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Katy, TX Wrongful Death Lawyer

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When a family member passes away due to another person’s or entity’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default,” it is devastating and overwhelming. While no amount of compensation can bring back a loved one, it can help ease the financial burden and provide some sense of justice. That is why it’s essential to work with an experienced Katy wrongful death attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

A Katy wrongful death lawyer from the Law Office of Shane McClelland, PLLC possesses the knowledge and experience necessary to handle your wrongful death case, from gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court. They will also be able to help you understand your legal rights and the compensation you may be entitled to and guide you through the process every step of the way.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Katy, TX?

In Texas, a wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action filed when a person dies due to another person’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default. Texas law allows only the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to hold the responsible party accountable and compensate the surviving family members for their losses. 

Under Texas law, if the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, or parents do not bring the wrongful death lawsuit within three months after the injured person’s death, then the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The executor or administrator manages the deceased person’s estate, ensuring that required debts are paid and assets are distributed to the proper beneficiaries.

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas is two years from the date of the cause of action arises, so it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible to protect your rights and those of your loved ones.

Texas has another law called a survival action that is similar to a personal injury lawsuit that survives the deceased’s death. In a survival action, the heirs, legal representatives, and estate of the deceased person can pursue compensation for the personal injuries the deceased endured. The damages in a survival action vary from those available in a wrongful death lawsuit. To read about the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and survival lawsuit, click to read our helpful article here.

Proving Fault in a Wrongful Death Case 

A plaintiff proves liability in a wrongful death lawsuit in the same manner as other forms of personal injury cases in Katy. The main difference between a wrongful death case and other cases based on another’s negligence is the complexity of the law involved, and you must provide that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s untimely death. The courts and jurors consider these factors when determining whether another’s negligence led to the plaintiff’s death, including: 

  • Duty of care: The defendant had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care toward the deceased. This duty of care applies to all individuals, corporations, or government entities.
  • Breach of duty: The defendant breached the duty of care. Some ways to show the defendant breached their duties is by showing the defendant committed a wrongful act, was neglectful, their actions were careless, unskillful, or were a default of their duties.
  • Causation and resulting damages: The defendant’s breach of his duties caused the victim’s death. There must be direct causation between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s death.

To prove these elements, a plaintiff may use various forms of evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, expert opinions, medical records, police reports, and other relevant documentation and evidence. 

Recovering Compensation

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff can seek compensation for a variety of damages, including:

  • Loss of the care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, and reasonable contributions of a monetary value, the wrongful death beneficiaries would have received from the deceased had he lived
  • Loss of companionship, society, comfort, and love
  • Mental anguish suffered
  • Lost inheritance, including future earnings the deceased was expected to earn had she not died
  • Exemplary damages when the defendant acted wilfully or grossly negligent; exemplary damages are designed to punish the responsible party for particularly outrageous or egregious behavior and deter the same behavior in others.

Your attorney understands that sometimes financial compensation is the only viable route moving forward after your loved one’s accident, which is why we fight so diligently for a worthy settlement. 

Factors Affecting the Duration of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death lawsuits are complex. The time it takes to settle a wrongful death lawsuit depends on several factors. For instance, if the claim involves multiple parties and a large amount of evidence, it may take longer than a case with fewer parties and less evidence. The availability of witnesses and evidence can significantly impact the speed at which the case moves forward. If witnesses are readily available to provide testimony and evidence is easily obtainable, the process may move along more quickly. The process may be slowed if witnesses are challenging to locate or if proof is difficult to gather.

The court’s docket can also play a role in determining the length of time a wrongful death lawsuit takes. Our courts are congested, and your case can take longer than expected to go to trial. 

Why Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Katy?

Hiring a wrongful death attorney can provide you with several benefits. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, guide you through the often-complex legal process of pursuing a wrongful death claim, and other important aspects of your case, including the following:

Negotiating a Settlement

It is important to remember that the insurance company is not your friend. When you attempt to file a claim without the assistance of an attorney, you are running the risk of a low settlement offer or even a denied claim due to blame-shifting. We excel at negotiating settlements in wrongful death cases, allowing you to receive compensation quickly and efficiently. We also take wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, rather than a high hourly rate like other attorneys.

If it comes to it, we offer comprehensive representation in wrongful death cases, including the option to take your case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached. You can be assured that your lawsuit will be thoroughly presented in court to recover the maximum compensation possible.

Consult a Dedicated Katy, TX Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Don’t try to navigate the aftermath of your family member’s wrongful death alone. With the help of a dedicated and compassionate attorney, you are giving yourself the best possible chance at success when filing your claim and recovering compensation for your losses. 

Get the representation you deserve today with the help of Shane McClelland. Call our Katy wrongful death lawyer at (713) 987-7107 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation.


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