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Wrongful death

Lawsuit

Fatal accidents can result in a number of different damages aside from the death of an innocent victim. As a surviving family member, you may have to pay for funeral costs and may also suffer from a loss of income. Aside from these monetary damages, you are also experiencing pain, suffering, and grief that you do not deserve to go through.

The attorneys at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm can build a strong case based on facts and evidence, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.​

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Texas, the Wrongful Death Act[1] authorizes the surviving spouse, children, and parents of a deceased family member (including an unborn child) to recover actual damages if the death was caused by the wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default of a “person” or the person’s agent or servant.

 

A negligent “person” under the Wrongful Death Act includes:

  • An individual

  • Association of individuals

  • Joint-stock company

  • Trustee or receiver of an individual

  • Corporation

Wrongful deaths can occur in situations such as:

  • Emergency Room Medical Malpractice: Wrongful death lawsuits can stem from hospital workers' negligence in the emergency room, such as performing surgical errors, misdiagnosing a health condition, or prematurely discharging a patient

  • Nursing Home Medical Malpractice: Nursing homes are responsible for an increasing number of wrongful deaths in Texas and throughout the nation. Wrongful death occurs in nursing homes and other extended-care facilities due to abuse, neglect, and falls among other causes.

  • Anesthesia Malpractice: If an anesthesiologist fails in their professional responsibilities and administers a fatal, anesthetic dosage.

  • Vehicle Accidents: Automobile companies may be held responsible for defective products in their automobile, while trucking companies may be held accountable for truck accidents if their employee breaks trucking regulations.

Legal Remedies After a Wrongful Death occurs

The damages available to claimants under the Wrongful Death Act and survival statute are separate and distinct.

Wrongful Death Damages

Under the Wrongful Death Act, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of a deceased may bring an action. One or more of those individual beneficiaries may bring the action for the benefit of all. There is an assortment of legal remedies, known as “damages,” that may be recoverable, including: •Past Medical Expenses; •Pecuniary losses, including; oLoss of care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, and reasonable contributions. •Mental Anguish; •Loss of Companionship and Society; and •Loss of Inheritance Keep in mind that Texas places a cap on the amount of non-economic damages that wrongful death beneficiaries may recover. Non-economic damages include categories like mental anguish and loss of companionship and society. Adjusted for inflation, all beneficiaries can be awarded up to a combined $1,500,000.00 in non-economic damages.

Survival Damages

Under the survival statute, only a decedent’s heirs, legal representatives, and estate can bring an action to recover damages for the decedent’s personal injuries. The following damages are recoverable: •Conscious pain and suffering between the time of injury and death; •Medical expenses between the time of injury and death; •Lost Wages and benefits between the time of injury and death; •Property damage; and •Funeral expenses

Each of the above damage categories has specific legal requirements of proof before you can recover damages. A skilled personal injuries attorney can assist you with maximizing your recovery. Contact a skilled wrongful death attorney at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm today and let us help you recover what you deserve.

Schedule your FREE case review here.

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Persons Entitled to Recover Under the Wrongful Death Act

The Texas Wrongful Death Act only entitles the surviving spouse, children, and parents of a decedent to recover actual damages for the negligent death of their loved one. Texas law specifies which individuals qualify as statutory beneficiaries as follows:

Spouse

Generally, the clearest indication of spousal status is through lawful marriage supported by a marriage license and formal documentation. However, Texas law also recognizes a surviving spouse of a common law marriage as a beneficiary under the Wrongful Death Statute. In Texas, legally recognized common law marriage requires that: a) the couple agreed to be married; b) the couple live together as husband and wife, and c) the couple represents themselves as husband and wife. Evidence of a common law marriage is best supported by a “Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage” registered with an appropriate county clerk. Recent court rulings have also held that the Wrongful Death Act applies to surviving spouses of a same-sex union. The Texas Wrongful Death Act does not confer benefits on survivors of unlawful relationships—namely bigamy or relationships without the formal dissolution of a lawful pre-existing marriage. The subsequent marriage of the surviving spouse does not affect his or her right to sue for and recover the damage that he or she has sustained on account of the negligent killing of his or her former spouse.

