Tier1 law 1.13 wrongful death – gtg

Related Articles

General Info
Wrongful Death Cases Explained
Our Experience in Wrongful Death Cases
Evidence Neccesssary to Win
Who is Eligible to File
Can a Parent Sue for Losing a Child?
Can a Sibling Pursue a Wrongful Death Case?
Can a Spouse File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Can a Child Sue for Losing a Parent?
How Texas’ Wrongful Death Law Works
WD Cause of Action “Borrows” from Other CoA
Texas Wrongful Death Laws
Texas Survival Statute
Does an Estate Have to Be Established?
What is an Estate?
Does a Will Affect a Wrongful Death Case?
Common types of Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful Death Claims Against the City of Houston
Wrongful Death Claims Against the City of Galveston

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » The Benefits of Hiring Our Law Offices

What Our Law Offices Can, and Will, do for You in a Houston Wrongful Death Case

If your loved one has tragically passed due to the negligence of another person, you can easily be overwhelmed with numerous issues arising due to their accident. The attorneys at Our Law Offices believe that choosing a law firm to represent your family should be a source of relief and not another worry. We want the process of selecting a knowledgeable team of attorneys to file your wrongful death claim to be as simple as possible. Our Law Offices have been helping grieving families like yours for over two decades. We have led these families to successful conclusions in well over 100 wrongful death claims and we are confident with our knowledgeable attorneys and invaluable in-house staff that we can do the same for you.

Our Law Offices has Experiencing Helping over 100 Families Like Yours

We have successfully handled over 100 wrongful death cases and been handling wrongful death claims for over 22 years. This means that we have handled almost every type of wrongful death claim. Our attorneys are very knowledgeable about wrongful death claims resulting from car accidents involving negligent drivers. We are very familiar with cases that deals with defective household products as well as faulty auto parts which cause an automobile accident.

Our vast experience allows us to better understand the nuances of your individual claim and we have a greater knowledge about the court system. Our first-hand knowledge of handling so many previous cases provides us with invaluable experience in meeting important court deadlines and making crucial decisions about which arguments will most benefit you and which types of evidence best sway the jury.

Our Law Offices Uses Various Types of Vital Evidence to Prove Your Claim

The attorneys at Our Law Offices have used numerous kinds of evidence to prove previous successful claims including evidence in the form of expert witnesses and accident re-creation. Sometimes the greatest tool we can use to convince a jury of your injuries is the testimony of an expert physician. Some accidents are completely internal, such as injuries caused by asbestos or defective drugs.

A doctor who specializes in working with patients who have suffered from mesothelioma or defective drugs can more effectively explain to a jury your family member’s injuries and what was the proximate cause of their death. Houston has some of the greatest doctors in the world and countless experts in their field.

We even have an in-house medical illustrator to assist with your claim. Most law firms subcontract their work for medical illustrators, but Our Law Offices understand that having an in-house medical illustrator is beneficial to our clients and the ultimate success of their claim. This allows us to clearly communicate with the illustrator and better serve you and your family.

Since the illustrator works so closely with our attorneys, our graphs, diagrams, and detailed drawings about your loved one’s injury are produced quicker and they are generally more accurate and better suited to assist our attorneys in their courtroom arguments.

Often the concepts we are trying to explain to a jury are incredibly complex and very scientific in nature. For example, let’s say your loved one was killed in a rollover car accident on the Katy Freeway due to the car’s defective structure. In this instance, we would need our medical illustrators to help explain to the jury through various graphs and pictures what specifically happened to your family member. Our graphs would give a visual explanation to the jury about statistics involving rollover accidents. And we would be able to show the jury what should have happened in the rollover accident and effectively prove that the faulty structure was the proximate cause of your loved one’s death. An in house medical illustrator breaks down these difficult concepts and gives the jury a visual understanding of what specifically happened to your family member which greatly contributes to a successful ruling in your case.

Our Law Offices Cares About Helping Your Family

Our attorneys understand that losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience and we know that the only thing that might give you closure and allow you to move on is seeking justice. Our Law Offices have a passion for helping people like you who are going through an unbelievably unsettling time.

We are dedicated to doing our very best to make sure that you and your family are awarded justice for the negligent person’s horrible actions. To schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys, please call Our Law Offices.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Top 3 Pieces of Evidence in a Wrongful Death Case

The Three Most Important Pieces of Evidence in a Texas Wrongful Death Case

Houston has the dubious honor of accounting for more of the state’s fatalities than any other area. As such, many wrongful death cases come out of Houston. Though most Houstonians have heard of wrongful death cases in the media, very few of them understand what it takes to win a wrongful death case. In this article we will talk about three types of evidence necessary for a wrongful death to be successful.

