal accident or caused it outright. Most of the times in these cases, no criminal charges are filed. Because of this, a wrongful death lawsuit could be the only way that your family can make sure that those responsible for your loss are punished severely and that justice is served. When a defendant is punished in a severe fashion for its negligence, you can force it to change its behavior so that it does not commit the same kind of mistake that leads to another family experiencing the same kind of tragic loss yours has. The Mesquite wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices will work passionately and tirelessly to make sure each and every responsible party is held accountable for contributing to the accident that led to the suffering you have had to endure. Even if those parties are not facing jail time for the negligent acts they committed, you can still punish them severely.
Do You have Grounds for a Successful Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When a wrongful death takes place, the grieving family members almost never have the slightest idea of how the law works in this kind of instance. These family members, because they have no background whatsoever in the law, have no clue whether or not they have grounds for taking action against a negligent defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit. There are several conditions that must be in place in order for you and your family to have the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit. These include:
- The wrongful death had to have resulted from the negligence of another person or an entity. The party guilty of negligence could have either played a role in the cause of the fatal accident or been the "sole proximate cause" of the accident. Legally speaking, the term "proximate cause" means that the liable party played a role in contributing to the accident. The legal term "sole proximate cause" means that there will be only one defendant in any wrongful death lawsuit that stems from the fatal accident.
- The victim of the fatal accident has to have a direct surviving family member or a beneficiary who can pursue legal action in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible.
- There had to have been some sort of tangible financial loss incurred by the accident victim or his or her family as the result of the accident. These monetary losses are, in legal terms, known as "damages."
More than likely, you will have grounds of a wrongful death lawsuit if at least one of the conditions described above was in place at the time of the fatal accident that robbed you of your loved one. If you are unsure whether or not you have the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit, please do not hesitate to call the wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices for a confidential and free consultation at 1-855-326-0000 (toll free).
You also need to be made aware of the fact that whether or not the defendant or defendants in your case face criminal charges, you can still pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The lack of criminal charges or presence of criminal charges has no bearing on whether or not you can take action in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit.
For example, a pedestrian may succumb to his or her injuries after being hit by a vehicle operated by a distracted driver. When this sort of incident takes place, most of the time the negligent driver will not face criminal charges. That driver, however, will probably be facing criminal charges if he or she was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The family members of an accident victim can still pursue legal action in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit whether or not the driver was criminally negligent by driving while drunk or merely careless. In fact, if criminal charges are filed, whether the defendant is found guilty or innocent your lawsuit could be made stronger.
Damages Potentially Available through a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The term "damages," as we covered earlier, is the legal term used to describe the monetary losses that the surviving family members of a fatal accident victim - as well as the victim himself or herself - incurred due to the accident. In a Texas wrongful death lawsuit, there are two kinds of damages - wrongful death damages and survival damages. Many times a jury will view both of these kinds of damages in very different fashion. It is essential, therefore, that both kinds of damages be pursued in a wrongful death lawsuit. By doing so, the grieving family members may be able to secure the equitable restitution that they deserve for the loss they have experienced. In addition, the defendants in the lawsuit will be forced to face full responsibility for their negligence.
When family members directly incur damages due to the loss of a loved one, those are known as wrongful death damages. There are many family members who will be able to, either separately or collectively, be able to seek wrongful death damages. These include a spouse, parents or children. More than likely, however, the court record will only show one plaintiff. Wrongful death damages will in most cases - not always, though - provide compensation for fatal accident-related expenses such as pain and suffering experienced by the family because of their loss, funeral bills and the medical bills incurred by the victim prior to succumbing to his or her injuries. However, there are other kinds of damages that can also be pursued, including the loss of unique familial love or loss of consortium that only the victim could have provided, as well as the loss of monetary support that the victim had provided.
