Austin Wrongful Death Lawyers

Wrongful Death Lawyers Serving Injured Clients in Austin and Surrounding Communities

Accidents that result in wrongful death are always catastrophic. The toll the loss of a loved one takes on a family compounding with the financial uncertainty and stress that follows can be nearly unbearable. At Thomas J. Henry Law, we seek to ease the stress and uncertainty so that you and your family can focus on what’s important: each other.

If you have lost a loved one to negligence, contact our Austin wrongful death attorneys. We can help you secure just compensation and ensure your family’s financial future.

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How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Austin

While wrongful death claims are meant to help provide compensation to individuals facing the tragic and unnecessary loss of a loved one, complex laws and stubborn insurance companies can create further hardships no average person can navigate alone. You need an experienced wrongful death attorney.

The attorneys at Thomas J. Henry Law understand these laws and knows how best to deal with the insurance companies so that you do not have to. By filing a wrongful death claim with our firm, you are taking the first steps towards securing compensation for the damages you and your family have suffered due to the loss of your spouse, child, or parent.

It is important to remember that wrongful death claims filed in Austin are subject to Texas’ statute of limitations laws. As such, family members have a limited amount time to file their claim (typically within two years). If you miss this deadline, then you will be unable to seek justice or compensation in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit.

By contacting an attorney in a timely manner, not only are you ensuring you are within the necessary statute of limitation, you are also ensuring that all evidence is preserved and that witness accounts will be accurate and detailed.

If you are considering a wrongful death lawsuit, call our Austin injury attorneys now for your FREE case consultation.

Damages to Pursue in an Austin Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The damages that will be sought as part of your wrongful death claim with depend on the unique circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death and your claim. One thing to remember, however, is that when filing a wrongful death claim, you are actually seeking compensation for damages against yourself and the surviving members of your family. Damages sought on behalf of the deceased family member would be part of a survival action which could be filed in conjunction with your wrongful death claim.

Common economic damages sought by families in an Austin wrongful death claim include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses related to the care of the deceased
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of benefits (such as insurance)

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, would cover items like:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of emotional support
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of care, advice or protection

Because non-economic damages have no intrinsic value, it is important that you hire an attorney who is able to demonstrate their value in a way that a jury can understand. For example, how do you put a dollar amount on mental anguish? While it may seem like a strange practice, it is essential that your attorney is able to answer questions like this so that your family is fairly compensated for ALL of your suffering.

Accidents That Often Result in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In truth, instances of wrongful death can occur anyplace where negligence can. There is no place free of the risk of a fatal injury. However, in personal injury law, we typically see wrongful death lawsuit being the product of:

Again, that is not to say these are the only times a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. They are just the most common.

Seeking a Survival Action in Austin, Texas

As previously mentioned, survival actions are filed on behalf of the deceased person while wrongful death claims seek compensation for damages suffered by the family and/or their estate,

In a Austin survival action, the victim’s family is asserting:

  • Their loved one died because of the defendant’s negligence.
  • This negligence caused pain and suffering to their loved one before they died.
  • Had their loved one survived, he or she would have been able to pursue legal action against the defendant to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
  • The defendant should not be able to avoid liability for pain and suffering just because that family member is died.
  • The pain and suffering damages should be paid to the deceased person’s estate.

In Austin, a deceased person’s legal heir or estate representative can bring a survival action. In instances where there is no legal beneficiary to file a claim, relatives may pursue the action jointly.

Have You Lost a Loved One to Negligence? Contact Our Experienced Austin Wrongful Death Lawyers

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of an individual, company, or other entity, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our team of experienced Austin wrongful death attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to talk with you and your family about your potential case.

At Thomas J. Henry Law, we offer FREE case reviews, and you don’t owe a thing unless we win your case. Our results speak loudly of our success in obtaining successful verdicts, settlements, and judgments for our clients. Let us help you and your family recover the compensation you deserve.

Our Austin, Texas Personal Injury Law Offices

    • Phone Number: (512) 520-0221 (attorneys available 24/7, nights and weekends)
    • Address: 5707 Southwest Pkwy, Suite 125 Building 2,Austin, Texas 78735 (walk-in Monday through Friday)
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Your Questions Answered

We have straight answers to difficult questions to help you make critical decisions, navigate legal process and help you get justice.

Following an accident, there are always more questions than answers. At Thomas J. Henry, we’re here to answer any questions you have about your injury case.

Yes. Our Austin injury attorneys are on-call, 24/7. If an in-person meeting is necessary and you are unable to travel to our offices, we will send an attorney directly to you.

We do accept walk-ins at our Austin offices. For you convenience, however, you may wish to make an appointment by calling our offices or completing an online contact form.

If you have been involved in an accident or suffered injury do to negligence, speaking with an experienced Austin injury attorney will help protect your rights and your claim to financial compensation. Failing to contact an attorney can leave you open to tactics insurers use to limit their liability and diminish your financial recovery. These tactics include:

