Determining Negligence in a Sugar Land Wrongful Death Case

Those who have lost a family member as the result of the carelessness or harmful acts of another person often find themselves confused as to how to seek justice. Many families find they struggle with continuing on with their daily lives without the companionship, care, and financial assistance of their lost loved one. They may also struggle with whether circumstances are enough to bring a lawsuit. An experienced wrongful death attorney from our firm can help families with these questions. By assessing the facts and gathering information, our team can assist those grieving a loved one with determining negligence in a Sugar Land wrongful death case.

Intentional vs. Negligent Conduct

Most wrongful death cases fall into two categories: intentional conduct and negligence. The Texas Wrongful Death Statute allows families and heirs to recover for “wrongful acts, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” that caused a death that could have been prevented. Wrongful acts can be intentional ones, similar to a criminal act, such as assault. Wrongful acts can also be those the law has deemed unnecessarily dangerous such as drinking while driving. When someone engages in those acts, they could be held strictly liable for any harm that results to other people.

However, most wrongful death cases involve the second category, negligence, which the statute refers to as careless or neglectful. Even a failure to act can be considered a form of neglect. For example, the failure to follow hospital procedures to protect a patient from infection can be negligence in a case involving medical malpractice.

Proving Negligence

To meet the negligence part of the statute, an injured person needs to show that the defendant had a duty to the deceased towards their safety and that through their actions or inactions, the deceased was harmed. An injured person must also show that the death of their loved one caused them financial loss, also called damages. These elements are often summed up as duty, breach, causation, and damages and must be proven whenever the basis of the case is negligence, not intentional conduct.

Negligence-based wrongful death cases in Sugar Land usually require the elements to be established in order. For example, a driver owed a pedestrian the duty of care (safe driving). Next, the person filing suit (plaintiff) would have to show that the driver failed to follow their responsibility of safe driving, or that they breached a duty of care. The plaintiff would also have to show that the driver’s unsafe actions are what caused the pedestrian’s death. Finally, plaintiffs would need to show that the pedestrian’s death caused them harm, such as the loss of wages needed to maintain a mortgage or pay a portion of household utilities.

Causation Can Be a Complicated Part of Determining Negligence

When it comes to causation, many cases can get complicated very quickly. This is because unlike intentional acts where it is obvious or foreseeable that a person could get hurt by taking the action, in a negligence case the plaintiff must establish that foreseeability. Also, a plaintiff must show not just that the defendant’s act caused an injury by breaching a duty, but that the breach could cause the kind of injury involved.

Negligence claims can also get complicated where the line between a wrongful action and a family’s loss is not a straight one. For example, this could be the case if the deceased is found to be partially responsible for the accident. In any scenario, our Sugar Land attorneys can use our expertise to assess the facts and determine whether there is provable negligence in a wrongful death case, and help a family establish this in or out of court.

Let Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Help You Assess Your Sugar Land Negligence Case

The legal standards involved with a wrongful death case may seem simple but can be uniquely complex to many families. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney about the circumstances that caused the harm to your loved one so important elements such as foreseeability, causation, and damages are not missed. Our firm can help families in determining negligence in a Sugar Land wrongful death case so that they can pursue their rights in court.

Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC

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Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC
12808 West Airport Blvd
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Sugar Land, TX 77478
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