What Does the Evidence in a Wrongful Death Need to Prove?

Evidence will be needed in order prove your theory of liability so that the defendant may be held responsible for the losses that you have incurred. Moreover, evidence will have to prove your damages so that you may receive the maximum amount of compensation available. All wrongful death causes of action basically piggy-back off of another cause of action. For instance, if a loved one dies in a work-related accident, the family may bring a wrongful death claim in conjunction with a claim against the employer that will be seeking recovery under the employer’s insurance policy. Another example is when the deceased has passed away due to some accident caused by a defective product. In that scenario the wrongful death cause of action will be in addition to a product liability lawsuit.

Elements of Your Cause of Action
With regard to liability, the evidence that you are going to need will have to prove the elements specific to that particular cause of action. There are different elements that must be established depending on the claim you are making that the wrongful death cause of action is attached to. For example, if you claiming negligence in a car accident lawsuit you will have to show certain elements to hold the parties responsible for the accident liable in addition to the proof required in your wrongful death theory of recovery.

Proving Your Damages
The other major component in any wrongful death case is the damages or the losses sustained by the surviving family members. You will need to have evidence that will be capable of convincing the jury that your damages were caused by the wrongdoing of the defendant and thus they should held accountable for these losses. This can be shown through the wages you and your family members have lost because your loved one is no longer capable of contributing financially to your household income. In addition, evidence must establish the intangible emotional damages your have suffered such as your loss of companionship with the deceased.

Three Types of Evidence

Physical Evidence

Liability – In order to prove liability in a wrongful death case, your physical evidence will provide the foundation that will establish your case. For example, if the wrongful death cause of action is brought due to a car accident, then your must ensure that the vehicle your loved one was in remains in the same state that it was immediately following the accident. This is the physical evidence that will show that the defendant is liable. If the accident was because a tire blew out on the vehicle, then you will need that tire as physical evidence in order to show that it was the cause of the accident.

Damages – With respect to damages, in a wrongful death case you will need physical evidence to show that you have suffered damages because of your loved one’s death. An example would be letters or memorabilia that will serve as physical evidence that is indicative of the close bond you had with the deceased. This will establish that you have suffered damages in the wake of this tragedy and deserve to recover for your losses against the defendant.

Witness Testimony

Liability – Eyewitness testimony from a lay witness is crucial to a successful wrongful death case for the purposes of establishing liability because their account of the event that occurred may show that the defendant was responsible. For example, in a car accident case a witness to the accident can recount the series of events so that the jury will be able to visualize the scene and literally ‘see’ the defendant’s fault and wrongful conduct. An experienced trial attorney can adapt the witness’s testimony in such a way that the jury can easily understand exactly what occurred to ensure that they hold the defendant liable.

Damages – With regard to damages, witness testimony can illustrate the gravity of the impact that the death of this family member or loved one has had on you as the plaintiff. They can describe the emotional devastation that you have experience and the heartache you have gone through. When the jury is able to place themselves in your shoes and feel the pain you have gone through in the aftermath of this tragedy they will be much more likely to render a high damages verdict in your favor.

Expert Witness Testimony

Liability – Expert witness testimony is usually necessary in a wrongful death cause of action to show that the defendant was the party responsible for the decedent’s death. There are a wide variety of experts that may be used depending on the type of case that you are filing. To use the car accident example, an accident reconstruction expert would likely have to be used to show how the collision happened and explain why the defendant should be responsible for any ensuing damages. To provide the most accurate testimony possible the expert will typically visit the accident site to make sure that they are completely familiar with the accident to formulate an expert opinion on how it occurred.

Damages – Experts are frequently used in wrongful death causes of action on the issue of damages. There are different categories of damages in wrongful death cases so you may need an economic damages expert and a non-economic damages expert.

Economic damages are the tangible kinds of damages that are easier to quantify like income loss or medical expenses. Therefore, a medical expert or a life care planner might be necessary in your lawsuit to prove that you should be rewarded those types of economic damages.

Comparatively, non-economic damages are damages that cannot be easily quantified. That will include your emotional trauma and the loss of companionship of your loved one. In order to prove your non-economic damages a psychologist or mental health specialist may need to provide testimony to illustrate the effect the death of your loved one has had on you emotionally.