  • Unintentional inconsistencies – Crashes and accidents are hectic and disorienting. As time moves on, you will likely remember less and less about the events leading up to and following your accident. When an insurance company goes back to compare all the statements you made over a period of weeks or months, they will claim that any inconsistencies were attempts by you to mislead the company and label them as lies before a judge or a jury.
  • Exposure to trick questions – Representatives often ask trick questions or word their inquiries in a way meant to trick or trap you. You may even be pressured into agreeing to facts that are not completely accurate just to get the representative off your back. Even an aggravated response of “I don’t know, maybe” or “I guess” can come back to haunt you later.
  • Exposure to leading statements – Even a statement that seems innocent on its surface can damage your claim depending on your response. For example, by giving a positive response to statements like “I hope your back is starting to feel a bit better” or “Wow, it’s a miracle you weren’t more seriously injured,” you could be tricked into understating the severity of your injuries.
  • Failure to report undiagnosed injuries – Most doctors agree that the full extent of injuries suffered in an accident may not be evident until several days after the accident has occurred. If a claims adjuster contacts you within 24 hours of a crash and asks about your injuries, chances are you will not be able to provide a complete list of injuries. This will not stop the insurance company from questioning and attempting to dismiss any injuries that became symptomatic after that initial recorded statement was made.
  • Provide material for cross-examination – By the time deposition or trial occurs, chances are the defense counsel will have reviewed your recorded statements dozens of times. They will craft questions for cross-examination with the understanding that you likely don’t remember everything you said or agreed to in that recorded statement. And when you misremember or contradict yourself in a moment of confusion, they will try to claim your misstatement proves your testimony is not credible.

A successful personal injury attorney will utilize their legal expertise, resources, and knowledgeable support staff to develop your case in a way that accurately demonstrates liability as well as any economic and non-economic damages you have incurred. The ultimate goal is to take care of the clients claim so that the client can focus on their health and physical recovery.

Thomas J. Henry Law has the legal and financial resources necessary to properly build and handle your case in the most effective and efficient way possible. Your attorney will make sure you are treated with respect, are kept informed with the most up-to-date information on your case, and that you are comfortable throughout the entire legal process as we work to secure the compensation you deserve. We will also work with medical providers to ensure you receive proper medical treatment for all of your injuries.

Experienced attorneys also have access to expert witnesses with specialized knowledge on a subject related to the case. Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding the best expert witnesses across the United States. Our firm retains the most qualified experts for each individual case, from accident reconstruction experts to medical professionals. Every expert undergoes a rigorous and in-depth examination process before ever being involved in a client’s case.

The risks of not contacting an attorney after an accident cannot be overstated. Simply put, you are risking your entire claim to recovery as well as future financial stability.

Insurance adjusters are familiar with claim procedures and liability. When an insurance adjuster calls you with questions concerning your accident, they are looking for information that limits the liability of their client and information that can be used to downplay the extent of your injuries.

Further, adjusters will often ask that you provide a recorded statement concerning your accident and injuries. While they may say that the sole purpose of the recorded statement is to gather information needed to move your claim forward, the statement can actually used to erode your case and right to recovery.

It is the adjusters job to limit your recovery and save their company money. An attorney will help you protect your rights and your claim to fair compensation.

A wrongful death claim is filed to seek damages from an individual or company whose negligent or intentional actions caused a person’s death. According to Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code,

“A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual’s death if the injury was caused by the person’s or his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.”

The family or beneficiaries of the deceased victim can recover several types of damages, both economic and non-economic, in a wrongful death action, including:

  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost future earnings
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering

In cases where the victim’s death is caused by “the willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant,” exemplary or punitive damages may be recovered as well. Texas law defines gross negligence as:

“An act or omission which when viewed objectively from the standpoint of the actor at the time of its occurrence involves an extreme degree of risk, considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others; and of which the actor has actual, subjective awareness of the risk involved, but nevertheless proceeds with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.”

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a child who has lost their only parent or both parents can seem confusing, but with the help of an experienced attorney the process becomes much easier.

Thomas J. Henry has been handling wrongful death lawsuits for more than 25 years and has experience representing children in the courtroom. If you have any questions concerning the steps necessary to file such a claim, contact our offices immediately. Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

Oftentimes, a family member of the minor can be appointed by the court to be the guardian of that minor. Upon being appointed, that guardian is tasked with taking care of the minor and given the power to bring a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the death of the minor’s parents on the minor’s behalf.

Additionally, lawsuits can be filed by a decedent’s estate or by the administrator of the decedent’s estate with the damages be provided to the child.

The sad truth is that there are instances in which children lose their only surviving parent or both parents in a tragic event. In Texas, that minor is still able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for their parents’ death.

Texas law recognizes two distinct types of claims for an event where someone dies: a wrongful death claim and a survival action claim. These claims differ in who they are filed on behalf of, what damages are being sought, and who those damages will be paid to. Still, in some circumstances, both can be pursued in the same lawsuit.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, one option is to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In such a case, the family is not actually suing for harm caused to their loved one – instead, they are suing for the harm that was caused to them as a result of the loss of the deceased person.

A second option that may be available to you is that of a survival action. The name can be confusing at first as the claim is actually filed for a person who has passed away, but understanding the purpose of the claim also helps to explain its title.

When a survival claim is filed on behalf of a deceased person, the victim’s family is essentially asserting that:

  • The person died because of the defendant’s negligence.
  • This negligence caused pain and suffering to the person before they died.
  • Had the person survived, he or she would have been able to pursue legal action against the defendant to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
  • The defendant should not be able to avoid liability for pain and suffering just because the person died.
  • The pain and suffering damages should be paid to the deceased person’s estate.

A statute of limitations is a law which sets a maximum amount of time parties have to initiate legal proceedings from the date the offense occurred. In personal injury law, this essentially is a time limit you have to file your personal injury claim.

While you may think you have a longtime to file a claim that deals with a tragedy as great as a wrongful death, the statute of limitations for filing such a claim is actually based on the precipitating event and not on the damages that occurred (i.e. the death of a loved one). That is why it is so important to contact an attorney as soon as an accident resulting in death occurs.

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