Wrongful Death Attorney in San Antonio, TX
Death is an inevitable part of life. But when an unexpected death happens due to another person’s negligence, it can be devastating and affect our every waking moment. Our shock and grief may prevent us from thinking clearly and pursuing timely legal action. A wrongful death attorney San Antonio takes on this burden so you can focus on healing from your tragic loss.
Please call Janicek Law at 210-366-4949 if the negligent acts of another person claimed your loved one’s life. The legal team at our law offices can help you determine whether you have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
A San Antonio wrongful death lawyer at our firm understands that this is a difficult time in your life. We strive to keep the process simple while getting you the compensation you deserve. We offer free case evaluations to all potential clients.
What is Wrongful Death?
A death caused by another person’s misconduct or negligence is considered wrongful death. Victims’ families can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Successfully litigated wrongful death lawsuits compensate surviving friends or relatives for funeral expenses, lost wages, and loss of companionship or consortium.
How Does Texas Define Wrongful Death?
Section 71.002 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code defines wrongful death as someone losing their life because of another person’s behavior that is a “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” The law states that any person who causes the death of another in these circumstances is liable for monetary damages.
Per the statute, survivors can seek compensation because the deceased person would have grounds to do so had they survived. A wrongful death claim is basically a personal injury lawsuit filed by survivors on behalf of the dead.
Is Wrongful Death a Crime?
Wrongful death is technically not a crime. Instead, it is a civil matter initiated to hold an at-fault person or entity liable for economic or financial losses.
Law enforcement authorities can pursue criminal charges against the offender, but that matter would be separate from a wrongful death lawsuit.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in San Antonio
The cause of wrongful death can be any act or behavior that qualifies as a breach of duty. Our legal team at Janicek Law frequently helps our San Antonio clients win various types of wrongful death cases, including medical malpractice and car accident injuries.
Listed below are examples of common wrongful death cases that we handle.
Often, drivers and passengers suffer severe or deadly injuries in motor vehicle accidents. Another driver, auto manufacturer, or other at fault parties might be liable if their negligence caused an auto accident death.
A medical professional can face a wrongful death lawsuit if their failure to meet proper standards of care (AKA medical malpractice) results in a patient’s death.
If you believe that your loved one died due to hazardous work conditions, a San Antonio wrongful death lawyer at Janicek Law can help you determine whether you have grounds to sue. Tragically, construction accidents and other industrial jobs can cause wrongful death.
A manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer might be responsible if a defective product claimed a life.
Common types of dangerous or defective products include cars, car parts, children's toys, beauty products, medications, medical devices, contaminated foods, electronics, and so much more.
When a property hazard causes a visitor’s death, you can file a legal claim for compensation against the property owner.
If intentional misconduct such as murder or manslaughter causes a wrongful death, the defendant may face criminal charges alongside a wrongful death action.
No matter what tragedy claimed the life of your loved one, Janicek Law can help you pursue a personal injury claim for their wrongful death. Please contact us for a free case review.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in San Antonio?
There are rules in many states regarding who may file a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one. These are usually those relatives closest to the deceased, like a surviving spouse or adult offspring. But this right may pass to extended family members if there are no immediate family members.
Spouses, parents, and children may file wrongful death claims in Texas. Adopted children and adoptive parents may file as well. Lawsuits may be filed separately or as a group.
If none of these individuals file within three months, a representative for the deceased person’s estate may file instead. In the absence of a personal representative in the will, the courts generally assign one. As long as surviving family members don’t ask them not to, this person may file a claim.
Texas law currently forbids siblings, grandparents, or same-sex spouses to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of their deceased loved one.
Do I Have a Valid Wrongful Death Claim?
Negligence must be present in order to file a wrongful death claim. There are four elements of negligence that a legal team must prove in each case: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim
Under the law, negligence occurs when someone breaches their duty of care to another which causes injuries or death. The liable party may be held financially responsible for the damages.
Your Texas wrongful death lawyer must prove that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care and breached this duty recklessly, intentionally, or negligently. They must also demonstrate that the breach caused the accident and your loved one’s death.
Evidence of negligence may include witness statements, police/accident reports, and expert witness testimony.
The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Janicek Law take on the burden of your legal claim so that you can grieve and heal.
What is Breach of Duty?
A person’s conduct that fails to meet the standard of care of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances is a breach of duty.
What Damages Can I Recover?
All family members affected by the death of their loved one can receive compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. A judge or jury determines the amount each relative receives.
Relatives can receive economic damages, non-economic damages, or both in a wrongful death lawsuit. These damages may compensate for:
- Medical bills
- Lost earning capacity or wages, household support, and services
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship/consortium
- Physical suffering and pain
- Mental anguish
In addition, a judge or jury may award punitive damages for the sake of punishing the negligent party.
Each wrongful death claim is unique. A case’s specific facts and circumstances determine the type and amount of wrongful death damages available. Your wrongful death attorney San Antonio will investigate the details of your case to determine the types of compensation you could receive.
Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Taxable?
Typically, a wrongful death settlement is not subject to taxation. However, punitive damages and compensation for lost wages are taxable. Be sure to talk with your wrongful death attorney about which types of compensation are taxable.
Who Can Be Held Responsible For a Wrongful Death Case In San Antonio?
Determining the responsible party depends on the circumstances and facts of your case. One or more defendants may be responsible for your loved one’s fatal accident. Possible at-fault persons or entities may include an intoxicated driver, negligent healthcare professional, or even a careless manufacturer.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
A personal injury claim in Texas is subject to deadlines known as statutes of limitations. These exist to encourage people to bring their claims forward in a timely manner.
Claimants have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a wrongful death suit.
You should contact a San Antonio wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Your case may be dismissed entirely if you wait longer than 2 years to file.
How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer in San Antonio Help?
It is a complex endeavor to prove that your loved one lost their life due to someone else’s negligent actions. Retaining the counsel of a law firm that has extensive knowledge and experience in handling wrongful death claims will increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
An experienced wrongful death attorney gathers evidence, files all necessary paperwork, and fights to get you the maximum compensation for your tremendous loss.
Janicek Law understands that this is a difficult time for you emotionally, physically, and financially. You need someone fighting for your loved one’s justice and taking on this burden while you and your family heal.