When a loved one has been the victim of a wrongful death, the families affected deserve justice. Our team understands how devastating it can be for a family unexpectedly losing a loved one.
A wrongful death occurs due to negligence or purposeful action on behalf of another person or entity. An Austin wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and walk you through the complexities of your case.
If your loved one died because of the actions of another individual, you may have a wrongful death claim under Texas law. Our team of wrongful death lawyers at Zinda Law Group can help you answer those questions and file a claim. Call or fill out our online contact form to learn more.
When Can You File an Austin Wrongful Death Claim?
The law in Texas says that wrongful death occurs when someone acts negligently or carelessly, resulting in the death of a person. If a person dies because of the negligence of another person, the family members or survivors of the deceased may bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
This type of lawsuit seeks compensation for the losses of those the deceased left behind. These losses typically include loss of companionship, lost wages, funeral expenses, and much more.
The plaintiff in a wrongful death case may also be a family member of the deceased who acts on behalf of the deceased’s heirs. Find out more with an Austin wrongful death attorney.
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For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Austin, call 800-863-5312
What Accidents Cause Wrongful Deaths?
Wrongful death claims may arise after a victim who could have legally filed a personal injury claim against another party dies as a result of the negligence of the defendant. Unsurprisingly, common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Dangerous or defective products
- Child abuse
- Nursing home or elder abuse
- Construction of an unsafe structure or building
- Negligent upkeep of premises (such as an apartment building or hotel pool)
When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, the family is unfortunately often left with many expenses. If children are involved, they may be unable to support themselves or pay for their schooling. Your Austin wrongful death lawyer understands this situation.
The family members or beneficiaries of the deceased generally file a lawsuit or claim to help with these tragic and unfortunate burdens. There are a variety of types of wrongful death cases. Here are some of the most common ones:
Car and Truck Accidents in Austin
As you may have guessed, car and truck accidents commonly cause wrongful deaths. If a driver acts negligently (e.g., drinking and driving, texting while driving), the driver may be liable.
Next, when a patient dies due to their healthcare provider’s negligence, someone may be liable. For example, the doctor or hospital may be responsible if the doctor missteps during surgery. At Zinda Law Group, our medical malpractice attorneys fight to obtain the justice and compensation our clients deserve.
Whether the death was caused by a surgical error, misdiagnosis, defective medical product, complications from a medication, or another serious personal injury, a wrongful death lawyer in Austin, TX, can help.
Additionally, when a consumer dies due to a malfunctioning product, the manufacturer or distributor may be liable for the wrongful death of the consumer. When consumers purchase products, they almost always expect them to work as intended.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case; some product defects can cause severe injury or death. If your loved one died due to a defective product, it’s essential to speak with a product injury lawyer in Austin who can help you navigate the legal process.
Furthermore, several potential parties may be at fault if a loved one is killed because of an unsafe environment. For example, the property owner, the tenant, or the manager of the premises may be liable, resulting in a wrongful death claim.
This is because property owners are responsible for ensuring that their premises are free from hazards that could cause harm.
Failure to do so opens the property owner up to liability, and survivors of the deceased can bring an action against the property owner and the property owner’s insurance company. Learn more with an Austin wrongful death lawyer.
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What Should You Do After a Fatal Accident?
Dealing with an accidental death in your family can be an incredibly challenging time. Still, it’s essential to know what to do if you are ever involved in an accident that results in a fatality.
Given that fatal accidents have only increased over the last few years, it’s essential to know what to do and the right Austin wrongful death lawyer to call. Make sure that you:
Report the Fatal Accident in Austin
First, you should call 9-1-1 so a police officer can file and create a report. Also, you should report the accident to your insurance company. The sooner you report the accident, the sooner you can obtain an accident report, which will be needed in the legal process.
Document the Deadly Accident
Next, when a loved one dies, you should get the names of everyone involved. Next, find out the names of any witnesses and get their contact information. Also, find out the insurance company that insures any people, vehicles, or entities involved in the accident.
It may be helpful for you to take pictures of the scene and the injuries. However, evidence can change or be altered at any moment, so gathering and storing evidence quickly is crucial.
A wrongful death attorney in Austin, TX, can help you gather evidence to make this process less burdensome or painful.
Contact an Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer
Finally, if your loved one has died in an accident, finding the right lawyer can save you money, time, and stress.
Your Austin wrongful death attorney should have a proven record for handling complex wrongful death cases and the ability and resources to investigate the circumstances and pursue maximum compensation.
A Zinda Law Group Austin wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and answer your questions during this difficult time. However, you shouldn’t have to go through this process alone.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Death in Austin, TX?
There are four elements that the Austin wrongful death lawyer must prove to establish wrongful death:
- Duty: The defendant owed a duty to the deceased;
- Breach: The defendant failed to comply with this duty in some way (e.g., by violating a law);
- Causation: The violation of this duty caused an accident that resulted in the death of the deceased;
- Damages: The plaintiff suffered damages from the injuries.
Our team works aggressively to investigate the accident that impacted your family member. We gather evidence to establish each element as we strive to help you settle your claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
How Do We Determine Who is at Fault for a Wrongful Death Accident?
It is not always immediately apparent who is at fault, and who is at fault may depend on the type of accident that occurred. That’s why it’s essential to contact an Austin wrongful death lawyer who can help you investigate your claim and determine liability.
Fault can vary depending on the type of accident. Our team has years of experience looking at liability for:
Austin Car and Truck Accidents
In a car or truck accident, most often, it is the driver who is at fault. All drivers have a duty to drive safely. If they breached that responsibility (e.g., by driving while intoxicated), and if that breach causes the death of the diseased (e.g., by crashing into the car they were in), then the driver may be liable.
