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Looking For A Wrongful Death Attorney?

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Wrongful Death

When a company or an individual is negligent and the result is the death of a loved one, there are grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The Law Offices of Garcia and Ochoa are prepared to hire the necessary investigators, medical experts, accident reconstructionists, engineers and anyone who would help determine the cause and responsibility for the death.

We understand that compensation can never replace your loved one. Unfortunately, there is nothing that will bring back the person you lost. What we CAN do is demand answers, and demand responsibility from negligent outfits such as pharmaceutical companies, doctors, automobile manufacturers and drivers.

Wrongful Death Laws

The wrongful death attorneys at The Law Office of Garcia and Ochoa understand that compensation can help ease the burden of those left behind and provide financial sustenance for the damages and future losses of the family.

Wrongful death law applies in tort cases in which the defendant’s conduct or negligence has resulted in the death of the victim, leaving behind surviving family members and dependents who will suffer as a result of the victim’s absence. The purpose of these laws is to compensate the survivors, not the deceased victim.

Unlike other tort doctrines, wrongful death did not exist as common law. English and early American courts did not recognize these actions. Instead, when victims died, the right to bring a case died, too. In the last hundred years or so, lawmakers recognized and corrected the injustice of the historical rule. In modern times, wrongdoers who injure others cannot escape accountability simply because the injury was severe enough to kill the victim.

Survival Actions

Most jurisdictions distinguish between wrongful death and a related claim known as a survivor action. Both causes of action serve the purpose of holding tortfeasors responsible for their conduct when the victim dies. The difference is that wrongful death cases pay compensation to the victim’s family members for their own damages. They can recover for the loss of financial, emotional, and other support the victim had been contributing to the household.

Survival actions, on the other hand, pay for damages suffered by the victim as a result of the defendant’s actions. These can include compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and other damages that the victim endured between the time of the injury and the time of death. Damages in survival actions are paid to the victim’s estate, not to the family, although some of the money may eventually pass to family members as heirs or estate beneficiaries.

Civil vs. Criminal Proceedings

Claims for wrongful death arise most often in negligence cases. These are cases in which the defendant was careless, causing an accident or otherwise causing harm to the victim. Examples include automobile accidents and medical malpractice. Wrongful death can also occur as a result of the defendant’s intentional conduct, such as homicide. Finally, claims may result in situations involving strict liability, such as defective products or unsafe pharmaceuticals.

It is also important to understand the relationship between civil and criminal proceedings brought against a defendant accused of wrongful death.

Criminal Case

The criminal case will be filed by a public prosecutor on behalf of the state. Charges may include first degree (premeditated) murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and others. The jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, and a convicted defendant faces fines, jail, or death.

Civil Case

The civil case is a much different proceeding. It is filed by the victim’s family in order to recover money damages for their own benefit. The family must prove the underlying tort, and convince the jury by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning “more likely than not.” This is a lower burden of proof than the reasonable doubt standard. As such, a defendant may be acquitted of all criminal charges, and still be found liable in a civil wrongful death case.

Discovery Process

Family members and dependents considering a wrongful death case must also be aware that the defendant will be investigating the details of their relationship with the victim, and presenting this information in open court. Damages in these cases are based on the victim’s contributions to the family. Thus, the defendant can reduce damages by showing the victim spent his or her income on other things, and did not have close emotional ties with the plaintiffs.

Of course, plaintiffs can conduct their own investigation of the defendant’s activities, and use the information to bolster their case. This is primarily accomplished through the “discovery” process. During discovery, the defendant can be forced to turn over documents, emails, and other evidence favorable to the plaintiffs. In a case based on negligence, for example, discovery may reveal that the defendant purposefully ignored risks to the victim’s safety.

Wrongful Death Laws

The wrongful death attorneys at The Law Office of Garcia and Ochoa understand that compensation can help ease the burden of those left behind and provide financial sustenance for the damages and future losses of the family.

Wrongful death law applies in tort cases in which the defendant’s conduct or negligence has resulted in the death of the victim, leaving behind surviving family members and dependents who will suffer as a result of the victim’s absence. The purpose of these laws is to compensate the survivors, not the deceased victim.

Unlike other tort doctrines, wrongful death did not exist as common law. English and early American courts did not recognize these actions. Instead, when victims died, the right to bring a case died, too. In the last hundred years or so, lawmakers recognized and corrected the injustice of the historical rule. In modern times, wrongdoers who injure others cannot escape accountability simply because the injury was severe enough to kill the victim.

Protect your rights:

If a member of your family has been killed as the result of the negligence of a third party, please contact our wrongful death attorneys here at Garcia and Ochoa. We have a long history of winning compensation for our clients. Schedule a free consultation with us today, so that we can sit down with you and discuss the particulars of your individual case and help you determine the next, best step for you and your family.

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Don’t Stand Alone, Let Us Protect Your Rights!

About Us

We Are Here To Create Value

Story & History 01.

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Since 1985, Garcia and Ochoa has successfully handled a variety of cases against companies and individuals both nationally and in Texas.

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Values & Philosophy 02.

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We believe justice can create a safer world. Success can be measured outside of the courtroom, too. It’s not enough to simply settle your personal case,

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Our Mission 03.

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Our mission is as resolute as ever: Create value for every client, friend & colleague we cross paths with by extending a helping hand in times of need.

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Why Work With Our Firm?

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Garcia & Ochoa LLP. is a well-established Texas law firm with a long history of service to our clients & colleagues.

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Always Free Consultation

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Your first consultation with our Firm is FREE. We will discuss your case or possible claim with you at our home, office, hospital by phone or in person.

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We Get Results

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We have a reputation for success and collect over thirty million dollars in settlements and awards for our clients every year.

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Work With Expert Lawyers

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We have years of experience in and out of court. We have collected millions dollars for our clients claims arising in Texas and Nationally.

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We Care About You

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We pride ourselves on compassionate, caring, and responsive representation. The numerous past client testimonials attest to this.

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What People Say

Clients & Colleagues Testimonials

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See what our clients & colleagues say about us, we have been known for driving value and favorable result.

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Our Award & Certificates

It's All About Trust

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