While these are not the only pieces of evidence that are imperative to a wrongful death lawsuit, they are some of the most important. They are to making sure that you have a strong theory of recovery so that the jury is inclined to render a verdict in your favor. Only an experienced attorney can make sure that you have enough evidence in support of your case to guard your ability to receive the maximum compensation you deserve. Losing a loved one is a devastating experience to be forced to endure. While no monetary award will ever be able to allow you to fully recover from this tragedy, it can alleviate some of the financial and emotional stress that you are going through. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have been representing clients in Houston and the surrounding areas of Texas in personal injury wrongful death cases for over twenty years. We offer only the most skilled legal representation and our practice is dedicated to ensuring that our client’s are more than pleased with the services we provide to them. If you have lost a loved one and would like to discuss the legal relief that may be available to you, contact Our Law Offices for a free consultation.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Can a Parent File a Wrongful Death Claim?

If Your Child was Wrongfully Killed, You May Have Options to Hold the Negligent Party Responsible

If you have lost a child to an injury in the greater Houston, Texas, area, and if someone else is to blame for your child’s death, you need experienced legal representation from a proven wrongful death lawyer. Call Our Law Offices today for help. Parents and others can file what are called “wrongful death claims” against those responsible for taking their loved ones’ lives. Our Law Offices’ lawyers have proven track records of representing grieving families and doing so in a way that fully maximizes those families’ rights to financial recovery.

What Rights Do Parents Have?

If your child is the victim of an accident, you have rights. Whether your child reached his or her 18th birthday or not, parents of children all ages can file wrongful death claims based on their children’s deaths. Even if children are adults at the times of their deaths, parents still have rights to compensation based on their losses of their adult children’s love, companionship, advice and financial support.

Further, many parents of young children can and do serve as personal representatives (or “executors”) of their children’s estates. When children pass away due to someone else’s misconduct, the law allows parents to bring a wrongful death claims and the children’s estate’s to bring what are known as survival claims. With a survival claim, an estate’s executor (or personal representative, as it is technically known in Texas) brings the claims the deceased child could have brought during his or her lifetime. The survival claim is a complaint for the child’s injuries, lost wages before death, medical bills, pain and suffering, and often any punitive damages the child would have been entitled to. Punitive damages are punishment damages, meant to punish the wrongdoer for the wrongdoer’s conduct and to act as a deterrent to that kind of behavior in the future, both to the wrongdoer and to other people and companies.

Houston’s Dangers

Houston is a dangerous city: one of the most dangerous in the American Southwest and in the country. The city contains both rural, suburban and urban areas, and its famous lack of zoning makes Houston a unique and uniquely dangerous. Refineries, shipyards, oil derricks and chemical plants are just some of the hazardous work sites in Houston, and many other that are located amazingly close to people’s homes, school, stores, et cetera.

And driving on Houston’s roadways is risky too: Loop 610 and Interstates 10 and I-45 form a dangerous landscape for Houstonions to navigate through, as do the countless toll roads, other roads, side streets and dirt tracks in the sprawling Houston area. Montgomery County, just to Houston’s north, is many years the most dangerous county in Texas to drive in, given the intersections of small rural roads and massive highways. Road construction is also a big problem in Montgomery County and all over the Houston area, from Conroe to Galveston to Katy and everywhere in between. Serious car and truck accidents are very common among the six million-or-so Houston-area residents.

Your Rights

If your child has been injured or killed in the Houston area, call Our Law Offices today to enforce your family’s rights to compensation. We are proven Texas personal injury and wrongful death lawyers who can get your family everything you deserve under the law.

Justice often means getting a knowledgeable lawyer on your side. Call Our Law Offices today: you can reach our wrongful death lawyers toll-free.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Can a Sibling File a Wrongful Death Claim?

If Your Brother or Sister has Been Wrongfully Killed, You may Have Options to Bring a Claim Against Those Responsible

When a person passes away in Houston, Texas, can a surviving sibling (brother or sister) file a wrongful death claim based on their deceased brother or sister’s death? The short answer is not exactly. Under the law here in Texas, people cannot normally file wrongful death claims based on their siblings’ deaths, although exceptions exist. Also, people can and often do act as the executors of their siblings’ estates and file claims that are similar and parallel to wrongful death claims – these are called survival claims.

When a brother or sister passes away due to an accident caused by someone else, surviving siblings are often left grieving, confused, and with no one to turn to. If your sibling is killed in an accident or due to someone else’s misconduct, turn to Our Law Offices. We are veteran Texas injury lawyers with long track records of success for injured men, women and children and their surviving family members.

Texas Law

Who can bring a wrongful death claim in Texas? The Texas Wrongful Death Statute defines the class of people who can: the deceased person’s surviving children, spouse and parents. These three groups of people are the only three allowed to benefit from a wrongful death claim. They are known as the “wrongful death heirs.” So, if an adult man is killed in a traffic accident in Houston, his wife, children and surviving parents if any can all be plaintiffs in the wrongful death claim based on his death. Minor children (kids under 18 years old) are incapable of bringing legal claims on their own and must be represented by someone in court: normally their living parent or another representative chosen by the court.