The car or truck manufacturer could also be at fault. They have a duty to create safe cars and comply with specific laws and regulations. If the manufacturer breaches that duty, and if that breach contributes to a death, then the manufacturer may be liable.
For example, if the manufacturer produces a car with faulty brakes, which then hits the deceased’s car and leads to their death, that car maker would potentially be liable. Other potentially responsible parties include:
- The employer of the driver (particularly for commercial truck drivers)
- The inspector of the vehicle
- The entity who paves the road
Allow your wrongful death lawyer in Austin, TX, to identify the liable party in your claim.
Medical Malpractice in Austin
In medical malpractice cases, the doctor is usually at fault. Doctors have a duty to provide a certain standard of care to the patient.
If a doctor breaches that duty (e.g., leaves a medical tool inside the patient during surgery), and that breach results in death, the doctor may be liable. There are often many doctors involved, so it is essential to determine which of the doctors are at fault.
Defective Product Accidents in Austin
When companies sell products to consumers, they have a duty to the consumer to provide safe products. If the product malfunctions and causes the death of another person, the manufacturer may have breached their duty and may be liable.
Premises Liability Accidents in Austin
Owners and operators of properties have a duty to provide a safe environment for those who visit the property. If the owner or operator fails to maintain a safe environment and that unsafe premise results in death, the property owner or operator may be liable.
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How do You File a Claim with an Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Our team can walk you through each step in filing a wrongful death claim in Austin, TX. In many cases, your family can expect to:
Contact an Attorney
First, finding an experienced Austin wrongful death lawyer can make the process less stressful and costly. If your loved one has been involved in an accidental death, you should contact a lawyer before proceeding.
Your lawyer will review all the information about your claim. This may include interviewing you about the accident and gathering medical bills and other information necessary to support your claim.
If your attorney determines that you have a claim, they will continue to work with you on your case so that it can be resolved and you can get your life back on track.
Allow the Wrongful Death Lawyer to Investigate
Next, the attorneys, any involved insurance companies, and claims adjusters can review the claim and evaluate the damage. They may consider how the death occurred, where it occurred, whether it was preventable, and any medical costs incurred due to the accident.
An experienced Austin wrongful death attorney can help you navigate this process and clear up any aspects of the investigation phase you do not understand.
Get Your Lawyer to Negotiate Your Claim
Notably, most cases are settled before reaching trial. Before a case can be resolved, it is essential to know what your case is worth. It can take a long time to get a fair settlement. Your lawyer can help you decide if and when to settle your case.
Work with Your Lawyer at the Hearing
In the unlikely event that your case goes to trial, the judge will conduct the fact-finding by listening to testimony by witnesses and reviewing relevant documents and exhibits. Your Austin wrongful death lawyer will support you throughout the entirety of your claim.
What Compensation Do You Get for a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are three main kinds of damages that a plaintiff may recover from a wrongful death case in Austin. These damages include:
Economic Damages in Austin
Lawyers often calculate economic damages in dollars and cents with a considerable degree of precision. Medical expenses represent one kind of recoverable economic damage. This may include:
- Emergency room visits
- Ambulance or helicopter transportation
- Prescription drug costs
- Surgery expenses
- Rehabilitation or therapy expenses
- Any other medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident
It also includes any financial support the deceased would have provided the plaintiff during a typical life expectancy. Most often, this is the deceased’s potential earnings and wages. Lost benefits, such as pensions or insurance, are also recoverable. Find out more with a wrongful death lawyer in Austin, TX.
Non-Economic (Intangible) Damages in Austin
The court usually gives you non-economic or intangible damages to compensate you for any psychological harm. You may be able to receive compensation for the following:
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of love
- Loss of care
Individuals may find it challenging to calculate and predict the value of non-economic damages. Fortunately, an Austin wrongful death lawyer can help you learn more about the value of your claim.
Punitive Damages in Austin
The court uses punitive damage (or exemplary damages) to punish the defendant in cases that involve serious wrongdoing. For example, if the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, punitive damages may be awarded.
Your Austin wrongful death lawyer can assess your family’s losses while providing you with compassionate care and attention.
How Long do You Have for an Austin Wrongful Death Claim?
After an accident, the plaintiff has a limited time to file a lawsuit. This time limit is called the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases varies by state, but it is typically two years unless the case falls into one of the exceptions.
These exceptions include the following:
- The deceased is a minor
- The negligence of the defendants was not known during those two years
- A mental or physical impairment of the plaintiff prevented them from filing a claim during those two years
- Fraudulent activity was involved
You can review the specific time available for your case with a wrongful death attorney in Austin, TX.
Why Choose Our Team After a Fatal Accident in Austin?
Zinda Law Group may be able to help you to obtain financial compensation for the expenses associated with death, such as:
- Medical and funeral bills
- Loss of income
- Lost insurance benefits
- Loss of inheritance
- Pain and suffering
It is crucial to your case that you retain the services of a knowledgeable and compassionate Austin wrongful death lawyer who can help you and your family through this difficult time.
Our Austin wrongful death attorneys understand you are mourning your loved one and adjusting to life without them. However, we believe that with our legal help, you can obtain financial compensation and rest easy knowing that the responsible party has been held accountable.
We treat each case equally, and no matter the size of your case, you will work directly with a lawyer.
Seek the Help of a Zinda Law Group Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
At Zinda Law Group, we are dedicated to our clients and ensure their rights are protected. And as our client, you will pay nothing unless we can win your case. If you believe you may have a wrongful death claim, call or contact us for a free case evaluation.
You can secure understanding legal support today from an Austin wrongful death lawyer.
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)
AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO