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Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers

The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event that can be impactful on the entire family. We are very sorry if you’re here because you’ve lost a loved one in an accident. We can’t imagine what you’re going through.

When another individual or entity causes the loss in question, the situation becomes more convoluted. You may not realize that holding the responsible party accountable for their action is possible through a wrongful death claim. Doing so requires the assistance of a Houston wrongful death lawyer, someone who knows the ropes of this practice area and can ensure your family gets the justice they deserve for such a devastating outcome.

Sutliff & Stout has over a decade of experience helping families through this nightmare. We understand the turmoil caused by this magnitude of the loss, and our compassionate team is here to assist during your grief.

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    What Is Wrongful Death?

    When someone is killed because of the negligence of another person or entity, surviving family members may seek to hold the responsible party accountable by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

    What sets this claim type apart from others is that the victimized person is no longer living and thus cannot pursue compensation for what happened to them.

    But their loved ones can – and should. A wrongful death claim can mitigate some of the stress associated with the sudden loss of a loved one, especially where a shift in financial circumstances is concerned.

    A wrongful death claim can be filed even if the individual in question is already being pursued accountability in criminal courts. This does not stop loved ones from doing the same in the civil portion of the legal system to get the same level of accountability for a loss of this magnitude.

    Reasons for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas

    There are many different reasons why family members would want to seek a wrongful death claim, including financial compensation and a sense of justice for their loss. Some losses that may be compensated if you prevail in a wrongful death case include:

    • Lost financial support and earning capacity of the deceased;
    • Lost services and support the deceased would have provided;
    • Lost comfort and companionship;
    • Lost inheritance that would have existed had the victim lived a longer life;
    • Emotional and mental pain and suffering, distress, and anguish of the surviving family members.

    Because many of these losses cannot be objectively quantified, the amount available for recovery in a wrongful death action can vary significantly from case to case.

    To speak with a qualified Houston wrongful death attorney about your case, contact Sutliff & Stout. We invite you to email us or text, or call our office anytime, 24/7, at 281-942-8694.

    Reasons for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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    • Car Accident
    • Truck Accident
    • Wrongful Death

    Possible Damages from a Wrongful Death Claim

    Among the reasons to file a Houston wrongful death claim is the damages that can help the family recover after a loss. No amount of money will bring back your loved one, but compensation for the incident can give the family the necessary time to heal. The term “damages” refers to a sum of money awarded by a court to compensate someone for an injury or death. In Texas, wrongful death damages allows victims to recover many different types of damages, including the death of their deceased family member’s income and financial support, the loss of the deceased family member’s companionship, the loss of an expected inheritance, and mental anguish and suffering.

    Material Damages

    This form of compensation can help to cover the cost of expenses associated with the wrongful death. It might include covering funeral expenses, loss of wages for the deceased and compensation for the loss of future benefits. This compensation type could also be used to cover medical expenses.

    Non-Material Damages

    Non-material compensation covers the expenses associated with a loss that don’t necessarily have value.

    Satisfied Client Stories

    Sutliff & Stout took an interest in me as a person, not just dollar sign..

    I was in a terrible car wreck, one that could have ruined me considering today’s economy. After searching far and wide, I finally found Sutliff & Stout. Their character and high morals were exemplified in my legal representation against huge power company. Through their expertise, I received proper medical care plus the money I needed to pay for future medical treatment and secure my financial future.

    - Judy J.
    Sutliff & Stout took an interest in me as a person, not just dollar sign..

    Most lawyers will take cases for the money. Sutliff & Stout took an interest in me as a person and not just dollar sign. If you want attorneys who will do their best, and go the extra mile, Sutliff & Stout are perfect for you. They took care of everything after my personnel basket transfer accident, and their efforts made sure that my family would be taken care of in the future.

    - Tony N.
    I felt like I was talking to old friends…

    When I met Hank and Graham of Sutliff & Stout, I felt like I was talking to old friends. We met, discussed my case and they were off and running. After promptly filing a lawsuit on my behalf, they even helped find a good doctor for me. Sutliff & Stout were very interested in getting the justice I deserved. They were also very attentive to any questions or theories I had.

    - Danny H.
    Sutliff & Stout fought to make my situation a bit more bearable…

    Sutliff & Stout immediately started working on my case and resolved it as soon as they could, because they understood I had been through enough after the death of my husband. Although a number of lawyers refused to help me because of the risk and cost involved in my case, Sutliff & Stout boldly took on my case and obtained a settlement that secured my economic future and, thereby, lessening the load on my shoulders after the accident. Where the other lawyers turned their backs, Sutliff & Stout fought to make my situation a bit more bearable.

