2018

Wrongful Death

A claim for wrongful death describes a cause of action that may be brought be the heirs of the decedent (the person who passed away). In its most basic form, wrongful death is when someone dies because of the actions of another person. Fatal automobile accidents, botched surgeries, even rock climbing accidents can all lead to wrongful death claims.

One purpose of a wrongful death case is to compensate the heirs for the harm or damages they personally suffered as a result of the death. Generally, in a wrongful death claim, the heirs may recover for loss of consortium, loss of comfort and society, and the value of the contributions the decedent would have made to the heirs’ support education, training, and care. This last section is sometimes described as lost wages, but that’s not entirely correct. Because wrongful death is focused on the survivors, that section actually deals with what percentage of the decedent’s earnings could have been passed on to the survivors.

The damages for wrongful death are the damages of the heirs which occur because of the wrongful death. They are not damages that were sustained by the decedent. Those may be recovered as well, but in a separate action known as a survivorship claim. These two claims are closely related, but focus on different aspects of the law.

Ironically, the survivorship action focuses on the person who died while the wrongful death claim is for the living.

If you believe you have a wrongful death claim it is important that you act quickly. Waiting too long can impair your attorney’s ability to investigate and develop your case, but it could also completely end things before they even start. Texas has a two year statute of limitations on wrongful death cases. This means that a wrongful death claim mud the brought within 2 years or it can never be pursued. The time starts running upon the death of the victim.

But why wait at all? Most wrongful death attorneys offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and explain your rights. Obviously I hope you will contact the wrongful death lawyers at our firm, but whatever you decide, please see someone sooner than later.

How to Attach a Roof

John built an addition to his barn on his property. Two years later, the new roof blew off and cut a power line on the neighbor’ property which sparked a fire consuming outbuildings, fences, corrals, trees, a field, and personal property. The neighbor sued for negligent construction of the roof, alleging that he should have used “storm collars” to secure the roof in high winds.

The case proceeded to trial and each party introduced expert testimony. The neighbor’s expert testified that he always used storm collars in windy areas and believed that the lack of collars was not reasonable and prudent, rendering the roof insufficient. On John’s behalf, a wood science expert testified that while storm collars are commonly used in windy areas, the fact that John had used 550 nails to secure the roof was significant. He believed it would have required winds of 100-105 mph to lift the roof, compared to 90 mph which was the standard.

The trial judge, gave the following instruction to the jury:

Negligence is not proven merely because someone later demonstrates that there would have been a better way. Reasonable care does not require prescience nor is it measured with the benefit of hindsight.

The neighbor objected to the instruction, claiming that it was cumulative, unnecessary, and a comment on the evidence. The Judge over ruled the objection and the jury returned a verdict in John’s favor.

The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that jurors could have reasonably inferred from the instruction that the testimony of both experts as to the effect that storm collars make better roofs should be disregarded. The majority held that jurors following this instructions could ahve concluded that they were obligated to disregard much of the evidence, instead of using their own sense of which evidence to accept and which to reject.

Justices dissented on the grounds that the instruction was not an incorrect statement of negligence law and had previously been held proper in a  negligence case.

Car Accident Lawyers

After a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, injury victims deserve full compensation in a timely manner. At Our Law Office, our car accident lawyers will help secure the compensation you deserve in serious injury claims. We look at aspects such as future medical treatment, physical therapy, medical equipment, prescription drugs, lost earnings, and other factors. If you’ve been involved in a traffic accident call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

We view the client-attorney relationship as a partnership. We provide professional legal advice and help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve. And more than that, we talk to you throughout the process. Instead of handling your claim without your input, we consider you vital to every step of the process. It really is a team effort.

Automobile, truck, and bus accidents happen every day. But when they happen to you, or to someone you know, they change lives. And car accidents may involve more than determining fault. Your case may involve issues such as determining insurance coverage, medical expenses, wage loss and uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. We also work with your doctors to keep your case moving smoothly, and to be certain that you receive compensation for all of your injuries, including pain and suffering, wage losses, property damages and other claims.

We know that car crashes, motorcycle wrecks, and ATV accidents change hundreds of lives every year. Victims may be killed or suffer a debilitating injury, such as traumatic brain injury, brain damage, spinal cord injury, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and paralysis.