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Wrongful Death

Serving Clients Nationwide From Our Texas Offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Austin

Losing a family member is traumatic and devastating, especially when it happens unexpectedly or due to someone else’s negligent actions. Emotional suffering and financial uncertainties often follow a family member’s death.

In the case of wrongful death, the law entitles surviving family members the right to seek compensation for emotional damages, economic damages, and more.

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What To Expect When Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

No amount of financial compensation can change the devastating event that occurred, but at Thomas J. Henry, our experienced wrongful death attorneys will ensure your case is handled effectively, allowing you to focus on your family and your healing. We want to advocate for you and help you every step of the way.

Our wrongful death lawyers have handled a multitude of cases, ranging from automobile accidents, truck accidents, workplace accidents, and others. These cases can be complicated, but we dedicate ourselves to pursuing the maximum amount of compensation for you and your family. Thomas J. Henry’s attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – including nights and weekends. Our team is here to discuss your case at a time that suits your needs.

In a wrongful death case, the law allows for the pursuit of compensation, and recoveries sought after for the following:

  • Lost income
  • Lost future earnings
  • Lost benefits and Social Security
  • Medical and funeral costs
  • Lost inheritance
  • Lost companionship and parental guidance
  • Pain and suffering
  • General damages

While wrongful death legislation varies from state to state, in most instances, the law allows for damages arising from any injury that causes a person’s death, especially if that injury is the result of the negligence, carelessness, or other wrongful act of another party. The personal injury lawyers at Thomas J. Henry have extensive experience in all facets of wrongful death claims and serve clients not only in Texas but also nationwide.

Thomas J. Henry has a proven track record of achieving multi-million-dollar results for the families of loved ones lost due to the negligence of others. Our wrongful death attorneys and extensive financial and legal resources allow us to pursue every legal avenue available to obtain the economic recovery that your family needs.

Filing a Survival Action Claim

In addition to wrongful death claims, the second type of claim can be made by the decedent’s estate for the injuries sustained before death. In a survival claim, the estate collects damages instead of the living family members for the decedent’s pain and suffering and other financial losses suffered before his or her death. In essence, the estate controls the deceased person’s injury claim that could have gone forward before death. Survival claims will recover compensation and then, according to the deceased person’s will, divide the recovery among the people listed in the will. In some cases, there may not be a will in which the family of the deceased individual divides the recovery amongst themselves in accordance with the laws of that particular state.

Survival claims prevent a negligent party from avoiding liability for the victim’s death. Damages that can be recovered by the estate include:

  • Pain and mental anguish
  • Pain, both physical and emotional, that was sustained prior to death following the accident
  • Medical costs
  • Any bills associated with hospital stays, medical procedures and care given to the victim before death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses

Filing a Bystander Recovery Claim

A third claim available to the family of the deceased is called a bystander claim. A person might file a bystander claim if they witnessed a person sustain a severe injury or die due to the negligent or reckless actions of an individual. However, only close relatives of the victim may file this type of claim. In some cases, bystanders have successfully filed claims after viewing the immediate aftermath of an accident that resulted in death, such as unexpectedly coming across the body of a loved one that was just hit by a motor vehicle.

However, witnessing this unimaginable horror is usually not enough to recover through a bystander claim. The bystander must also prove that there have been mental or emotional damages that occurred as a result of witnessing the incident happen. Often, bystanders to tragic accidents suffer from insomnia, severe depression, anxiety, or other mental or nervous disorders. These conditions can have long-term adverse effects on a person, such as affecting their ability to work or function normally.

Thomas J. Henry Law Is Ready to Help You with Your Wrongful Death Claim

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of an individual, company, or other entity, contact Thomas J. Henry Law. At Thomas J. Henry Law, our expertise is personal injury. We focus solely on personal injury matters so that we can achieve the maximum recovery for you and your family. Our firm has the resources to take care of you and your family during this difficult legal process.

Our experienced attorneys dedicate themselves to each and every client and their unique case. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve for the emotional injuries you have sustained. Contact our wrongful death attorneys — available 24/7, including nights and weekends — for a free legal consultation today


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.

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.

Our Practice Areas

Representing injured victims from across the United States.

No matter the injury or the accident, if you or a loved one were harmed due to the negligence of an individual or company, Thomas J. Henry is here to assist you.

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info@tjhlaw.com

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