    - Linda F.
    These guys are tireless and fierce advocates…

    Having never been in a car accident before, I assumed the insurance company for the 18-wheeler would take care of everything, and do so honestly. I was wrong. The insurance company refused to help me with my medical bills and wouldn’t treat me fairly. That’s when I contacted Sutliff & Stout. Thankfully, they stepped into the picture and made sure that I was treated fairly and with respect. These guys are tireless and fierce advocates for their clients. Sutliff & Stout provided clear explanations at every step, outlined my options, and carried out any decision I made. I was very fortunate to have found this firm.

    - Shannon H.
    Sutliff & Stout were there for me…

    I had an accident with an 18-wheeler. All I wanted was for my medical bills to be taken care of but the company would not help. Sutliff & Stout came to my house, sat down with me and discussed my options. I liked them immediately. I’d never been involved in an accident with a vehicle that massive before. It was scary, and I didn’t know what to do. Sutliff & Stout were there for me, and they helped me map a strategy to achieve all of my goals. I highly recommend Sutliff & Stout for any legal matters you may have.

    - Matt K.
    Sutliff & Stout made sure that I was always informed and up to speed…

    My daughter and I sustained a significant loss due to a defective tire. I didn’t know where to turn to, until I found Sutliff & Stout. Sutliff & Stout were very knowledgeable about the law as it pertained to my case. They were definitely client driven, understanding, and aggressive. Sutliff & Stout made sure that I was always informed and up to speed on any of my case developments and I was never out of the loop on any aspect of my case.

    - Kendall W.
    I would recommend their services to anyone…

    When I was rear-ended by a commercial truck, I needed an aggressive attorney to pursue the trucking company responsible for putting the driver on the road. Sutliff & Stout cared about me enough to help me find quality medical assistance for my neck injury. I would recommend their services to anyone in need of help.

    - Shavona W.
    Sutliff & Stout still got me the compensation necessary to treat all my injuries…

    Despite all of my prior medical problems, Sutliff & Stout still managed to win me the compensation necessary to treat all my injuries. After my accident, I was able to recover my lost wages and received a great amount of compensation for my losses. I have easily recommended Sutliff & Stout to my family and friends a number of times, and highly recommend them to you as well. Thanks again.

    - Doyle A.
    I will always go to Sutliff & Stout…

    I suffered a neck injury that kept me out of work for a long time. The good news was that I didn’t have any bills afterwards; even my hospital and my ambulance bills were paid for after my accident. The insurance company settled once Sutliff & Stout boldly showed them we were prepared to try the case. I will always go to Sutliff & Stout.

    - Susan C.
    They were patient, and always made sure I understood everything…

    I never thought I would be in a situation where I needed an attorney. I actually never thought I would be in a dredging accident. I found Sutliff & Stout through a friend and I turned everything over to them. They walked me through all the steps, and I asked loads of questions, but they were patient, and always made sure I understood everything. I am really happy that I chose such a good law firm to help me.

    - Anthony R.
    Without Sutliff & Stout, I would not have been treated fairly…

    When ten different attorneys gave me the cold shoulder, Sutliff & Stout warmly accepted me and my case. When I thought there was no hope for me, Hank and Graham worked extremely hard, for a very long time, in order to put me in a position to convince the city to settle. Without Sutliff & Stout, I would not have been treated fairly and would have significant debts as a result of the collision.

    - Chris F.
    They treated me more as a friend than as a client…

    I cannot thank Sutliff & Stout enough for the way they handled my case in a very professional yet caring manner. They treated me more as a friend than as a client. Their endearing ways in dealing with clients show how much they genuinely care. They resolved my case as soon as possible because they didn’t want me to go through any further hardship after already losing my daughter. In my time of need, Sutliff & Stout was there for me.

    - Daisie M.
    I wouldn’t even dare think of calling any other attorney…

    The Sutliff & Stout Law Firm helped me when I needed it the most with true professionalism and courtesy. After my child was injured at a daycare, Sutliff & Stout helped me make the best decisions possible. I would definitely recommend Sutliff & Stout to anyone that needs legal assistance. I wouldn’t even dare think of calling any other attorney.

    - Cassie F.
    Sutliff & Stout helped me fight back…

    I felt slighted and demoralized after a former associate of mine breached an agreement we made. Maybe the person thought I would just give in, but I didn’t. Sutliff & Stout helped me fight back. Their aggressiveness and hard work pushed the defendant to finally pay the rightful amount before we even went to trial. It’s nice to know there are attorneys out there like Sutliff & Stout that will fight for me.

