When Does a Death Become “Wrongful?”

Whenever we lose someone to a sudden tragedy, it is both devastating and difficult to cope with. When the loss is believed to be attributable to someone else’s negligent or careless actions, it can take on the legal identity of wrongful death. This means that you are within your rights to demand compensation that will cover costs associated with your loved one’s passing and protect your future and that of your family.

Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code allows a wrongful death claim to be filed by certain family members if a person dies due to the wrongful act, carelessness, unskillfulness, neglect, or default of a corporation or another person. The claim must be made by a spouse, child, or parents of the decedent, who may file a single action or group a claim together. Unfortunately, Texas law does not permit surviving siblings to participate in a wrongful death action.

Below are some scenarios that can represent the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit that can alleviate the financial pressure created by their loved one’s loss. This pressure includes (but is not limited to) lost income, funeral costs, medical bills, and noneconomic factors like mental anguish and loss of consortium.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Automobile accidents probably generate the highest number of wrongful death lawsuits. A distracted driver or one who is operating their vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious liability capable of causing a fatal accident. When they fail to operate a car responsibly at all times, they can be held liable.

Workplace Accident

Next to motor vehicle accidents, workplace tragedies are the second most common cause of wrongful death claims. High-risk locations include construction sites, chemical plants, and high-industry locations. When an employee dies because the employer was lax about safety standards or ordered them to do dangerous work without proper protection, the employer or company may be held liable.

Medical Malpractice

If a medical professional does not provide a standard level of care and a patient dies as a result, the family may sue them for wrongful death. Examples of malpractice include incorrect diagnosis, negligent medical treatment, or mistakes made during surgery.

Negligent Supervision

Negligent supervision takes place when an adult fails to properly supervise the safety of a child in their care. This could be a daycare operator, school staff, or babysitter. When these parties do not exercise the required duty of care, parents may file a lawsuit.

Premises Liability

When a person experiences a fatal accident due to the negligence of a property owner or manager, the latter can be held accountable, especially if it can be proven that they knew about the hazardous situation and failed to warn appropriately.

If you have lost a loved one due to the reckless or negligent actions of someone else, contact the Sharp Firm for a free consultation to learn more about your options. We understand what you are going through and will fight to seek compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, your loved one’s pain and suffering, and your own pain due to the loss. We look forward to meeting you.