Experienced Austin Wrongful Death Lawyers, Texas
Compassionate strong representation for Texas families who have lost a loved one
Most deadly accidents are avoidable. Car drivers should know the rules of the road. Commercial truck drivers need to prioritize safety over profit. Property owners need to inspect their property. Doctors need to use competent care. Oilfield and construction sites need to comply with federal and state regulations along with industry standards. Airline companies need to be extra cautious because so many lives are at stake.
At Slack Davis Sanger, our Austin wrongful death lawyers understand the trauma of receiving a phone call notifying you that your spouse, parent, child, or another close relative just died. We respect your need to grieve while working aggressively to determine how your loved one died, and who should be held liable. Our lawyers have obtained strong results based on showing that the defendants were negligent, breached a warranty, or because the products used were defective. Many wrongful death cases do settle precisely because insurance companies understand how skillful and persuasive we are when presenting a case to a jury.
"Slack Davis Sanger represents the ultimate in professionalism combined with a true caring attitude.” - Colonel Ray Toler, Client
What is a wrongful death claim?
When a loved one dies, there are two types of civil claims that can be filed against the wrongdoers:
- A wrongful death claim. This claim is brought by a spouse, child, parent, or the personal representative of the loved one’s estate. The wrongful death claim compensates the family for all damages that are due – from the date of the loved one’s death through the time that loved one would have normally lived to (his/her life expectancy).
- A survival action. This claim is also filed by the personal representative. It is filed on behalf of the loved one’s estate. The settlement or verdict damages are paid according to the loved one’s last will and testament or the intestate laws of Texas. The survival action seeks the damages that are due from the date of the accident until your loved one died.
The wrongful death claim and survival action are normally filed at the same time in the same court.
What types of accidents cause a wrongful death in Austin?
Deadly accidents happen in many ways and for many different reasons. Our Austin wrongful death lawyers are skilled at representing families when any of the following types of accidents are fatal:
- Aviation accidents. We work with the Federal Aviation Administration, aviation crash experts, and others to hold commercial airlines, private plane owners, air tour helicopter owners, air ambulance companies, and other businesses liable for accidents that kill a loved one.
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Drunk driving, driving while distracted, and speeding are three of the leading causes of deadly vehicle accidents. Trucks and motorcycles are especially likely to cause fatal accidents. Commercial trucks are much heavier and larger than cars. Motorcycle riders usually fall to the hard asphalt or into another vehicle without the protection of a hood, trunk, roof, or side door. Pedestrians and bicycle riders often don’t survive a vehicle crash.
- Medical malpractice. Doctors, hospitals, and others may be liable if they make an untimely diagnosis, an incorrect diagnosis, make errors during surgery or the birth of a child, or for many other reasons.
- Defective products. We work with product safety experts when cars, trucks, and motorcycles have defective parts such as airbags, tires, brakes, hydraulic systems, and crash protection features. Our Austin wrongful death lawyers also handle defective aviation parts, drugs, equipment, tools, and flammable products.
- Oilfield and pipeline accidents. Our lawyers understand why accidents happen in Texas oilfields, and when oil is being transported – and who is responsible for those accidents.
- Workplace accidents. We handle accidents at all types of worksite accidents including construction sites, manufacturing sites, and oilfields. Many workplace accidents are due to defective products, improper training, electrical exposure, hazardous chemicals, vehicles, and other causes. We file personal injury claims and product liability claims against third-parties.
Which family members are entitled to wrongful death damages in Austin?
The Texas wrongful death statute provides that the beneficiaries of the wrongful death claim and the people who can file the claim are:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The children of the deceased
- The parents of the deceased
Once three months have elapsed since the decedent died, a personal representative can also file a wrongful death claim.
What damages are available in an Austin wrongful death lawsuit?
We understand that no award can replace your loved one. The aim of wrongful death claims is to hold the wrongdoers accountable, honor loved ones, and provide for the futures of the family members.
At Slack Davis Sanger, we work with your medical team, your employer, and financial professionals to help place a value on the family’s losses. Wrongful death damage claims include:
- The costs of the funeral and burial
- The income the decedent would have earned and provided his/her family, if the wrongful death hadn’t occurred
- The loss of retirement benefits and any inheritance
- The emotional trauma of the family members due to the death of their loved one
- The value of the companionship, guidance, and care the deceased would have provided each family member
- The value of the maintenance and support the decedent would have contributed
- The loss of consortium of a spouse because his/her loved one is deceased
If the defendant’s conduct was willful or grossly negligent, the family may be awarded punitive/exemplary damages in an Austin wrongful death claim. In Texas, there are additional provisions and protections for unborn children.
How does a criminal case affect the wrongful death case in Austin?
At Slack Davis Sanger, we coordinate your wrongful death case with any criminal charges. For example, if your loved one died in a drunk driving accident, the driver may be charged with the criminal charge of driving under the influence or an enhanced criminal charge because the intoxication caused your loved one’s death.
Normally, the criminal case proceeds first. We work with the government to help ensure that justice is rendered. A criminal conviction can help convince insurance companies to negotiate a settlement. In some cases, the criminal conviction may be evidence (negligence per se) that the defendants should be civilly liable for the wrongful death of your loved one.
Do you have a wrongful death lawyer near me?
Yes. Our Austin office is located at 6001 Bold Ruler Way, Suite 100, Austin, TX. We also meet with clients in Dallas and Fort Worth.
Speak with an experienced Austin wrongful death lawyer today
At Slack Davis Sanger, our Austin wrongful death lawyers understand the unique challenges involved with fatal accidents. Your loved one is not here to speak on his/her behalf. This means family members and our lawyers must speak for your loved one. Our lawyers understand how devastating wrongful death cases can be. We are respected across the Austin legal and insurance community for our ability to obtain strong results when defendants cause fatalities. To discuss your claim, please call 866-531-1657 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.
6001 Bold Ruler Way
Austin, TX 78746
Main Austin Practice Areas