Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
Helping the families of fatal accident victims
There are no words to describe the feeling of losing a loved one suddenly and unexpectedly. When your loved one dies because someone was negligent, reckless or careless, it's normal to want justice. The attorneys at Tracey Fox & Walters can help you file a wrongful death claim to hold that person responsible.
A death is considered wrongful when it could have been prevented if a person had used proper care. For example, if a person is killed in a drunk driving accident, the driver was negligent and careless by drinking before getting behind the wheel. Wrongful death can happen as the result of truck or boating accidents, slips and falls or criminal acts. It can also happen because of product liability, defective medical devices or dangerous drugs.
Losing a loved one is emotionally devastating. And there's a financial cost, too. The cost of medical care. The cost of the funeral. Your loved one may have supported the family. If you lost a loved one to negligence, you should not be responsible for those costs.
Verdicts & Settlements
- $6 million wrongful death settlement ($2,486,661.15 in attorney’s fees & expenses)
- $3.25 million settlement for fatal car accident ($1,316,136.30 in attorney’s fees & expenses)
- $2 million settlement for fatal oilfield accident ($800,007.00 in attorney’s fees & expenses)
- $2 million settlement for fatal truck accident ($800,000 in attorney’s fees & expenses)
Understanding Texas’ wrongful death laws
Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code includes many of the rules and regulations covering wrongful death cases statewide. Such statutes outline:
- Who can take legal action
- Different types of wrongful death cases
- What evidence is required
Understanding these laws and how they apply to specific cases can be very confusing. That’s why many people consult with a lawyer with extensive experience handling complex legal cases in Houston and throughout Texas.
How does a wrongful death lawsuit work?
In most cases, the process involves people close to the person who died filing a lawsuit against the person or business who caused the death. It’s also important to note that wrongful death lawsuits are civil matters separate from any criminal charges or court proceedings. Because the standard of proof is lower in civil court, it’s possible to win a wrongful death lawsuit even if no one is convicted of criminal charges. Indeed, the defendant in your wrongful death lawsuit may not even be the same person or entity as the criminal defendant; in a negligent security case, for example, a person who committed homicide may face criminal charges, while an establishment that failed to secure its premises and allowed the homicide to occur could be held liable in civil court.
For a wrongful death lawsuit to be successful, the person filing the lawsuit (known as the plaintiff) must provide evidence that the at-fault party (defendant) caused the death due to their negligent or reckless behavior. An attorney for the plaintiff can investigate the death and gather evidence in support of the lawsuit filed against the defendant.
Who can sue for wrongful death in Texas?
Texas has very clear rules about who can legally file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, only immediate family members can take legal action. This includes:
- Spouse (husband, wife) of the deceased person
- Parent (mother, father)
- Children (son, daughter)
- Sibling (brother, sister)
In addition, the executor of the estate of the deceased person can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. In these cases, if the estate is successful, any money obtained through a court verdict will often be distributed to the deceased person’s relatives. A judge often decides how the jury verdict is distributed among surviving family members.
What expenses can your family be reimbursed for?
We can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit to help you seek financial compensation for the loss of your loved one. You can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of care, advice, or support
- Loss of inheritance
In some cases, you may also be able to seek punitive damages.
This is just a partial list of some of the expenses you may be eligible to be compensated for after the wrongful death of a loved one. An experienced attorney can help provide a more accurate estimate and help you pursue the compensation you rightfully deserve if your loved one died due to someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior.
When determining the value of your claim, we take many different factors into account. Our goal is to get Houston families the maximum compensation possible to help ease the financial burden of their losses.
Understanding your rights
Under Texas law, you have two years after a loved one’s death to file a wrongful death suit. In the first three months, only the surviving spouse, children and/or parents are eligible to file the claim, whether singly or jointly. (This includes adult biological and adopted children.) After that, a claim can be filed by a personal representative or estate executor.
It’s a good idea to consult an attorney soon after the loss of your loved one. A successful claim must be able to establish negligence. The sooner we get started on your case, the sooner we can preserve valuable evidence and talk to witnesses before they forget important details.
At Tracey Fox & Walters, our entire legal team is on your side. We take the time to build the strongest case that we can, leaving no stone unturned. We know what it takes to get results from insurance companies and commercial defendants. We can often resolve the case by negotiating a settlement. Our focus is always on getting the best possible outcome for you.
A wrongful death claim can’t change the past, but it is a way to seek justice against the person whose actions resulted in the loss of your loved one. It is a way of reimbursing you for what you have gone through, and it gives you a measure of financial security as you adjust to your loved one’s loss.
What clients say
"The Tracey Law Firm successfully represented a personal injury case on behalf of my younger brother, who passed away as a result of a tragic accident at work. Their expertise, professionalism, and hard work helped us to maneuver the legal confusion and chaos that ensued the unforeseen event. I am also very grateful to Sean, Scott, Lance, Audrey, Daniel and Elizabeth for their generosity, kindness and patience. I would recommend this law firm to anyone looking for a group of well-trained and compassionate professionals."
-M. Spear (5-Star Google Review)