Losing a loved one is one of the most painful experiences anyone can go through. The pain is even worse when their death was caused by someone else’s negligence. In such cases, families may be entitled to file a wrongful death suit to obtain financial compensation for their loss.
But what happens if criminal charges are not filed? Can you still file a wrongful death suit in Texas? The answer is yes, and in this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about filing a wrongful death suit with the help of an experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer.
The Legal Definition of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe a situation where someone dies due to the negligence of another person. It can occur as a result of:
- medical malpractice
- car accidents
- truck accidents
- workplace accidents
- defective products.
In Texas, wrongful death is defined as the death of one person caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another. This means that if someone’s careless behavior causes the death of another person, they may be held liable in court.
It’s important to note that not all deaths are considered wrongful deaths under the law. For example, if someone dies from an unforeseeable accident that couldn’t have been prevented even with reasonable care and attention, it wouldn’t qualify as a wrongful death case.
If you believe your loved one has died due to another’s negligence or intentional actions and you’re considering filing a wrongful death suit in Texas, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer who can evaluate your case and provide guidance on how best to proceed.
Your Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer Does Not Have to Prove Intent
When it comes to wrongful death suits, many people assume that the lawyer needs to prove intent on behalf of the defendant. However, this is not the case. Your Houston wrongful death lawyer does not have to prove intent for you to win your case.
In a civil lawsuit like a wrongful death suit, the burden of proof is much lower than in a criminal trial. In fact, all your lawyer has to do is show that it’s more likely than not that someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused your loved one’s death.
This means that even if there were no criminal charges filed against the person responsible for your loved one’s death, you can still file a wrongful death suit and potentially win compensation.
It also means that if someone causes an accidental death due to their carelessness or disregard for safety protocols, they can still be held accountable under civil law.
Don’t let misconceptions about what constitutes “intent” prevent you from seeking justice. With the right legal representation by your side every step of the way, you may be able to obtain financial compensation through a successful wrongful death suit.
Wrongful Death Suits Are Civil Actions Governed by Civil Statutes
When a person dies due to the negligence or intentional actions of another individual, a wrongful death suit can be filed. This type of legal action is designed to hold the responsible party accountable and compensate the surviving family members for their loss.
It’s important to note that wrongful death suits are civil actions governed by Chapter 71 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. By contrast, the offenses of manslaughter or murder are governed by Chapter 19 of the Penal Code.
This means that they are separate from any criminal charges that may be filed against the responsible party. In fact, it is possible for a wrongful death suit to proceed even if there are no criminal charges involved.
The burden of proof in a wrongful death suit is lower than in criminal cases since intent does not have to be proven. Instead, your Houston wrongful death lawyer will need to demonstrate that the defendant was negligent or acted recklessly, resulting in the victim’s untimely demise.
The Purpose of a Wrongful Death Suit Is to Obtain Financial Compensation for the Family
The primary purpose of a wrongful death suit is to obtain financial compensation for the family members left behind. Losing a loved one can be emotionally, mentally, and financially devastating. The expenses related to funeral costs, medical bills, and loss of income can quickly add up and put immense pressure on surviving family members.
By filing a wrongful death suit, families may be able to receive compensation that covers some or all of these expenses. This can alleviate some of the financial burden caused by their loved one’s untimely death.
It’s important to note that there will be no sentencing to jail or suspension of any rights for the defendant. The purpose of this legal action is to compensate the deceased person’s family. A civil court has no authority to give punishments related to deprivation of freedom or rights.
You Can Win the Suit Even If Authorities Do Not File Criminal Charges
One common misconception about wrongful death suits is that criminal charges must be filed for the family to have a chance of winning. However, this is not true. A wrongful death suit is a civil action and operates on different statutes than criminal cases.
In a criminal case, the goal is to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which can be difficult to do. But in a civil case like wrongful death, the standard of proof is lower – preponderance of evidence. This means your Houston wrongful death lawyer does not have to prove intent or even negligence on part of the defendant beyond reasonable doubt.
Moreover, it’s important to note that authorities may choose not to file criminal charges due to lack of evidence or other reasons. This doesn’t mean you don’t have grounds for filing a wrongful death lawsuit if you believe someone else was responsible for your loved one’s untimely passing.
Let a Compassionate Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer Guide You in This Difficult Time
The aftermath of a loved one’s death is painful, confusing and full of unanswered questions. It is also a time when you start to feel the financial strain of funeral and burial expenses, the loved one’s lost wages and, possibly, medical care bills for the period when doctors fought to save their life.
At such an emotional time, having a skilled Houston wrongful death lawyer by your side who understands what you’re going through can make all the difference. We will work in the background to build a solid case and only get in touch with you when necessary. However, you will always have the answers you need, whenever you want to know about the progress of your case.
We offer a free case review to each new client and will represent you on a contingency fee basis if we take your case. Call us to schedule a meeting with an experienced and compassionate Houston wrongful death lawyer: 346-220-1821!