Wrongful death cases are tragic and sad events, however, they are seemingly common. Recently, a Texas family filed a wrongful death claim against the Texas Disposal Systems for the loss of their daughter. The tragic accident occurred in late July this year when a garbage truck for the Buda Company was traveling down Highway 36. This garbage truck was traveling down the road with a boom used to collect trash was left in the raised position. It was this boom that caused the accident when it passed under an overpass and caused debris to land on a car below the bridge. The family filed their claim because they claimed that the boom was improperly raised and because of this it knocked a portion of the sidewalk and the railing of the overpass onto their car, which resulted in the death of one of the vehicle occupants.
We would like to take the time to extend our most sincere condolences to those who were injured in this accident and to the grieving family who lost their daughter in this accident.
Wrongful Death Claims in Texas
These cases are some of the most emotionally devastating that a family can go through. A wrongful death is a legal exactly as the name implies it to be – wrongful death claims and those claims based on events that never should have happened that results in the death of a person. These cases stem from the negligent actions of another person and are grounded in the rational feeling that if the other person had acted more responsibly, or as responsibly as they were expected to in a given situation that the death would not have occurred.
When a Texas resident loses a loved one because of another party of parties negligence, it often has a severe impact on the victims family. While all family losses tend to be traumatic, when the case is centered on wrongful conduct the loss can be even more traumatic because of the sudden and unpredictable nature of the event or events that lead to the family members untimely passing.
By properly filing and litigating a wrongful death claim to the court, the family members of the deceased may be able to obtain financial compensation. These financial compensation packets are intended to help cover funeral expenses and memorial expenses, as well as to provide compensation for the family’s loss. In addition to these forms of compensation, and because of the often sudden nature of wrongful death claims, the aggrieved family members may be entitled to recover for lost inheritance, lost future income, loss of companionship, as well as any medical bills the departed family member may have accumulated from the accident that led to their death. Some of the most common events that lead to wrongful death claims include:
- Fatal car crashes – While cars serve an important purpose, we must never forget that they are dangerous machines that are capable of inflicting serious and grievous harm. Car accidents are one of the main events that lead to a family filing a wrongful death claim.
- Workplace accidents – Just as cars are essential to us, so is going to work. While we expect that we will go to work and then leave at the end of the day, this is not always the case, and some professions are more dangerous than others.
- Products liability - We use a variety of products and tools every day. If one of these products does not work the way that it is supposed to or even suffers a catastrophic failure such as exploding, then this can lead to severe injuries and even death for those who are using the product.
However, no matter the reason for the loss of a loved one, if it was the result of another’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” then according to the Texas Statutory Code section 71.001 a person's family may be entitled to file a wrongful death action on their behalf.
What can a Family Recover in a Wrongful Death Action?
Because of the sudden nature of a wrongful death case, most families are not in a position to handle the loss of their family member both emotionally and financially. In the event that a family member has passed away, your family may be entitled to compensation for your losses. These compensation benefits or packages are designed to alleviate some of the financial and emotional loss stemming from a family member’s untimely death. A family, spouse, or sibling may be entitled to receive any of the following forms of compensation for a wrongful death.
- Lost earning capacity – Because of the sudden nature of a wrongful death, most families are not in a position where they can continue to live without the additional income.
- Lost care, maintenance, services, support, advice, and counsel – In addition to the financial losses that a family may feel with the untimely death of a family member, they will also experience an incredible amount of loss for the care and support that family member would provide.
- Medical bills – in the event that the injured person was in the hospital before their passing, the family may be entitled to full recovery for the medical expenses that their loved one incurred. However, this form of compensation can only be tied to medical expenses that stem from the accident itself and not for other unrelated medical expenses.
In certain cases in Texas, a wrongful death case can be so egregious that the court will allow exemplary damages. These types of damages are only appropriate when the wrongful death was caused by a willful act or omission, or by gross negligence.
Our Houston Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Handle Your Legal Concerns
To schedule a free legal consultation with a highly experienced Houston wrongful death attorney, call Queenan Law at (888) 522-6500. We will keep your information completely confidential while answering your questions and helping you understand your family’s next steps.