Survival damages, on the other hand, are those the victim incurred, or would have incurred had he or she survived the accident. There is only one member of the family who is eligible to seek survival damages, because this person will basically be acting as a "stand in," or proxy, for the accident victim in a wrongful death case in Texas. It is also very important to note, however, that the family member seeking survival damages can also seek wrongful death damages. In regard to survival damages, only the closest living family member is allowed to seek them. In most cases this person is the spouse. However, if there is no spouse, or if that spouse does not want to take legal action, the decedent’s children (in order from the oldest to the youngest) are next in line. If there are no living children, the next family members who can pursue survival damages are the parents, and then possibly a sibling. In regard to filing a survival damages lawsuit, there is a very clear line of succession. Again, there is only one family member who can take this kind of legal action.
There are several kinds of survival damages that can provide compensation, including the medical bills that would have been incurred by the accident victim had he or she survived, lost earning capacity of the victim, and any lost wages the person would have incurred during the time he or she would have had to miss from work. There are other survival damages that can be pursued as well, such as the pain and suffering experienced by the remaining family members. The family’s mental and emotional trauma suffered due to the accident can also result in compensation, as well as other kinds of damages. These include damage to the decedent’s property that took place because of the accident, as well as any long-term injury or disfigurement the deceased would have suffered had he or she survived.
However, as you can see, many of the above-mentioned damages are very subjective. As a result, it can be very challenging for a novice lawyer to be able to accurately calculate them. And it can be nearly impossible for a non-attorney to do so. Trying to figure out how much in compensation to seek can be incredibly hard for someone with little to no legal background. The Mesquite wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices, however, have two decades of experience in representing clients in these kinds of cases. We know how to accurately calculate the damages you have incurred due to the accident that has robbed you of your loved one, and we know how to provide the hard evidence needed to show the court those calculations are justified. If you are unable to not only make an accurate calculation of your damages but also prove that they are valid (damages not only suffered by the grieving family but the victim as well), then you will have basically no chance of obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled for the suffering you have been forced to endure. If this happens in your case, then the defendant will escape having to face full responsibility for the negligence it committed that led to the loss of your cherished family member.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance and the Effect it has on Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A lawsuit stemming from a workplace accident that leads to a death involves specific Texas work injury laws. The first question that must be answered in this sort of tragic case is whether or not the employer of the victim carried worker’s compensation insurance. The employer is covered by worker’s comp in about half of the workplace accidents that result in death. A company that purchases a worker’s comp policy is, in legal terms, referred to as a "subscriber" to worker’s compensation insurance. And when a company is a worker’s comp subscriber in Texas, that company is immune from any sort of lawsuit when a workplace accident results in an injury or a death. However, there is one exception to that immunity, and that is when an accident that leads to the death of a worker is caused by the gross negligence of the employer. In this instance, that employer can be targeted by a wrongful death lawsuit in an effort to obtain full and fair compensation.
For two decades, the Mesquite wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices have represented clients in both fatal work accident litigation and wrongful death lawsuits. You must also have the help of an experienced lawyer when trying to take legal action against an employer that has committed gross negligence. When you are trying to establish this gross negligence, however, in order to prove the clear guilt of the employer you have to satisfy an extremely high standard of proof. When a fatality takes place due to a workplace accident, that that victim was an employee of a worker’s comp subscriber, if the employer only committed standard negligence (known also as simple carelessness), then a grieving family can only secure restitution through the employer’s worker’s compensation policy. That policy, however, will probably not come anywhere close to adequately compensating for the lost income provided by the victim as well as other damages resulting from the fatal workplace accident.
In order to determine all of the potentially liable defendants that could have caused a fatal accident outright or contributed to that accident, the Mesquite wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices can conduct a thorough investigation of a workplace accident. There is normally some sort of third party that is involved when a fatal workplace accident occurs. The grieving family members of an accident victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit against each and every potentially liable party if multiple parties played a role in the accident that took place. This compensation can be sought in addition to the compensation sought through the worker’s comp policy of the employer. In a manner of speaking, a grieving family can "piggyback" these third party suits onto the worker’s comp claim. In other instances, defective machinery or products lead to the occurrence of fatal workplace accidents. This type of instance opens the manufacturer of that defective product to not only a defective product lawsuit but also a third party lawsuit.
Trying to sort out all of these issues can be incredibly complicated for someone with no legal background or a person who is an inexperienced lawyer. The skilled and seasoned Cockrell Hill wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices, however, have the experience that you need to have the best possible chance of securing the equitable restitution that you have coming for the suffering you have experienced.
