San Antonio Wrongful Death Attorneys
Wrongful Death Claims
Losing someone you love is always hard – but if that loss was caused by someone else's negligence, it can hurt even more. At Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C., we understand that no amount of compensation can bring your loved one back. That said, compensation for your loss may ease your burden, hold the negligent party accountable, and help you achieve closure.
Our law firm focuses exclusively on representing claimants in personal injury cases, including the families of fatal accident victims. We are a boutique firm dedicated to the pursuit of justice and committed to exceptional service. Insurance adjusters and their lawyers take note when our firm name is on your claim. They know our reputation for excellence and will treat your case with the respect it deserves.
Compassionate & Knowledgeable Legal Advocates
What is Wrongful Death?
In Texas, wrongful death may be considered a death as the result of another party’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default.” Texas law allows the surviving family members or beneficiaries of a deceased person to seek compensation from the party or parties responsible for the death. These claims typically arise when someone's death is the result of another party's negligence, intentional wrongdoing, or a breach of duty.
In Texas, to succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased individual) generally needs to establish the following key elements:
- Duty of Care: The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person. This duty of care can arise from various circumstances, such as a doctor's duty to provide competent medical care, a driver's duty to follow traffic laws, or a property owner's duty to maintain a safe premises.
- Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached their duty of care. This means showing that the defendant failed to meet the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person or professional would have under similar circumstances.
- Causation: There must be a direct link between the defendant's breach of duty and the death of the deceased person. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant's actions or negligence were a proximate cause of the death.
- Damages: The plaintiff must establish that they suffered actual damages as a result of the wrongful death. In Texas, this typically includes financial losses, such as funeral and medical expenses, lost future income, and loss of companionship and support.
What Are the Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death can occur as a result of various causes, and it typically arises when an individual's death is the direct consequence of someone else's negligence, intentional wrongdoing, or a breach of duty.
Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of wrongful death. These accidents can be the result of negligent or reckless driving, such as speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, or disobeying traffic laws.
- Medical Malpractice: When healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or hospitals, provide substandard care, misdiagnose a condition, or make surgical errors that lead to a patient's death, it can be considered medical malpractice.
- Product Liability: Defective products, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer goods, can lead to wrongful death if they cause harm or fatalities due to design flaws, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warnings.
- Workplace Accidents: Wrongful deaths may occur in the workplace due to hazardous conditions, lack of safety protocols, or the failure to provide appropriate training and protective equipment. This is particularly common in industries like construction and manufacturing.
- Criminal Activities: Homicide or wrongful death caused by criminal activities, such as assault, robbery, or domestic violence, can result in wrongful death claims, either in conjunction with or separate from criminal charges.
- Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: When elderly or vulnerable individuals suffer from abuse or neglect in nursing homes, leading to their death, it can give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Defective Premises: Inadequate security, poor maintenance, or other property-related issues that contribute to accidents or criminal activities leading to a death can be grounds for a wrongful death claim.
- Recreational Accidents: Wrongful deaths may occur during recreational activities, including sports, amusement parks, or water-related activities, due to negligent supervision or equipment failure.
- Aviation and Maritime Accidents: Airplane and boat accidents can result in wrongful death claims when they occur as a result of negligence, equipment failure, or other factors that could have been prevented.
- Dangerous Pharmaceuticals: The use of dangerous or improperly labeled drugs, or inadequate testing and warnings, can lead to wrongful death when patients suffer fatal consequences as a result.
- Exposure to Toxic Substances: Long-term exposure to hazardous materials, such as asbestos, lead, or environmental pollutants, can lead to serious health conditions and wrongful death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
A wrongful death claim can be filed by the deceased’s:
In some cases, the deceased person's personal representative or executor of the estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate and the beneficiaries.
It is important to note the difference between a wrongful death claim, the loss suffered on behalf of the individual (i.e., surviving children, spouse, parents), versus a survival claim, the loss suffered by the decedent (i.e., the pain, suffering, mental anguish endured by the deceased as the result of the injury/death).