A Sibling’s Rights

So, siblings normally do not have rights to benefit from wrongful death claims when their brothers and sisters are killed. What rights do siblings have? Siblings often represent their deceased brothers’ and sisters’ estates in claims that are similar to wrongful death claims called survival claims. While wrongful death claims complain about the injuries the wrongful death heirs suffer personally (the harm done to the parents, spouses and children), survival claims complain about the harm done to the decedent (deceased person). The decedent’s own injuries are said to survive the decedent’s death and form the basis of the survival claim.

Houston wrongful death lawsuit attorney
Also, the Texas Wrongful Death Statute requires estate representatives to file wrongful death claims on behalf of the wrongful death heirs if the heirs themselves do not do so, unless all the wrongful death heirs ask the estate representative not to. So if a sibling represents an estate, the sibling not only can but must file a wrongful death claim.

Interestingly, when a sibling-executor files a survival claim and a wrongful death claim, those claims do not necessarily benefit the sibling. The proceeds from a wrongful death claim still benefit the wrongful death heirs, even if the executor brings the claim. And the survival claim benefits whoever the decedent selects in his or her will; with no will, the laws of Texas intestate succession govern who gets what from the decedent’s estate, possibly the siblings and possibly not.

Our Law Offices

Our Law Offices can help you and your family makes sense of these complicated issues regarding wrongful death cases. Each case is different: trust a lawyer with skill in this area to advise and represent you for Houston-area accidents and wrongful deaths. Trust Our Law Offices and our team: you can reach us at toll-free.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Can a Spouse File a Wrongful Death Claim?

If Your Spouse was Killed Due to the Negligence of Another, You May be Allowed to Bring a Claim or Lawsuit

Can a surviving spouse – a husband or wife – file a wrongful death claim based on an accident in Houston? Yes. Spouses can and frequently do file claims based on their spouses’ deaths. Houston is a very dangerous place to live, and people lose their lives far too often, often due to the carelessness and even intentional conduct of others. If your spouse has died, the law provides you with ways to be financially compensated from the people and businesses that caused your spouse’s untimely death. Assistance is available in this process. Call Our Law Offices today for legal help you deserve and need. We are proven and tested personal injury lawyers with long track records of serving Texans’ needs in wrongful death cases and other serious personal injury cases.

Life and Death in Houston

More than six million people live in the combined Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area. I-45, I-10, Loop 610, Beltway 8, the Hardy Toll Road, Highways 59, 288 and 290: the list of dangerous places to drive in Houston is virtually endless. Near constant construction adds to the problems, as more and more people move into the Houston area. The area is also well known as a major center of industrial work: the refineries in Baytown and Pasadena, the Houston ship channel, the oil and gas work done on and offshore and all the large and small industries in Houston make it a dangerous place to live. Combine all that with a well-known lack of zoning within Houston’s city limits, and you have a super-treacherous place to live and work. Too many Houston-area residents lose their lives in accidents and intentional killings.

What Rights Does a Surviving Spouse Have to Compensation?

Surviving spouses often fill two different roles in litigation stemming from their spouses’ deaths. Both rolls are normally part of the same lawsuit, or case. A wrongful death case, as it is often known, is normally made up of two different subparts: the survival claim and the wrongful death claim.

Survival Claim:
The survival claim is the deceased person’s personal injury case. It is said that the personal injury case “survives” a deceased person’s death in the form of a survival claim. The survival claim is brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate: this is sometimes known as the executor and administrator. In the case of a married person, the personal representative is very often the deceased person’s spouse. The personal representative brings the survival claim, and the survival claim benefits the people identified in the deceased person’s will (also often times the spouse). When a deceased person does not leave a will or when a deceased person leaves a will that is defective or insufficient, Texas law mandates who gets the decedent’s property; not surprisingly, this is often once again a deceased person’s spouse, who has special standing in the law’s eyes.

Wrongful Death Claim:
A Texas wrongful death claim is created specifically by the Texas wrongful death statute, contained in Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code. The wrongful death statute specifically identifies what are known as wrongful death heirs, that is, the people who can benefit from Texas wrongful death claims. According to Chapter 71, the only people who benefit from wrongful death claims in Texas are a deceased person’s spouse, children and parents. The wrongful death claim is for the specific benefit of those people and not for the decedent’s estate.

Wrongful death cases are challenging cases in many respects. If your spouse or other loved one has been killed in the Houston area, count on Our Law Offices to hold the wrong doers accountable. You can reach our team of Texas injury lawyers at toll free.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Can a Child File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim for the Death of a Parent in the State of Texas

Can a child file a wrongful death claim based on a parent’s death in the Houston area? Absolutely. When parents are killed due to the intentional, reckless and careless actions of companies and individuals, Texas law gives children rights to be compensated. Call Our Law Offices and our proven team of Texas personal injury lawyers for high quality legal representation in your wrongful death case.