When Medical Malpractice Results in a Wrongful Death
Other times, medical malpractice leads to a wrongful death and the resultant legal action. This kind of lawsuit, however, has been made exceedingly more difficult in recent years due to Texas tort reform. In fact, this reform has made it exceptionally tough for grieving family members to secure restitution through a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, that reform has not make it impossible.
Originally, tort reform was intended to ease the stress on an already overloaded judicial system by reducing the amount of frivolous lawsuits. What actually resulted, however, made is incredibly hard for victims of medical malpractice to pursue legitimate lawsuits against negligent medical professionals. And to make matters even worse, these reforms placed caps on the amount of money that can either be awarded by the court or can be negotiated on behalf of a grieving family by an attorney. This basically means that a grieving family of a fatal accident victim will find it exceedingly difficult to obtain the full and fair compensation to which it is entitled. This is especially the case if a lawsuit is limited to only one healthcare provider. But when the Mesquite wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices conduct an investigation into a claim of medical malpractice, we look for all of the potentially liable parties that may have contributed to the incident resulted in the wrongful death. While some of the parties may be protected in the form of caps that limit the liability they face, others do not have that sort of protection. If you have the grounds of a third party lawsuit in this sort of instance, you may be able to pursue the type of legal action referred to earlier, the "piggyback" model used to seek restitution when a fatal workplace accident takes place that involves a worker’s compensation claim.
In addition, it is also important that you know many law firms will not agree to take on a case involving medical malpractice because they are so difficult to win; not only because of tort reform, but also other very technical aspects. The Mesquite wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices, however, know all of the difficulties associated with this kind of case. We relish a challenge, and 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 professional robbed you of your loved one.
The Obstacles You will have to Surmount in Order to Win Your Case
A wrongful death lawsuit, in most cases, will involve an insurance policy of some sort. There is also usually a very substantial amount of money at stake. Very extensive damages have probably not only been incurred by the deceased’s family, but also the deceased himself or herself. The insurance company that covers the defendant charged with causing that fatal accident will, if it loses its case, have to pay the plaintiff a very large sum of money.
The defendant’s insurance provider will do nearly everything it can in order to make sure you lose your case because there will be so much money on the line. The insurance company could not care less how much suffering you have experienced - it will take a coldhearted approach to your case because all it cares about is protecting its policy and bolstering its bottom line. The defendant’s insurance policy will work as feverishly as it can in an attempt to either pay you nothing or as little as possible, even if the evidence in the case appears to point at the defendant’s guilt. You will need the help of a seasoned and skilled Mesquite wrongful death lawyer in order to have the best chance possible of securing the restitution that you deserve. The insurance company that you will oppose in your effort to seek that restitution is one of the biggest reasons why.
Typically, an insurance company trying to defend a policy will try to make it look like some other party was responsible for the fatal accident, or even that the victim was to blame. Along with its adjusters and defense lawyers, the insurer involved in your case will defend its policy in an incredibly vigorous manner - and it will not be above using questionable tactics. For example, you can expect that the insurer will call your loved one’s actions - possibly even his or her lifestyle - into question in an attempt to have your wrongful death claim denied. In order to build the strongest case possible, one that can speak for your lost loved one, it will be up to you and your Mesquite wrongful death lawyers to have the hard evidence that you will need. If you are unable to provide that evidence, you will run the risk that the defendant and its insurance provider could escape liability by basically talking its way out of having to face responsibility for its negligence. For the past two decades, the Mesquite wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices have represented clients in these kinds of cases, and we have learned how to defeat an insurance company’s methods and tactics. We will protect your rights, make sure you are treated fairly in your case, and that you have the best chance possible of obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled for the suffering you have been forced to endure.
