If a child, parent, or spouse has died because of negligence, it's in your best interst to consult with a qualified wrongful death lawyer in Waco. An attorney will help you evaluate your legal options, which may include filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit allows you to seek justice for your loved one’s death and provide for your family. Our compassionate Waco wrongful death attorneys advocate for your goals in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Whether you are looking for answers or need money to pay medical bills, we investigate and negotiate with your interests in mind.
If you are considering the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit, call us for a free consultation.
We can talk things over, listening to you share your loved one’s experience and informing you of your legal options. Then we leave it up to you to decide whether you want to pursue a lawsuit.
Before you meet with our Waco wrongful death attorneys, you may want to know a few things about us:
- We have represented thousands of clients over our 30-year history;
- We are rated by Super Lawyers and Top Attorneys of Texas;
- We get to know our clients so we can passionately advocate for their interests; and
- We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of personal injury and wrongful death.
To speak with one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys in Waco, contact us for a free consultation.
If you want to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits in Waco, we’ve compiled information on the topic here.
This material should give you a better understanding of how a wrongful death lawsuit can provide compensation for your family.
An Overview of Wrongful Death Law in Texas
Wrongful death law can vary slightly from state to state. If your loved one experienced a wrongful death in Waco, it’s important to hire a wrongful death attorney with an understanding of Texas law.
Here are some basic details on wrongful death law in Texas.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Waco?
In Texas, the spouse, parent, or child of the person who died can sue. If the spouse, parent, or child does not file a claim within three months of the person’s death, the estate executor can sue on behalf of the estate.
The executor’s lawsuit can be barred by the objections of the spouse, parents, and children of the deceased.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Waco?
You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our attorneys need to gather information and attempt to negotiate with the insurance company before this date, so it’s best to meet with us as soon as possible.
However, some exceptions to this statute of limitations may allow you or a child to file even if it’s been more than two years since your loved one’s death.
What Damages Are Available in Wrongful Death Actions?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, you can sue for economic and non-economic damages.
This means that you can recover for both the financial losses and emotional harm you suffered from your loved one’s death. These damages might include the following:
- Your mental anguish and suffering,
- Funeral expenses paid by the family,
- Counseling bills,
- Loss of future earnings,
- Loss of inheritance,
- Loss of companionship, and
- Loss of support.
If someone exhibits particularly terrible behavior, defined by Texas law as a “wilful act or omission or gross negligence,” then the court may also award punitive damages.
Punitive damages are not intended to compensate you for harm but to punish the defendant and deter others from committing similar acts.
Proving Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases
Under Texas law, You can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against someone if their "wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default" caused the death of your loved one.
Most wrongful death lawsuits are brought as negligence actions. This means that your wrongful death attorney in Waco has to prove several elements of negligence.
Duty of care
Someone owed your loved one a duty of care. This responsibility could be anything from the duty of drivers to obey traffic laws to the duty of store owners to keep their business in a safe condition.
Breach of duty
This person breached their duty of care. In the above examples, a driver may have been intoxicated, or a store owner may have neglected to maintain fire extinguishers.
Breach caused death
If this person’s breach of duty caused the death of your loved one, the person may be liable for the wrongful death.
Stats: Fatalities Caused by Vehicle Accidents in Waco Annually
Unfortunately, Waco roads can be dangerous places to drive. Waco has experienced significant growth over the past decade, gaining thousands of new residents.
With a major interstate running through the town, Waco drivers and travelers commuting between big cities make for crowded roadways.
In 2019, there were over 4,000 car crashes in Waco, involving almost 12,000 people. Here are more statistics on 2017 Waco traffic accidents:
- 17 fatal accidents,
- 19 fatalities,
- 5 fatal accidents involving drunk persons, and
- 6 pedestrians in fatal accidents.
Decades of accident data show that the most fatal Waco accidents take place in June. Monday is the day of the week with the most fatal accidents, though weekend fatality rates are also higher than other days. Waco has a greater percentage of accidents involving drunk drivers than the Texas average.
While Texas safety experts, lawmakers, and law enforcement work to reduce the number of fatal accidents on highways, you can also help.
By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you educate the public about driving dangers and hold the person who drove recklessly accountable.
Deciding to Hire a Waco Wrongful Death Lawyer to Pursue Justice Is Not Easy
We understand that the decision to file a wrongful death claim is not easy. Fighting for justice means telling your family’s painful story and listening to others deny responsibility. It can be an emotionally draining ordeal when you’re already grieving.
However, a wrongful death lawsuit can also accomplish some positive things. It can help you and your family get closure by finding out exactly what happened in your loved one’s accident.
A lawsuit can allow you to get a sense of justice for what the defendant did to your family. Through compensation attained in a lawsuit, you can often provide for yourself and your family for years to come.
The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices cannot make this wrongful death experience easy for you, and we can’t take away your pain.
However, we will make wrongful death litigation as convenient as possible, sparing you all the burdens we can. We’ll also fight hard for you and your family, working to achieve your goals for the wrongful death lawsuit.