Children

The natural-born children of a victim of wrongful death (including unborn children/fetus) are entitled to pursue damages under the Wrongful Death Act. Children of a common law marriage are also entitled to recover damages for the death of a parent. However, only biological or legally adopted children have the standing to file suit under the Wrongful Death Act. A child born out of wedlock (also known by law as an “illegitimate child”) can also recover under the Wrongful Death Act. But, if paternity is questioned, the child must prove descent by clear and convincing evidence. Legally adopted children can also pursue damages under the Wrongful Death Act. However, children cared for, but not legally adopted, are not entitled to pursue claims.

Parents

Parents of a wrongful death decedent can also pursue claims under the Wrongful Death Act; this includes parents of an unborn fetus. Foster parents, non-adoptive stepparents, and close relatives are not entitled to bring claims under the Wrongful Death Act.

Each of the above damage categories has specific legal requirements of proof before you can recover damages. A skilled personal injuries attorney can assist you with maximizing your recovery. Contact a skilled wrongful death attorney at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm today and let us help you recover what you deserve.

Schedule your FREE case review here.

Do you need to file a wrongful death claim?
Consult with specialized Houston, TX wrongful death attorneys at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm.

The most serious of all accidents are those that result in a fatality. Not only does the victim lose their life, but their family must go through extreme pain and suffering as a result of their death. One way in which the family can obtain some form of justice and compensation is by filing a wrongful death claim.

Although there is nothing that can truly compensate for the death of a family member, wrongful death claims can at least cover the financial damages resulting from a fatal accident, as well as hold the liable party accountable for their negligence.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm can handle your wrongful death claim in order to maximize your compensation for any damages you may have suffered due to the loss of a loved one by an accident or negligence of any kind.​

What is the Difference Between Wrongful Death & Survival Claims?

Texas wrongful death and survival actions are distinct. The two separate causes of action differ with respect to who may collect damages and the types of damages recoverable.

Texas Wrongful Death Act

The Wrongful Death Act was enacted to compensate a surviving spouse, children, and parents for their own actual damages which resulted from the negligent death of their loved one. The right to recover damages under the Wrongful Death Act belongs to the statutory beneficiaries and was intended to compensate them for their loss of future care, maintenance, and support.

Texas Survival Statute

The survival statute, on the other hand, was enacted to preserve a decedent’s cause of action beyond death to compensate his estate for the decedent’s conscious injuries that happened before his death. Survival damages are intended to benefit the decedent’s estate. To that end, the statute only permits a decedent’s heirs, legal representatives, and estate to bring an action pursuant to the survival statute for personal injuries. Survival action damages may be subject to the decedent's debts, unlike damages awarded a statutory beneficiary in a wrongful death action.

If your family member has recently passed away due to someone else’s negligence, contact a skilled wrongful death attorney to fight on your behalf. The attorneys at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm are here for you in your time of need and ready to push to get the results you deserve.

Schedule your FREE case review here.

No Recovery. No Fee.
Our firm works on a 100% contingency fee basis for your personal injury case.

That means that when a case is taken on, we use our own money and resources to fight for clients. We will investigate, go to court, hire experts, and do whatever is necessary to win your case. We will never ask for any money upfront for contingency matters. No money is owed by the client to us if no monetary recovery is made. That is our promise.

The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm and wrongful death lawsuits

The personal injury attorneys at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm are here to help you recovery the maximum compensation owed to you. We value each of our clients and will give each case our smart, aggressive, and personal attention. 

At The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys make it their business to fight for you and your loved ones.

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The key factor in every personal injury case is negligence. When one or more people are negligent in the way they act, or by not acting at all, serious injury can result. Click the contact button to speak with an available personal injury attorney. It's fast, simple, and the first step to getting maximum compensation. We also offer no-contact video consultations.