What Kinds of Accidents and Injuries?

Too many accidents in the Houston area lead to wrongful death claims. Houston is a dangerous area for workers, drivers and everyone else. Here are just a few examples of the kinds of incidents that take people’s lives in the Houston, Conroe and Galveston areas.

Explosions, fires and other accidents at refineries and other industrial sites;
Fatal car accidents on Interstate 45, and Interstate 10 and all the other highways and roadways in the Greater Houston area;
Alcohol-related deaths on the roadways due to customers being over-served at Houston area bars and restaurants on Washington Avenue, Richmond Avenue and in other areas;
Deaths at the ports of Houston and Galveston;
Intentional homicides;
Accidents at home;
Product defects;
Medical malpractice at Houston’s Texas Medical Center and hundreds of other medical facilities;
Nursing home misconduct;
The over-prescribing of dangerous drugs by Houston area “pill mills”;
Countless other dangers in Houston and the surrounding area

What Can Children be Compensated For?

Their parents’ lost income, both before death and after death;
Their parents’ medical expenses;
The value of their parents’ physical pain, emotional suffering and mental anguish before death;
Any punitive damages their parents would have been entitled to;
Their funeral and burial expenses arising from their parents’ deaths;
The value of the love, support, advice and companionship the children would have received from the parents but for their parents’ deaths;
The value of the financial contributions the parents would likely have made to their children but for the parents’ deaths;
The value of any inheritances the parents would likely have given to their children but for the parents’ deaths;
Plus other kinds of compensation

How Old do You Have to Be?

Texas law allows people of all ages to participate in wrongful death lawsuits. Minors (children under 18 who are not “emancipated”) file lawsuits through what the law calls guardians ad litem, or court-appointed representatives who look out for the children’s best interests.

Where Can You Go for Help?

At Our Law Offices, representing victims is what we do. We are focused, experienced, driven personal injury lawyers. We have the resources and skills to handle all the most serious and complex wrongful death cases. If your parent or other loved one has lost a life due to the carelessness or neglect of someone else, enforce your rights to compensation.

Choose carefully: Our Law Offices are your source for proven legal representation in Texas personal injury and wrongful death matter. You can reach our team of wrongful death lawyers at our toll-free phone number. Call today.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Wrongful Death Cases & Other Causes of Action

Wrongful Death Claims in Texas are Often Brought in Conjunction With Another Cause of Action

Wrongful Death cases can help people who have suffered the loss of a close family member or a loved one recover, economically, as well as give them a sense of justice. However, wrongful death cases can be very complex because of the steps that need to be taken in order to prove them and because they can overlap with other causes of action. Our Law Offices, with an office located in Houston, has over two decades of experience and can help you sort through the complexity of your wrongful death claim.

To What Other Causes of Action Does It Relate?

A wrongful death claim arises when a person is killed due to the reckless or negligent conduct of another. A wrongful death claim is different from a criminal claim, like murder or manslaughter, because there is no intent to commit a criminal act. However, a criminal act that results in death can also result in a wrongful death claim (explained below). What makes these types of claims complex is that there are many different causes of action that can give rise to a wrongful death claim.

Medical Malpractice

One cause of action that can also result in a wrongful death claim is medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs where a medical care provider, like a doctor, acts negligently while performing an act or fails to perform an act, and this negligence results in a harm. If the resulting harm is the death of a patient, then a wrongful death claim can arise.

Transportation Accidents

Another cause of action that can also result in a wrongful death claim is one involving a transportation accident, like a car or truck accident. If someone was involved in a car or truck accident due to the negligence or reckless conduct of another driver, then the negligent or reckless driver is liable for any damage done. If that damage is the death of the driver, then a wrongful death claim can arise.

Another type of transportation accident is one where the victim is merely a passenger on a passenger vehicle, like a bus or an airplane. If the vehicle crashes due to a negligent act or failure to act of the driver or pilot and the crash results in the death of a passenger, then a wrongful death claim can arise.

Workplace Accidents

Another cause of action that can result in a wrongful death claim is a workplace accident. If an employee is injured as a result of negligent supervision, or due to exposure to an ultra hazardous working condition, then a claim for wrongful death can arise. However, workplace accidents can be complex due to factors that might limit recovery, such as workers’ compensation.