Another obstacle that can often trip up plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits is one of time. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas is two years from the date of the death of the victim. In some instances, typically when gross negligence has taken place, that timeline can be extended. However, the grieving family of a lost loved one typically has but two years to take legal action in an effort to force those responsible to face accountability. While this may seem like quite a long time, from a legal perspective that really not is the case. In order to have the best possible chance of securing equitable restitution, it is imperative in most cases to determine all of the potentially liable parties. In order to do that, a thorough investigation is a must. And in some cases, these kinds of investigations can take up to a year or more. Basically, the greater the number of potentially liable parties, the longer this kind of investigation typically takes. Also, in order to make sure that the defendant (or defendants) in your case have the resourced required to provide you the restitution you deserve, an asset check needs to be conducted. Obviously, if the responsible party does not have enough money to pay you, taking legal action against that party would be a complete waste of time.
There is another critical reason that an investigation needs to be conducted into the fatal accident as soon as possible, and that is the fact that critical evidence can disappear quickly. The longer it takes for an investigation to be launched on your behalf, the more damage may be done to your litigation. More than likely, the defendant has already started investigating the accident - some of these investigations are done ethically, but others are not. There could be nefarious acts being committed at this very moment, and at your expense - your case could be irreparably hurt as a result and you may never know it. If you do not have someone working to protect your rights investigating the fatal accident on your behalf, then the defendant could be tampering or even destroying the evidence you need to prove your case. It is imperative that you hire a Mesquite wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to make sure the defendant is playing by the rules and conducting its investigation in an ethical manner.
Even if the defendant’s investigation is being conducted above-board, you need to have an investigation conducted on your behalf as quickly as possible because evidence can quickly disappear. In the event of an automobile accident, for example, the scene of the accident can be rapidly altered due to weather conditions, road construction and other factors. Witnesses’ memories can become clouded or they can decide they no longer want to be involved in your case. It is critically important, for these and other reasons, that you enlist the assistance of a skilled and seasoned Mesquite wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible so that you have the best possible chance of winning your case. That way, you can secure the equitable restitution that you have coming for the accident that resulted in your incredibly tragic loss from the party or parties responsible.
How Grossman Law Offices Can Help
One of the most devastating experienced that a family can go through is the shocking and sudden loss of a loved one, and we are well aware of this fact. While it is obvious that life must go on for the grieving family members, the loss of critical income, pain and suffering and the ever-growing pile of bills that will only continue to get larger can result in an overwhelming tragedy. We know how hard of a time you are going through, and we want to help you recover from the incredible loss you have experienced. We also want to make sure that those responsible for playing a role in the fatal accident that robbed you of your loved one are forced to face accountability for their negligence. We want to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled for the suffering you have been forced to endure, whether that compensation comes from one defendant or it comes from several defendants. That compensation can help you recover financially so that you can turn all of your energy toward recovering emotionally from the loss that you have experienced. Also, you can force those parties into changing their behavior so that they do not make a similar mistake that causes another family to have to go through what you are going through.
The insurance provider involved in your case, as mentioned earlier, will do anything possible to either pay you as little as possible for your loss or not pay you anything. It is important that you do not have any sort of communication of any kind with an insurer - and by all means, you should never accept any kind of settlement offer - without making sure you have an experienced attorney by your side who is working to protect your rights.
At Grossman Law Offices, our Mesquite wrongful death lawyers are here to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled for the suffering you have been forced to endure due to the negligence of another person or entity. We have represented clients in these kinds of cases for two decades, and during that time we have defeated nearly every major insurance provider in the country. These insurance carriers know us, and they know our reputation for success. As a result, they will many times offer our clients fair settlements. They will do this because they don’t want to risk losing even more money by taking on our lawyers in a court of law. A plaintiff who obtains a fair settlement enjoys two huge benefits. One, he or she gets paid much more quickly. Two, that plaintiff will not have to experience the uncertainty and stress of a trial. If a trial should become necessary, however, we will device an effective and strong strategy that will provide you with the best possible chance of prevailing in your litigation.
If you have been forced to endure the horrible loss of a family member because of the negligence of another party or parties, please call the Mesquite wrongful death lawyers with Grossman Law Offices as soon as you can at 1-855-326-0000 (toll free) for a confidential and free consultation. After listening to all of the details surrounding the accident, we will provide you with an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and let you know how we may be of assistance. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions, whether they are in regard to wrongful death law in general, your case in particular or anything you have read in this article.