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Killeen, TX Wrongful Death Lawyer

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    The experience of losing a loved one because of the actions of another is deeply traumatic and can leave an indelible mark on your life. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one under such circumstances, legal avenues are available for you to seek compensation.

    Wrongful death cases are never easy. Dealing with a legal case while managing your grief can be overwhelming. That is why our team is here to help you every step of the way. We will gather the information you need to prepare and file your claim, leaving you to focus on your and your family’s wellbeing. This is a situation no one should have to be in, but you deserve justice for having a loved one wrongfully taken from you.

    Call The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797 to speak with our wrongful death lawyers and receive your free case evaluation.

    How Wrongful Death is Defined in Killeen, TX

    According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.001, a wrongful death occurs when an individual loses their life because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions. This broad definition encompasses a wide range of fatal incidents, from car accidents and construction mishaps to defective drugs and assault cases.

    While a loved one can never be replaced, a wrongful death claim does allow family members to recover compensation for their incredible loss. Our wrongful death attorneys have been helping clients for years get the money they deserve from the party responsible. Proving a wrongful death claim can be extremely challenging, not to mention how the proceeds of a claim will be issued. Our team can answer any questions you have to help you get through this difficult time.

    Types of Wrongful Death Claims You Can File in Killeen, TX

    The legal remedies available for such instances in Killeen are typically categorized into two types: a wrongful death action and a survival action. Each claim is designed to provide different types of compensation, so it is important to understand the difference.

    A Wrongful Death Action

    A wrongful death action is a lawsuit brought by the close relatives of a deceased person against the party whose negligence or wrongful act caused the death. The purpose of this action is to compensate the family members for their losses resulting from their loved one’s untimely demise.

    The damages recoverable in a wrongful death action include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages might include lost earning capacity of the deceased, loss of inheritance, and reasonable expenses for psychological treatment required by the claimant because of the death. Non-economic damages can cover mental anguish, loss of companionship and society, and loss of love, support, and comfort.

    A Survival Action

    While a wrongful death action is brought by the survivors of the deceased, a survival action is brought by the estate of the deceased. Under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.002, this type of claim is essentially a continuation of a personal injury claim that the deceased could have filed had they survived the accident.

    A survival action allows the estate to recover damages for the pain and suffering that the deceased endured from the time of the injury until their death, as well as the medical expenses incurred during this period. Funeral and burial expenses can also be recovered under a survival action.

    One key distinction between a wrongful death action and a survival action is the type of damages recoverable. While a survival action includes compensation for the pain and suffering of the deceased, a wrongful death action compensates the survivors for their personal losses because of the death.

    Who Can Make a Wrongful Death Claim in Killeen, TX

    According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.004, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. These individuals can file a claim individually or as a group. If these parties do not file a claim within three months of the death, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate might file the claim unless a family member specifically requests that the claim not be filed.

    Biological and legally adopted children of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim, regardless of their age. However, stepchildren who were not legally adopted by the deceased do not have this right.

    Both biological and adoptive parents can file a wrongful death claim if their child dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful act. This also includes parents who are divorced. However, like with children, this right does not extend to foster parents.

    If the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased do not file a wrongful death claim within three months of the death, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate has the right to initiate the claim. However, if a family member requests that the claim not be filed, the executor or administrator must respect this wish.

    Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Killeen, TX

    As mentioned, many situations can lead to wrongful death. The following are some of the most common causes of wrongful death that our attorneys see in Killeen:

    Car Accidents

    Car accidents are a leading cause of wrongful deaths in Killeen. When a driver’s negligence or recklessness leads to the death of another person, it can have devastating effects. Examples include drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, and failure to obey traffic laws. Proving fault in car accident cases usually involves complex investigations and evidence gathering, often requiring expert witness testimony to help the court understand.

    Oil and Gas Accidents

    A significant cause of wrongful death in Killeen is accidents within the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas accidents can be incredibly dangerous, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities. These accidents can occur because of equipment failure, explosions, falls, toxic fume exposure, and more.

    Workers in the oil and gas industry are exposed to a much higher risk of accidents because of the inherently dangerous nature of the job. However, companies are obligated to follow strict safety protocols to protect their workers. When these protocols are not adhered to, though, it could lead to a wrongful death claim.

    Medical Malpractice

    Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide the standard of care expected in their profession, leading to a patient’s death. This might involve surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication errors, or failure to treat a condition properly. Establishing medical malpractice typically requires demonstrating that the healthcare provider deviated from the accepted standard of care and that this deviation directly led to the patient’s death.

    Defective Products

    Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have a legal duty to ensure their products are safe for use. When a product is defective and causes someone’s death, surviving family members should file a claim. Cases like these often involve faulty car parts, dangerous drugs, and unsafe appliances.

    Our Killeen, TX Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help

    For your free case review with our wrongful death attorneys, contact The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797 today.