A Wrongful Death Lawyer In Houston, TX
According to statistics from the federal government, there are almost 150,000 unintentional injury deaths every year in this country, making it the fourth leading cause of death. When the death of an individual is caused by the negligence or recklessness of another, the law allows the family of the victim to file a wrongful death lawsuit against that party (or parties) in order to pursue damages for the losses the victim’s death has caused.
At John K. Zaid & Associates, our legal team has successfully represented many families in obtaining the damages they were entitled to for the losses they have suffered. If you have lost a family member due to the negligent actions of another party, contact a Houston wrongful death lawyer from our firm for help.
Some of the most common types of accidental death that result in wrongful death lawsuits include the following:
- Accidental poisoning
- Automobile accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Product liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Work-related accidents
In many cases, there may be criminal charges that have also been filed against the at-fault party, however, a wrongful death lawsuit is heard in civil court, so it is legally considered a totally separate matter. Conversely, there are many cases where the victim’s family feels there has been no justice for their loved one’s death because there have been no criminal files charged, charges were filed but subsequently dropped, or the at-fault party was found not guilty.
Many families often can obtain some justice through a wrongful death lawsuit because there is a lower standard of proof in civil cases than there is in criminal cases. One of the most famous examples of this is the O.J Simpson case. Simpson was acquitted in criminal court of murdering his ex-wife and a friend of hers, however, both families of the victims filed wrongful death actions against Simpson and he was found liable for the victim’s deaths. He was ordered to pay more than $30 million to the victims’ families.
In order to be successful in a wrongful death lawsuit, a wrongful death lawyer must prove that certain elements existed in the accident or incident that killed the victim.
The wrongful death lawyer must first prove that the alleged at-fault party had a duty of care to the victim. For example, in a car accident case, drivers owe a duty of care to other commuters on the road to obey all traffic laws. In a malpractice case, doctors owe a duty of care to the patients to provide the utmost in quality of care
The second element that must be proven is that the at-fault party breached that duty of care. In the car accident case, if the driver was speeding, then they failed to obey traffic laws and that was a breach of duty. A surgeon who leaves a sponge inside a patient during surgery is not providing the utmost quality of care, which, again, is a breach of duty.
The third element a wrongful death attorney must prove is that the breach of duty caused the victim’s death. The speeding driver caused the crash that fatally injured the victim. The sponge left behind after surgery caused an infection which killed the patient. In these two examples, there is direct causation between the driver’s and the surgeon’s failures and the victims’ deaths.
To meet and discuss the details of your situation and what legal options you and your family may have, contact a wrongful death lawyer Houston, TX families rely on from John K. Zaid & Associates for a free and confidential consultation.