Criminal Acts

Finally, as mentioned before, criminal acts, like murder or manslaughter, can also give rise to a wrongful death claim, but a wrongful death claim does not always stem from a criminal act. The main difference between the two is intent. For example for an act to rise to the level of murder, the actor must have the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm to another, and then commit an act that results in the death of another. On the other hand, for a wrongful death claim to arise, there does not need to be an actor with this type of intent, merely a person acting negligently or recklessly.

You Need An Experienced Attorney to Help You With Your Claim

Wrongful death claims and the causes of action related to a wrongful death claim can be extremely complex to understand and pursue. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have over twenty years of experience and have dealt with over a hundred wrongful death claims.

Over this time they have helped their wrongful death clients receive the compensation that they deserved. Call now for a free consultation regarding your wrongful death claim.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Texas’ Wrongful Death Laws vs. Other States

How do Texas’ Wrongful Death Laws Match-up to those of the Rest of the United States?

If a loved one has passed away as a result of the negligence of another you may have a claim in a wrongful death cause of action. All family members are not able to recover. Generally one must be a parent, child, or spouse of the deceased in order to recover wrongful death damages. Texas has a wrongful death recovery method that mirrors many other states but does have some differences. If you have had a loved one die as a result of the negligence of another you will need to hire an attorney who can assert your rights. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have extensive skill and experience in the practice of personal injury law. We have a well-earned reputation for getting the results that our clients deserve.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Texas a wrongful death cause of action can be brought by the family members of the deceased. The family members who generally are able to recover for the wrongful death of one of their family members are generally the parents, children, and spouses of the deceased. Some states only permit the executor of the deceased’s estate to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family. The family members and other individuals named in the will do not have the right to veto a settlement agreement, although the court is required to approve any settlement agreement.

Who Can Receive Benefits?

In a Texas, damages that are awarded from wrongful death claims are given to the party who brought the claim. In some states, damages that may be recovered from the death of your family member will go directly to the estate of the deceased and all the deceased’s bills and expenses must be paid first before any distribution can be made. Texas has no such requirement.

When Must a Claim be Made By?

The statute of limitations to bring a wrongful death claim in Texas is two years. Some states have various other statutes of limitations deadlines. While most states have two year limitations period, some have been known to have three and four year limitation periods.

What Recovery is Available?

There are multiple recovery claims in a wrongful death cause of action. Medical costs, loss of earning capacity, funeral costs, loss of consortium, and mental anguish among other forms of recovery is available to the families of the deceased.

While the recovery of damages will never fully compensate you for your loss, it will help you have some level of financial security in a financially uncertain time. Don’t let insurance companies and negligent parties step on your rights; you deserve to recover for all your loss. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have helped thousands of clients just like you recover the damages they deserved as a result of their injuries, we can help you too. Call to schedule your free consultation and discuss the merits of your case.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » The Survival Statute in Texas vs. Other States

How Does Texas’ Survival Statute Compare to That of Other States?

If the negligent conduct of another party has resulted in the loss of a loved one or someone significant in your life, it can be heartbreaking. Not only do you have to deal with the reality of that person no longer being in your life, but you may also have incurred a great deal of financial responsibility in the aftermath. You may not be aware of this but in the state of Texas there is a cause of action available to you that can allow you to recover for the losses that you have suffered in losing this person and the financial strife that has resulted. This is possible through what is called the Texas Survival statute.

The Texas Survival statute is available to the representatives or family members of a person who has become deceased due to some tortuous act of another party. In order to file this lawsuit there are certain elements that must be established that are prerequisites to your recovery. The different procedural and evidentiary factors in this claim can be difficult to comprehend if you are not familiar with them. It would be to your detriment to attempt to seek recovery for your losses through a survival action without skilled legal assistance. This is why it is in your best interests to retain an attorney that has familiarity with these types of theories of recovery. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have been handling survival actions for 22 years and have a great deal of knowledge and experience on how these claims are usually litigated to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation that your truly deserve.

What is the Texas Survival Statute?

The Texas Survival Statute permits an estate, legal representative or heirs of the deceased to bring a survival cause of action. The logic behind the name ‘survival’ is that is basically allows a personal injury lawsuit to survive the death of the party that suffered the injury. Under this theory of liability, you can recover damages in the form of funeral expenses, medical expenditures, lost wages and loss of companionship or affection. There are certain time limitations at work in survival actions that must be strictly adhered to or your ability to bring this lawsuit will extinguish entirely.

How is the Texas Survival Statute Different Than Those in Other States?

The primary differences that may exist between the Texas Survival Statute when compared to survival statutes in other states is who may bring the cause of action and what may be inevitably recoverable. In Texas the statute only allows specific individuals to recover under this action. Only an heir or some representative of the estate is allowed to bring this theory of recovery on behalf of the deceased party.

