Obtaining Compensation After a Wrongful Death
Financial issues worsen the emotional losses that a wrongful death creates. As survivors struggle to deal with a wrongful death and move on emotionally, financial concerns, mostly unpaid bills, hold them back. Texas’ wrongful death statute. Along with general negligence law principles, governs fatal injuries, like falls and motor vehicle collisions.
A Sugar Land personal injury lawyer cannot turn back the clock and alter the chain of events that lead to a wrongful death. But an attorney can do the next best thing, which is obtain the compensation these survivors need to put wrongful deaths behind them and carry on with their lives. At this point, moving on is the best possible outcome.
Negligence Per Se
Motor vehicle collisions and toxic exposure injuries, two of the leading causes of wrongful death, often involve the negligence per se shortcut.
Tortfeasors (negligent actors) could be liable for damages as a matter of law if they violate a safety rule and that violation substantially causes injury.
Impaired and/or aggressive driving causes most motor vehicle collisions. Common types of impairment are illegal, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, government regulations include minimum safe exposure levels for toxic substances like asbestos.
Sometimes, these legal theories overlap. Frequently, the negligence per se shortcut is unavailable, but an ordinary negligence claim is available, More on that below.
Damages in a wrongful death case usually include money for pecuniary losses, such as the decedent’s final medical bills, burial and funeral costs, decedent’s pain and suffering, and lost future financial support. A Missouri City personal injury lawyer can also obtain compensation for survivors’ grief and suffering, in some cases.
As mentioned, ordinary negligence, which is basically a lack of care, often causes fatal motor vehicle crashes. A lack of care also causes most fatal premises liability injuries, such as falls, drug overdose deaths, and assaults.
In Texas, an ordinary negligence injury claim has five basic elements:
- Duty: Generally, drivers, property owners, and other individuals have a duty of reasonable care. Motorists must drive defensively and property owners must provide safe and secure environments. A higher or lower level of legal responsibility could apply in some cases.
- Breach: Property owners breach their duty of care if they know about an injury hazard, such as a wet spot on a floor or inadequate security, and they don’t remedy the problem. Drivers breach their duty of care if, as mentioned above, they drive while impaired or drive aggressively.
- Cause in Fact: The breach must substantially cause the damages. Substantial cause basically means primary cause. If Tim is speeding and crashes during a rainstorm, the wet road contributed to the wreck and Tim’s excessive speed substantially caused it.
- Legal Cause: Proximate cause is foreseeability (possibility) of injury. If Tim gets shot in a dark parking lot and a similar incident occurred in the neighborhood a few weeks earlier, the shooting was a foreseeable consequence of the lack of security.
- Damages: Usually, a Missouri City personal injury lawyer can only obtain compensation for physical injuries or property damage. This compensation includes money for emotional distress. People should never suffer for injuries someone else caused.
Most injury claims settle out of court. These final resolutions mean victims obtain compensation sooner. Defendants can tie court verdicts up in the appeals process for many years.
Rely on a Hard-Working Fort Bend County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.