When someone dies because of another’s intentional act or neglect, it might be considered a wrongful death. If your wrongful death lawyer Houston, TX relies on determines that in fact, it was a wrongful death, then a lawsuit can proceed on behalf of the victim’s estate. The estate may include the surviving spouse, children, and anyone else considered a beneficiary by the Court if there is not a valid will. With the help of a wrongful death lawyer, a plaintiff can seek compensation from the at-fault party for their non-monetary and monetary damages.
- Monetary damages. Your wrongful death lawyer can determine which of your monetary damages can be included in your lawsuit. Your damages may include these:
o The income that your loved one would have earned if they had had the opportunity to live a full lifetime.
o The medical costs in treating your loved one before they succumbed to their injury.
o The funeral expenses for your loved one.
o The burial costs for your loved one.
- Non-Monetary damages. Again, your wrongful death lawyer can determine which of your non-monetary damages can be included in your lawsuit. Common damages of this type include:
o The pain and suffering that your loved one felt due to their fatal injury.
o Your loss of your loved one’s love and affection, guidance, moral support, mentoring, and loss of consortium.
Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths
As your wrongful death lawyer can tell you, negligence and willful acts that result in death are not uncommon. Many grieving families can attest to how unexpected and devastating the loss of their loved one was to them, and how it important it was to seek justice on their behalf. A wrongful death can result from:
- Abuse or neglect in nursing homes.
- Workplace accidents.
- Pedestrian accidents.
- Premises hazards.
- Defective products.
- Commercial truck, auto, motorcycle, and recreational vehicle accidents.
- Medical malpractice.
The Role of the Jury
During the courtroom litigation, the jury will hear evidence presented to them by your wrongful death lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer as well. Each jury member’s role is to hear the evidence with as open a mind as possible. The presiding judge will provide guidance to the jury as to applicable laws regarding wrongful deaths. Ultimately, the jury must determine whether or not the defendant is responsible for having caused the victim’s death.
If the jury declares that the defendant is guilty of wrongful death, they must consider the amount of non-monetary and monetary damages that should be paid to the plaintiff. Your wrongful death lawyer’s fees and the court costs will be paid out of the damage award.
It’s not unusual for the defendant’s lawyer to approach the plaintiff’s wrongful death lawyer to negotiate a settlement. A settlement is possible right up until the jury returns with a verdict. Your wrongful death lawyer will handle the negotiation process on your behalf if this occurs. You will have the choice of accepting the settlement offer, or continuing the trial with the hope that the jury will find in your favor and award you fair compensation.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at John K. Zaid & Associates for their knowledge about wrongful death.