In addition, under the Texas Survival Statute, the estate may recover for all of the damages that the deceased would have been permitted to recover if he/she were still alive. Essentially you can recover for the pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost earning capacity and wages that the deceased could have recovered if they had survived.

Survival causes of action can be confusing because of the fact that you are bringing a claim on behalf of a person that is no longer living. Therefore the elements of proof can be slightly complex. However, with the assistance of an attorney that has handled many of these personal injury survival actions, you will be in good hands. That is exactly what we can offer you at Our Law Offices. You should not be forced to live with the emotional tragedy of your loss and be burdened indefinitely with mounting medical bills. You deserve to be compensated for your loss. To discuss your claim, contact the attorneys at Our Law Offices.


Wrongful Deaths and Setting Up an Estate

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Wrongful Deaths and Setting Up an Estate

Chat with a Houston Lawyer
The Importance of Setting up an Estate Following the Wrongful Death of a Loved One

Houston wrongful death lawsuit
If you’ve recently experienced the death of a loved one due to the negligent actions of another, you likely have several questions regarding your ability to recover compensation for the economic and emotional hardships that resulted from their death. Specifically, you may be wondering if you will need to set up an estate before filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, before discussing if Texas law requires you to set up an estate, we need to determine if you’re eligible to file a claim by first defining what a wrongful death case is.

What is a Wrongful Death Case?

Texas’ legislature and courts have adopted and interpreted laws that outline a family’s ability to recover compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered if their loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions. Moreover, damages recoverable under Texas’s wrongful death laws are classified into two categories: economic and non-economic. However, it’s important to note that not every family member is eligible to assert a wrongful death lawsuit to recover for the negative economic and emotional damages they’ve suffered. Specifically, Texas law only allows spouses, children, and parents of the deceased to assert wrongful death claims. Now that we have defined eligibility for asserting a wrongful death case, we can discuss whether an estate needs to be set up before filing any wrongful death claims.

Do you Need to Set Up an Estate to File a Wrongful Death Case?

In a word, no – Texas law does not require a person to set up an estate for their deceased family member before filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This is because the claims asserted in a wrongful death case are designed to compensate the effected family member for the personal effects they’ve experienced from their loved one’s death. To illustrate, eligible family members that relied on the financial and emotional support of their loved one who is killed in a car accident by a drunk driver have been personally wronged by the drunk driver, and their claims are considered separate under Texas’ wrongful death laws.

Is There Any Scenario Where I Would Need to Set Up an Estate to Recover Damages Related to the Death of My Loved One?

Although not required for wrongful death claims, an estate needs to be set up to recover compensation for a “survival” claim. Survival claims are designed to compensate the deceased (which, for all practical purposes, compensates his estate) for the injuries he suffered before his death. As the deceased is no longer alive, he is no longer able to assert a lawsuit, and needs the estate (the legal representative of his interests after his death), to file a lawsuit on his behalf.

For example, assume that the decedent died after spending several months in the hospital attempting to recover from injuries caused by a defective product. An estate will need to be set up on his behalf to recover for the pain, suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, and any other claims he could have asserted on his own behalf had he survived his injuries and been released from the hospital.

Our Experienced Houston Wrongful Death Attorneys May be Able to Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

As you may have already concluded, retaining an experienced wrongful death attorney is absolutely essential to obtaining full compensation for the injuries you and you’ve family have suffered as a result of your loved one’s death.

If you would like more information regarding how our firm may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve and pursue justice against the person responsible for your loved one’s death, our experienced wrongful death attorneys invite you to give them a call any time, day or night, for a free consultation.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » What is an Estate?

An Individual’s Estate in Relation to a Wrongful Death Case in Texas

Several states have different ways that they treat wrongful death actions and the distribution of recovery through the estate or to the individuals bringing the actions themselves. Knowing how and to whom to distribute estate assets and wrongful death recoveries can be a complex process. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have substantial experience in bringing wrongful death causes of action. We have a record of success in these claims, we also have considerable amount of experience in distributing the proceeds of these claims. Knowing who is entitled to what in a wrongful death recovery is part of the process to ensure that the victims are full compensated.

Individual’s Estate

An individual’s estate is created at the time of their passing. It is basically a legal entity in itself which includes the deceased’s property, whether real or personal, owned at the time of death. It is designed to account for all the assets of the deceased, and then pay all the debts of the deceased through his assets. After this time any remaining assets will be distributed to the heirs of the deceased. An individual’s estate generally goes through probate, this is essentially a closing out process to tie up any lose ends of that the deceased individual may have had. It is here that the deceased’s creditors may come and make their claims to be reimbursed the amount they were owed. Estates will have an executor who will oversee the distribution of the estate.

