This is the next post in my series on issues which arise in Laredo, Texas wrongful death cases. My last article discussed the need for discovery in a wrongful death action. It is important to understand that cases against a defendant must be built through the methodical accumulation of evidence. Discovery is the process by which this accumulation of evidence occurs. It is important that you hire an experienced attorney to assist you as such matters are incredibly complex. In this article I will discuss issues which arise when such cases involve a commercial defendant. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer. We serve much of south Texas.
Commercial defendants can be held liable for a wrongful death caused by their employee or contractor
Texas is like other states in the country in that it holds employers liable for the actions of their employees and contractors. This liability extends to a wrongful death caused by an individual who is acting within the scope of their employment. In such a case, the loved ones of the deceased may seek damages for their distress and loss of companionship. They may also pursue a “survival action” to recover damages for pain which the deceased suffered, future wages which would have been earned, and other such damages. They may seek these damages from the employee as well as the employer.
The foregoing concepts are best explained by way of example. Suppose Joe, sadly, loses his life when his car is hit by a semi truck. Joe’s family would be able to bring an action against the driver of the truck as well as the company which employs the driver (typically the owner of the truck). The family would be entitled to compensation for their grief, pain and suffering which Joe endured between the accident and his death, reimbursement for Joe’s medical bills, and for lost wages equating to Joe’s future lifetime earnings. Texas’ comparative fault laws would apply in such an instance. This means that, for example, if the jury finds that total damages equate to two million dollars, but Joe was thirty percent responsible for the accident, then the family would receive $1.4 million ($2 million in damages minus 30%). It is important to remember that how a jury will rule in any given situation will always depend on the specific facts of the case.
Surviving family members should retain a qualified attorney to assist them in a Laredo wrongful death case
Wrongful death cases can quickly become complicated for a variety of reasons. These complications become even more extreme when a commercial defendant is involved. The presence of a commercial entity means that there will be several layers added to the discovery process. It also means that the surviving family members could pursue additional causes of action, such as negligent hiring and supervision, which would typically not be present in other cases. Failing to include all possible causes of action, or otherwise improperly handling the case, can result in the surviving loved ones not receiving all of the compensation to which they are entitled. Retaining a qualified attorney can help to ensure that your case is handled correctly.
If your family has lost a loved one then contact my office today to speak with a Laredo wrongful death lawyer. My office will aggressively protect your rights against a commercial defendant and we believe in valuing people over the profits of a corporation. We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service and we will make sure that you know what to expect as the case moves forward. Contact us online or by telephone today.