We have decades of experience litigating these cases, and we’ve recovered millions for victims and their families. See some of our notable case results here, and contact us to find out if we can help with your claim.
I Am a Friend of the Deceased; How Can I Help?
You can be there for the family to support them through this tragic ordeal. Also, inform them of their legal options. While only the spouse, child, or parent of the person who died can file a wrongful death action, you can serve as a valuable resource.
Inform them of some of the things you’ve learned on our website, or put the family in touch with a qualified wrongful death attorney in Waco who can help.
I Am a Family Member of the Deceased But Not a Child, Spouse, or Parent; What Can I Do?
Only the spouse, parent, or child of the person who died can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. Some other states may allow more distant family members to file a lawsuit, but Texas does not.
However, if the spouse, parent, or child does not file a lawsuit within three months of the person’s death, the executor can file a lawsuit.
You can first inform the family members about the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit and let them know that we offer a free consultation if they need legal information.
If the family doesn’t seem interested in litigation, you can inform the executor of the estate about this possibility.
Whatever you do, act fast. The statute of limitations allows only two years from the person’s death to file a lawsuit.
Real Client Story: Wrongful Death Case Against Employer, Pilgrim's Pride
We often find that employees who perform the jobs that keep our economy going are treated poorly.
This was the case with Jimmy B., a worker at a Pilgrim’s Pride processing plant. Jimmy was tragically killed at work when an 18-wheeler backed into him at high speed.
Jimmy’s family came to us after Pilgrim’s Pride insisted on mandatory arbitration and refused to pay them more than $250,000.
The family viewed this settlement as a grave injustice considering the horrific way in which Jimmy was killed.
We pressed back on Pilgrim’s Pride’s offer and launched an onsite investigation of Jimmy’s death. Through that investigation, we discovered key evidence that proved Pilgrim’s Pride’s negligence in Jimmy’s death:
- The 18-wheeler driver was unlicensed;
- The truck’s mirrors were not properly adjusted and were ineffective for the loading dock;
- Due to the truck’s design and the factory’s ambient noise, Jimmy could not hear the beeping noise that activates when the truck was in reverse; and
- The drainage system on the loading dock contained a dip in the road that required drivers to speed in reverse to keep from getting stuck in the dip.
Though Pilgrim’s Pride fought the family for two years, our evidence of their workplace negligence was too much for them to counter. They eventually paid $2.5 million for Jimmy’s wrongful death.
What Types of Incidents Frequently Cause Wrongful Deaths in Waco?
Victims may experience fatal accidents in many areas of Waco. Of course, Waco’s roadways contribute numerous fatalities each year. However, people are also killed in accidents at work, in medical facilities, and at other locations.
Here are some of the incidents that cause wrongful deaths in Waco:
- Car accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Truck accidents,
- Workplace accidents,
- Defective products,
- Assault, and
- Medical errors.
If your loved one was killed in any of these situations, our attorneys can assist you with a wrongful death lawsuit. Even if you aren’t sure who was to blame for your loved one’s death, we can investigate and advise you on a possible wrongful death claim.
What to Know About Texas's Survival Statute
In addition to a wrongful death lawsuit, the family of someone who died may also be able to pursue a claim under Texas’s survival statute. These two legal mechanisms are related but have some key differences.
Difference Between Survival and Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death is a family’s claim for the harm they have suffered because of their loved one’s death. A wrongful death claim centers around a family’s losses: their mental anguish, financial costs, and lost financial support.
However, a survival claim focuses on the pain and suffering and expenses that the victim faced before death. If the victim was killed instantly, a survival claim might not be valid.
Sometimes, a victim is hospitalized or suffers pain before death. In those cases, a survival claim can compensate the estate for what the victim suffered.
A survival claim extends the victim’s right to sue for a personal injury, allowing the estate to take over that lawsuit.
Who Can File Each Claim?
One important difference between these claims involves who can file each claim. The spouse, parents, or children can file a wrongful death claim. However, these relatives cannot file a survival claim unless they are the estate executor.
The executor of the victim’s estate files a survival claim, and the compensation goes to the estate.
Many times, the recipients of compensation from both claims are the same, since most people leave their estate to their closest relatives.
Am I Able to Hire Grossman Law Wrongful Death Attorneys Without Coming to Your Office Due to COVID-19?
Yes! Our attorneys work remotely for the convenience of our clients. Even before COVID-19, we regularly made house visits and scheduled virtual appointments.
Remote meetings make the wrongful death lawsuit process easier and safer for our clients. If you would like to schedule a remote consultation with a wrongful death attorney in Waco, contact us today.
How Do I Consult with a Waco Wrongful Death Attorney About My Case?
Contact us 24/7 via phone, email, or online form. We can speak when and where it's most convenient for you. Speaking to us does not obligate you to hire us for your wrongful death case, and we won’t pressure you to do so.
Should you decide to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, we work on a contingency fee, meaning you owe us no payment until we win your case. Contact us to learn more about Grossman Law Offices and how we can help you.