A survival claim may be filed on the decedent’s behalf by the surviving heirs to the decedent, if no administration of the estate is required, or if such administration of the estate is required, then the executor/administrator of their estate may file the claim.
Who Cannot File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim cannot be filed by:
- Foster parents
- Biological children that have been adopted legally by another party
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Texas?
Typically the statute of limitations is two years, but may be longer or shorter depending on the nature of the claims (e.g., governmental entities, contract disputes, products liability claims, and facts that may indicate tolling or extension of the statute). Because specifics details of your situation may increase or decrease this time frame, you should file the claim or speak with a San Antonio wrongful death attorney about it as soon as possible.
What Type of rewards are associated with wrongful death compensation?
Wrongful death beneficiaries may receive two different types of awards.
- Actual Damages: Actual damages are compensation for financial losses that are a result of the death such as medical bills, funeral expenses and other related costs. Actual damages can also include lost wages.
- Exemplary Damages: Exemplary damages payments in cases where the Defendant is found to have been grossly negligent and should pay damages in order to deter/punish such conduct.
How We Can Serve Your Family
Whether your loved one was killed in a workplace accident, on the road in a car accident, or by a defective product, we can thoroughly investigate the incident and diligently pursue your claim to help you get fair compensation. Our San Antonio wrongful death attorneys will ensure that your losses are valued accurately and that you receive punitive damages in cases involving serious wrongdoing.
Whether in the courtroom or at the negotiating table, we fight for what's fair. Our team has decades of combined experience in building strong cases for our clients. We have the knowledge and resources to handle complex, high-value cases and to pursue them as far as possible.
Our San Antonio wrongful death lawyers are exceptional litigators, and we work with a network of professionals who can serve as expert witnesses when necessary. We are often able to achieve favorable results in a cost-effective manner through settlements – though we will not be intimidated by the opposition and we are not afraid to go to trial if necessary.
Birth Injury $7,620,000
Birth injury involving hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (2022) Contingency Fee: $3,048,000.00 Reimbursable Expenses: $161,503.71 Net to Client: $4,410,496.29
Birth Injury $7,000,000
Birth injury involving hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (2020) Contingency Fee: $2,800,000.00 Reimbursable Expenses: $75,578.00 Net to Client: $4,124,421.00
Birth Injury $5,750,000
Birth injury involving hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (2014) Contingency Fee: $1,786,738.72 Reimbursable Expenses: $170,000.00 Net to Client: $3,396,261.28
Construction Accident Death $3,600,000
Dangerous work conditions resulting in death (2015) Contingency Fee: $1,440,000.00 Case Expenses: $125,000.00 Net to Client: $2,035,000.00
Failure to timely diagnose aortic clot causing paralysis (2023) Contingency Fee: $1,380,000.00 Reimbursable Expenses: $274,988.73 Net to Client: $1,795,011.27
Trucking Accident $3,000,000
Trucking accident resulting in death (2015) Contingency Fees: $1,000,000.00 Case Expenses: $93,455.68 Net to Client $1,906,544.32
Surgical Error $2,845,730.83
Surgical errors resulting in drop foot (2022) Contingency Fee: $1,138,292.33 Reimbursable Expenses: $51,291.24 Net to Client: $1,656,147.26
Brain Aneurysm $1,820,000
Failure to diagnose ruptured brain aneurysm in the Emergency Department resulting in serious injury (2020) Contingency fee: $712,090.00 Reimbursable expenses: $157.285.61 Net to client: $950,624.39
Back Surgery Paralysis $1,600,000
Negligence during back surgery resulting in paralysis (2014) Contingency Fee: $640,000.00 Case Expenses: $170,000.00 Net to Client: $790,000.00
Bowel Leak $1,440,033
Failure to treat bowel leak resulting in a colostomy and drop foot Contingency Fee: $576,013.41 Reimbursable Expenses: $90,033.53 Net to Client: $773,986.60
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