If the deceased was the owner of a life insurance policy that did not name a beneficiary, the proceeds of the life insurance policy would also be distributed through the estate of the deceased. If the life insurance policy named a beneficiary, the distribution of the proceeds of the policy would be distributed to the named individual.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Texas a wrongful death cause of action can be brought by the family members of the deceased. The family members who generally are able to recover for the wrongful death of one of their family members are generally the parents, children, and spouses of the deceased. Some states only permit the executor of the deceased’s estate to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family. The family members and other individuals named in the will do not have the right to veto a settlement agreement, although the court is required to approve any settlement agreement.

Who Can Receive Benefits?

Unlike some states, Texas distributes the benefits received from wrongful death causes of actions to the individuals who brought the claim, not the individuals, who were named as beneficiaries of the estate. Your wrongful death recovery will not be hindered by the debts of the deceased.

Texas Survival Statute

The Texas survival statute is different than a wrongful death claim. This statute allows an estate, heirs or legal representative to bring a survival action. This is different because the suit seeks the damages that an individual would have recovered for their injuries had they survived. While wrongful death claims seek damages that the people asserting claims lost, such as love and affection, lost wages, and lost future earning capacity. The damages that would be sought in a survival statute claim would be things such as lost wages, medical bills, property damage, funeral expenses and the like. Any recovery under the survival statutes will be disbursed to the estate rather than the any individual. These recoveries will be subject to the debts of the deceased and would go through the probate process as with the rest of their assets.

Did You Know?

Our Houston wrongful death attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case.


If you have a wrongful death action you need an attorney that knows how to work with the estate of the deceased. The attorneys at Our Law Offices has a world of experience in these claims, we know how to recover for you claim and who should be compensated afterwards.

If you want representation that produces results, contact Our Law Offices at to schedule your free consultation.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » How a Will Affects a Wrongful Death Case

How Does the Will of the Decedent Affect a Wrongful Death Case?

Losing a loved one in the Houston area due to someone else’s wrongdoing is a traumatic experience. You are probably thinking that if you file a wrongful death claim, will the money that you receive for your loss be affected by your loved one’s will? These are tough times and there are a lot of decisions that need to be made and expenses that need to be paid. Speak with an experienced attorney today to discuss your wrongful death claim.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, a will does not affect the compensation that is awarded to a surviving family member. They are filed by a surviving family member of the deceased who died because of someone else’s negligence. Even if this person is not listed in the will, the surviving family member can receive compensation from the lawsuit. The compensation is going directly to the family member and not the estate.

The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the surviving family member for the loss of their loved one. A surviving family member is a parent, spouse, or a child. However, the executor of the will may file on behalf of the estate if the surviving family member does not file within a certain amount of time.

Survival Cause of Action and Damages

A survival cause of action is different than a wrongful death cause of action because a will drafted by the deceased can affect it. A survival cause of action allows the estate of the deceased to bring a lawsuit to recover for the damages that the deceased would have recovered if they survived the accident.

If the deceased drafted a will, then the executor of the estate, who is named in the will, can bring a survival cause of action. Not the family. The executor represents the estate and will collect damages that is owed to the estate. If the deceased did not draft a will, then a court will appoint an executor or a legal representative to represent the estate in the lawsuit.

The survival damages that are awarded to the estate are funeral, burial expenses and medical bills just like in a wrongful death case. In order to recover for mental anguish and physical pain, the estate must prove that the deceased suffered pain before death and was conscious at the time. If the deceased died instantly and lost conscious immediately then recovery of compensation will not be awarded.

Brief Overview of How a Will Works

A will, or a last will and testament, is a legal document created by you giving instructions on how to distribute tangible and intangible items throughout one’s estate after death. It also allows for you to identify your beneficiaries. A beneficiary can be the person(s) that you are giving your property to. A will also provides for an executor to be appointed. This person is the one who manages your estate, pays out debts owed and other expenses that need to be handled.

To have a valid will you must be 18 years of age, be competent, have testamentary intent, and it must be in writing. Texas requires that the writing of the will can come in two forms. The first is called an attested will. This means that your will was in writing, signed by you or someone that you appointed to sign your will and you have two witnesses. The other form is a holographic will meaning that the will was written in your own handwriting, signed by you and you do not need any witnesses. The attested will is the most common will.

The attorneys at Our Law Offices understand that losing a loved one is a painful experience. Our attorneys dedicate their time and effort to making the person pay for causing the death of your loved one. Our attorneys have been litigating wrongful death cases for over two decades and have been affording Houstonians with adequate legal services that they deserve. There is a time limit to file a wrongful death claim so do not wait to call us. Contact our office today at to receive a free consultation. Allow our attorneys to bring you the closure that you are seeking.


Leave a Reply