    - Client prefers to remain anonymous
    We’ll never have to search around for lawyers again, we found our guys…

    Our company received the short end of a very bad business deal. Things were looking bleak financially. We’d never been part of a business deal that had gone so bad. When we met Sutliff & Stout, our worries were put to rest. Their commitment and prioritization produced a $850,000 settlement on our behalf. Things are back to normal, and we are financially secure again thanks to the hard work and know how of Sutliff & Stout. We’ll never have to search around for lawyers again, we found our guys.

    - Client prefers to remain anonymous
    Medical malpractice

    Common Wrongful Death Situations

    Wrongful death can happen in myriad ways. Some of the most common include:

    • Car accidents caused by someone driving impaired or engaging in distracted driving (such as texting)
    • Workplace accidents that result from a lack of training or proper supervision
    • Medical malpractice by a professional who did not follow proper protocols when rendering treatment
    • Fatal slip and fall accidents or accidental drownings that occurred because of negligence on behalf of the property owner
    • Defective products or medications that inadvertently cause a fatality upon use

    Wrongful death situations occur when the situation could have been avoided if the person or entity had not been negligent in the first place. Because the loss is typically a sudden one, family members deserve compensation as their loved one passed through no fault of their own.

    Benefits of Hiring a Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer

    When pursuing a wrongful death claim, the burden of proof is on the family, unfortunately. This means that you have to put forth evidence proving that the loss of your loved one was perpetrated by the negligence or carelessness of the responsible party. This is not always an easy thing to do. Working with a competent and caring legal team can help to overcome this challenge.

    As a top Houston wrongful death lawyer, we are well-versed in doing what it takes to help resolve your claim to your complete satisfaction. At Sutliff & Stout, we go the extra mile to conduct a thorough investigation into the events that led to the loss of your loved one. This includes gathering pertinent witness statements, bringing in experts to render their professional opinions on the matter, and pursuing the responsible party through whatever means we can via the legal system.

    Choose a Top Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer

    Dealing with a wrongful death is stressful enough, which is one of the reasons it is essential to have an excellent legal team on your side. Sutliff & Stout has a reputation for unmatched legal expertise and a commitment to our clients in every case we take. Our clients are our top priority, and getting you the compensation you have the right to receive is an essential part of our responsibility to you.

    A wrongful death should not spell financial ruin for you and your loved ones. You have options. To learn more about how we might be able to help, call (713) 405-1263 or use our online contact form for a free case review.

    Top Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer

    About Our Firm

    Why Choose Sutliff & Stout?

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Wrongful Death FAQs

    Texas law provides the survivors of those wrongfully killed with a path to justice. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, surviving family members can gain financial security as well as a sense of closure in knowing that the negligence of someone is responsible for their loved one’s death will be held accountable by a court of law.

    Following a sudden, tragic death, it is only natural that family members would want to take time to grieve and put back together the pieces of their lives. However, it is important to realize that there is not an unlimited amount of time to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

    Texas law sets out a strict two-year deadline for wrongful death actions, which is called the “statute of limitations.” This deadline is two years from the date of the death–not the date of the incident that caused the death. Therefore, if a victim spent six months in the hospital following a car accident before they succumbed to their injuries, the clock starts running on the date they passed away.

    While two years may seem like a long time, filing for a successful wrongful death claim requires extensive and often complex preparation. The petition filed must meet many different requirements and include enough information for the court to rule that a valid claim exists. The petition must be able to stand up to the inevitable challenges by the other party.

    Therefore, it is important to give a wrongful death attorney enough time to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding a death, identify the correct negligent parties, gather evidence, and skillfully draft a petition. If you suspect you have a possible wrongful death claim, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible so they can begin working on your case.

    The term “damages” refers to a sum of money awarded by a court to compensate someone for an injury or death. In Texas, wrongful death damages allows victims to recover many different types of damages, including the death of their deceased family member’s income and financial support, the loss of the deceased family member’s companionship, the loss of an expected inheritance, and mental anguish and suffering. The family may be able to recover compensatory, punitive, or exemplary damages to penalize the defendant for his or her grossly negligent act.

    The best wrongful death lawyers can help your family understand what types of damages you may be able to recover and the process to file a claim.

    Under Texas law, a survivorship claim is a legal claim made by the decedent’s estate. This type of claim allows the decedent’s estate to recover the costs of medical bills, funeral expenses or burial expenses, and pain and suffering estate of the deceased person endured prior to his or her death. A survivorship claim is different than a wrongful death lawsuit. A Houston wrongful death attorney can explain whether a survivorship claim is right for your family.

    A procedural rule known as a statute of limitations requires you to file a lawsuit within a certain period of time. Typically, family members must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date on which their loved one died. In some cases, this time limit is measured from the date on which your loved one’s untimely death occurred.

