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What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

The Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers at Zehl & Associates

In just the past five years, our wrongful death lawyers in Houston, Texas have recovered more than $1 Billion in settlements and damages on behalf of our clients who were involved in workplace accidents, like refinery explosions, truck accidents and bus crashes, and other catastrophic accidents.

Accidents are often (and almost always) preventable. Unfortunately, however, these preventable events can cause serious and catastrophic harm. If your spouse, child, or other loved one was tragically killed in an accident, our Personal Injury Lawyers will ensure that those responsible for your loss are held accountable.

Having represented hundreds of families who have lost loved ones across Texas and the United States, we understand that a lawsuit is never a substitute for the loss of a loved one. But in the civil justice system, lawsuits remain the only means of both ensuring that negligent and reckless parties are held responsible and that the decadent’s family have a financially secure future.

Contact Our Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers for a Free, No Commitment Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here.

If you have any questions about your rights and options after losing a loved one to a fatal accident, our lawyers are here to help. Our Wrongful Death Lawyers will answer all your questions and do whatever possible to help your family move forward in the wake of a tragic loss.

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit that’s filed after someone is killed due to another party’s negligence, recklessness, or gross negligence. Unlike criminal charges, wrongful death claims are civil cases that hold wrongdoers accountable by requiring them to pay financial damages to the victims of those that they’ve injured.

In simple terms, wrongful death claims are filed when someone you love has been taken away from you too soon as a result of another party’s negligence or gross negligence (i.e., recklessness).

What is the goal of a wrongful death lawsuit?

Sometimes, the defendants in wrongful death cases will also face separate criminal charges, which could ultimately result in a jail sentence. Wrongful death lawsuits, on the other hand, ensure that the person or company that caused the death is held financially responsible for the loss by compensating the victim’s family, spouse, or children.

Wrongful death lawsuits have two primary goals:

  • to make sure the responsible party is held accountable, and
  • compensate the victim’s families for their emotional and financial losses.

What kind of damages can you receive from a wrongful death claim?

In Texas, victims of personal injury and wrongful death accidents often receive substantial damages for lost of the decedent’s future income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish, loss of companionship and “society” and, depending on the egregiousness of the wrongdoer’s conduct, punitive damages.

Whenever possible, the parties will work to reach a settlement outside of court, sparing victims from reliving the tragedy inside a courtroom.

An Example of a Wrongful Death Case: the O.J. Simpson Civil Trial

Any accident that was caused by reckless or negligent conduct and resulted in a death gives rise to a potential wrongful death lawsuit.

The O.J. Simpson trial is an example that most are familiar with:

In 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of all criminal charges associated with the death of Ron Goldman and his former wife, Nicole-Brown Simpson.  The reason he was acquitted is because criminal cases require the jury to find the defendant guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” and that the jury be unanimous on all criminal charges brought against the defendant.  In O.J.’s criminal case, not all 12 jurors believed he was guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” and, therefore, he was acquitted of the charges.

Unlike in criminal cases, however, the burden of proof in a civil case is “a preponderance of the evidence”, which is MUCH lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that’s required to convict a defendant in a criminal case.  The “preponderance of the evidence” burden in civil cases simply requires that the jury find that the defendant was “more likely than not” responsible for the wrongful death or other negligent conduct.

This difference proved to be critical in the Goldman’s civil wrongful death case against O.J. Simpson, because less than 2 years after O.J.’s acquittal in the criminal case, a new jury found that O.J. was responsible for the wrongful death of Ron Goldman and Nicole-Brown Simpson.

As a result, the civil jury ordered O.J. to pay $33,500,000 to Ron Goldman’s and Nicole-Brown Simpson’s family as compensation for the pain, suffering, , loss of companionship, and mental anguish associated with the deaths.

Wrongful Death Cases Must be Filed Quickly

Having successfully represented hundreds of surviving family members, we recognize the emotional toll involved with losing a loved one.

Unfortunately, the Statute of Limitations for filing a Wrongful Death lawsuit leaves little time to mourn. If cases are not filed within this statute of limitations, the case will be barred and you will permanently lose your right to hold the wrongdoers accountable.

Our Houston wrongful death lawyers are here to help: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here

Our experienced Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyers have two goals:

  1. reach a resolution as quickly as possible so that the dependent’s family can move on with their lives, and
  2. help our clients receive the maximum compensation possible for their losses.

If your loved one was killed by someone else’s careless or reckless conduct, our wrongful death attorneys are here to help.

All consultations are free, and because our personal injury law firm works exclusively on a contingency fee basis, you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.

Contact Us Today For A Free Initial Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here