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Odessa Wrongful Death Lawyer

Odessa Wrongful Death Lawyer

Most of us cannot imagine the heartache of losing a cherished family member due to someone else’s negligence. Medical bills often compound the pain, along with unexpected funeral expenses and the sudden absence of their financial support.

You shouldn’t bear the burden of expenses resulting from your relative’s untimely passing. Consider consulting an Odessa wrongful death lawyer to explore your right to seek compensation for your losses.

At Barrera Law Group LLC, we understand the impact of losing a loved one. For that reason, we invite you to reach out to our Odessa wrongful death lawyer to learn more about your legal options. Our legal team will tirelessly ensure you receive the compensation and closure you deserve.

Wrongful Death Under Texas Law

According to Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, also known as the Texas Wrongful Death Statute or Texas Wrongful Death Act, the victim’s beneficiaries can bring a wrongful death action against the responsible party if their wrongful actions led to someone’s demise.

In the state of Texas, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the “negligence, carelessness, or intentional act” of another person or entity.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Texas? There are a few eligible individuals who can bring these claims to court. They include:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Biological or adopted children
  • Biological or adoptive parents
  • Personal representative of the deceased’s estate

Causes of Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, numerous scenarios can lead to the death of a loved one. Some of these causes may include:

  • Car accidents: Negligent driving is a common cause of fatal crashes. Speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, or reckless behavior result in loss of life.
  • Medical malpractice: Medical mistakes or errors by healthcare professionals can have severe consequences. These cases may involve misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, medication errors, or inadequate patient care.
  • Workplace accidents: The construction, manufacturing, and transportation industries are susceptible to accident. Often, unsafe work conditions pose a risk to workers on the job. They can fall, experience equipment malfunctions, be exposed to hazardous substances, or suffer from a lack of safety protocols, which can prove fatal.
  • Product defects: Faulty machinery, malfunctioning vehicles, or poorly designed consumer goods can cause lethal injuries. Manufacturers, distributors, or sellers may be held accountable.
  • Intentional acts: Homicide, assault, or other criminal acts can result in wrongful death claims. Often, the criminal proceedings may run parallel to civil wrongful death lawsuits.

Liable Parties in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Sometimes, there may be more than one person or entity responsible for the death of a loved one. Even those who indirectly caused your family member to lose their life could be held liable in a wrongful death lawsuit.

In most cases, the party who conducted themselves in a negligent or wrongful manner will be named. This individual may include:

  • Drivers: If a car accident caused the death due to negligent driving, such as speeding or distracted driving, they may be held responsible.
  • Healthcare professionals: In medical malpractice cases with misdiagnosis or surgical errors, doctors, nurses, or hospitals may be liable.
  • Employers: Unsafe work conditions resulting in fatal accidents leave employers accountable.
  • Manufacturers or distributors: Defective products causing death may result in legal action against the responsible parties.

For those instances where a third party was involved, they could also be listed in the lawsuit. Even though they were not directly involved, their actions led to deadly consequences. Some examples may include:

  • Bar owners: If over-serving alcohol leads to a fatal drunk driving accident, they may be liable.
  • Property owners: All property owners must maintain safe spaces for visitors. If someone dies as a result of neglect of the property, then the owners could be responsible for their death.

If a person’s intentional actions lead to death, it can result in both criminal charges by the state and a wrongful death (civil lawsuit) by the surviving family members.

If you would like to learn more about holding those responsible for your family member’s death, contact an Odessa wrongful death lawyer today. At Barrera Law Group LLC, we are here to help answer all your questions.

Proving Negligence

Wrongful death claims center around negligence. If it were not for a person or entity’s reckless or negligent actions, the victim would still be alive. In any case, four elements must be established:

  • Duty of care: This shows that the defendant owed the victim a legal duty of care. For example, a doctor has a duty to provide competent medical treatment, or an employer has a duty to maintain a safe workplace for employees.
  • Breach of Duty: Once the duty of care is established, the next step is to prove that the defendant failed to meet this duty. The breach of duty can occur due to reckless or intentional actions.
  • Causation: This connects the breach of duty directly to the accident or incident that led to the victim’s death. Causation proves that the defendant’s actions lead to a fatal outcome. For example, if a defective product caused an accident, leading to a fatality, causation has been established.
  • Damages: Finally, the victim must’ve died as a direct result of the breach of duty. These damages cover not only the loss of life but also any pain and suffering experienced by the victim before their untimely death.

By demonstrating these elements, surviving family members or the deceased’s estate can seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. If you would like to learn more about the possibility of filing a claim, contact us at the Barrera Law Group LLC.

What Damages Are Recoverable?

In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to seek compensation for expenses and losses related to the victim’s death, such as:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical expenses before their passing
  • Lost income and financial support from the deceased
  • Loss of consortium and companionship for the emotional impact on surviving family members
  • Pain and suffering endured by your loved one before their death
  • Punitive damages if there was gross negligence or intentional harm

Is There a Time Limit to File?

Any surviving family members have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, as per Texas statute 16.0031. There are a few exceptions to the rule. For example, if the cause of death was unknown, then the clock does not start until it is determined that negligence played a role in the person’s death.

Also, the statute of limitation may be paused when minor children are eligible to file lawsuits. Usually, they can file once they reach adulthood.

There are also special circumstances in any case. An Odessa wrongful death lawyer from Barrera Law Group LLC will be able to help determine the options for your case. They will also ensure that you meet the deadline for your lawsuit.

Let Us Handle Your Wrongful Death Case in Odessa

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is an emotionally taxing experience that no one should have to go through. At Barrera Law Group LLC, we understand the unimaginable grief and sense of loss after this tragedy.

Our team of compassionate and experienced attorneys is dedicated to providing you with the support and legal guidance you need during this difficult time.

We have decades of experience representing clients who have lost loved ones in untimely and tragic circumstances. Our goal is to help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve while providing the support you need during this challenging time.

If you have recently lost a loved one and are unsure of what to do next, please contact our law firm and schedule an appointment with an Odessa wrongful death lawyer.

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