    Because the two years statute can prevent your wrongful death lawsuit from being heard, you should contact a qualified wrongful death lawyer as quickly as possible after losing a loved one. These rules apply regardless of how strong your case is.

    There is a lot to consider when dealing with a wrongful death case. It takes a great deal of knowledge, experience, and resource to handle these cases properly. Our wrongful death attorneys will advise you every step of the way during the litigation process. This can include helping you seek fair compensation by recover damages for any future earnings, medical bills, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and pain and suffering.

    Murder is a criminal term. While a murder can form the basis of a wrongful death claim, such claims are complicated in the civil context because of their intentional nature. Wrongful death is a civil term to describe a claim seeking to recover compensation for the responsible party actions or inactions in causing a person’s accidental death. A wrongful death claim or a civil case does not lead to a person’s incarceration.

    Not every loved one has the right to file a wrongful death claim as the law specifically identifies the parties who can recover for a wrongful death. The following surviving family members are the only ones eligible to do so:

    1. Spouse — by legal or common law marriage, even if they are separated at the time of the death;
    2. Parents — Biological or adoptive, but not including stepparents or grandparents;
    3. Children — Includes adult children, biological or adoptive.

    A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against any person or company responsible for the death of a loved one. In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against the government. A wrongful death action can be filed after any kind of accident, including those involving medical malpractice or defective products.

    If you hire Sutliff & Stout, there is no upfront cost. Our Firm works on what is known as a contingency fee basis, which means that we only get paid if we are able to recover money on your behalf. This type of agreement allows a person to pursue their claim without worrying about spending tens of thousands of dollars.

    Given the large sums of money that are typically in dispute, these cases can get very expensive. When hiring an attorney, be sure to hire a lawyer that has the resources and money to invest in your case.

    Immediately. While I know this sounds bad, the reality is that in most of our large wrongful death cases the company and its insurance company will have people on site the day of the incident gathering evidence. If you hire a lawyer immediately, the lawyer can take steps to make sure that you and your family’s interest are protected.

    When a person is killed by the negligence of another, then certain individuals have a right to make a wrongful death claim. In Texas, the only people that can make a wrongful death claim are a person’s parents, spouse or children.

    In the context of a car accident, various factors contribute to fatal car accidents, but the most common we see are:

    • Distracted driving – Handling cell phone from talking or texting, eating, drinking, or even applying makeup. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, reports texting has increased as a contributing factor of car accident deaths.
    • Drunk driving – Having a blood alcohol content at 0.08% or higher may result in a DWI and other sever consequences.
    • Aggressive driving – Includes moving traffic offenses that endanger other people or property such as speeding and ignoring traffic signs and signals.

    Car accidents have a statute of two years for injury cases. If multiple incidents occurred among passengers in the same vehicle an injury attorney can help with the personal injury cases and the wrongful death action.

    Losing a loved one can be a traumatic experience. In order to have a valid case, the death must have been caused by the negligence of another and the claim must filed within the applicable time frame. Generally, the statute of limitations is two years from the date that incident occurred (which is not necessarily the date the person died).

    There are some exceptions to this deadline in the context of a minor or an injury that wasn’t discovered until later (e.g. asbestos exposure is an example of an injury that takes a long time to develop). Also, the claim cannot be barred for some other legal reason. A wrongful death lawyer can help you investigate what occurred, what claims exist and who the proper parties to the claim are.

    Wrongful death claims can be made by parents, spouse or children. If not brought within a certain time, a person’s executor or administrator can bring the claim for the benefit of the foregoing individuals. If a step-parent has not adopted the deceased, he or she will not be able to make a claim for wrongful death.

    In Texas, the following types of damages are recoverable in a wrongful death claim:

    • Pecuniary loss sustained in the past and future. “Pecuniary loss” means the loss of the care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, and reasonable contributions of a pecuniary value, excluding loss of inheritance that you, in reasonable probability, would have received from your loved one had he or she lived.
    • Loss of companionship and society sustained in the past and future. “Loss of companionship and society” means the loss of the positive benefits flowing from the love companionship, comfort, and society that you, in reasonable probability, would have received from your loved one had he or she lived.
    • Mental anguish sustained in the past and future. “Mental anguish” means that emotional pain, torment, and suffering experienced by person because of the death of their loved one.
    • In determining these types of damages, the jury may consider the relationship between the person, their living arrangements, any extended absences from one another, the harmony of their family relations, and their common interests and activities.
    • Loss of inheritance. “Loss of inheritance” means the loss of the present value of the assets that the deceased, in reasonable probability, would have added to the estate and left at natural death to you.

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