The legal definition of wrongful death is “the death of a human being as the result of a wrongful act of another person.” In short, if one or more people are killed because of the unlawful conduct of others, the family and/or heirs of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim against those responsible. Wrongful death laws vary from state to state, but they generally define who may sue on behalf of the deceased, what they may sue for, and if there are any limits on the financial amount of wrongful death damages. If someone you know was killed because of another’s negligence, contact a Houston wrongful death lawyer at Richard J. Plezia & Associates.
What Does Wrongful Death Cover?
When any person engages in unsafe or unlawful actions – even if something as minor as jaywalking – and another person is killed as the result of these actions, it may be considered a wrongful death. Wrongful deaths can be caused by accidents as well as intentional actions.
- Common causes of wrongful death include but are not limited to:
- Negligence of an employer or property owner in failing to maintain the safety of their property
- Reckless or incapacitated driving, including driving under the influence of alcohol or another illicit substance
- Intentional attack including assaults, fights, use of weapons, etc.
- Death that occurs as the result of a crime, such as a holdup, mugging, rape, home invasion, etc.
- Starting a fire as the result of negligence, malice, insurance fraud, etc.
- Manslaughter or murder
Who Does Wrongful Death Cover?
In most cases, a wrongful death attorney recommends that the immediate family members file a claim against the responsible party. The most common claimants include:
- Child or dependent of the deceased – These may file a claim for loss of financial support, as well as loss of companionship.
- Spouse, ex-spouse, or lover of the deceased – These may also file a claim for loss of financial support, as well as for the loss of companionship.
- Parent or guardian of the deceased – These may file a claim for loss of companionship and are less commonly able to sue for financial support given that children support their parents or guardians less often.
- Executor or administrator of the estate – The main beneficiary of the deceased’s will may also file a wrongful death claim, as can any other beneficiaries or next of kin.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Incidents of wrongful death can occur in almost any situation. The Houston wrongful death lawyers at Richard J. Plezia & Associates have experience in the following areas:
- Workplace accident wrongful death
- Medical malpractice wrongful death
- Defective device wrongful death
- Prescription drug wrongful death
- Motor vehicle accident wrongful death
Get Help From A Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer
If someone you know was killed as the result of negligence or malice, you have a limited time to act. Contact a Houston wrongful death lawyer at Richard J. Plezia & Associates immediately at no cost to you so we can help you learn your rights when dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit.