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El Paso Wrongful Death Lawyers

Coping with the loss of a close family member is always agonizing. If an accident caused by another person took the life of your loved one, you will be overcome with grief and loss. At such a difficult moment, Nix Patterson’s personal injury attorneys in El Paso can handle the legal aspects of the case. If it can be proven that another person or entity caused the death, you could be owed compensation for your losses.

Nix Patterson wrongful death lawyers in El Paso have years of experience handling accidental deaths from auto accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, product defects, job-related injuries, drownings, and more. You can rely on us to fight for every dollar for your economic and non-economic losses.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Immediate family members can sue for wrongful death in Texas if their loved one’s passing was due to another person’s negligence or wrongful act. The law states that there was a wrongful death in these circumstances:

  • The injuries the decedent suffered in the accident caused their death
  • The injuries were caused by another person’s carelessness, wrongful act, or neglect
  • The decedent could have filed a personal injury lawsuit if they had not died

An El Paso wrongful death lawsuit is legal justice for the surviving family. If the case is successful, the claim allows you to obtain justice and financial compensation for the loss.

It is important to remember that a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit. It is separate from any criminal case that the El Paso prosecutor files against the defendant. There are many cases where the defendant is sued and also faces criminal prosecution, but not always.

For example, if a drunk driver hit and killed your loved one in El Paso, you could likely file a wrongful death claim. However, suppose that the police made procedural errors during the defendant’s arrest, and the case against him is dismissed. You still can sue the defendant for wrongful death, regardless of how the criminal case was resolved.

On the other hand, the defendant could be convicted of involuntary homicide. This doesn’t ensure that you will obtain compensation in a wrongful death claim, but it’s helpful information that could benefit your case.

Who Is Allowed to Sue for the Wrongful Death?

State law allows the following people to file a wrongful death claim:

  • The surviving spouse. The spouse left behind is the most common person to file the lawsuit. The surviving spouse could receive compensation for mental anguish, loss of care and support, and lost income, among other things.
  • Minor children. If the deceased had minor children, they can file a lawsuit and possibly receive money for lost care and support, mental and emotional anguish, loss of inheritance, and lost income.
  • Parents. The decedent’s parents also may file the claim and could receive money for emotional trauma and grief, as well as loss of care and support.
  • A personal representative. If none of the above people file the claim within three months, the estate’s personal representative can file the case.

Your El Paso wrongful death lawyer can instruct you about who in your family may file the claim. Remember that you have only two years from the person’s death to file suit, so acting quickly is critical.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits in El Paso

El Paso is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas, and it has more than its share of severe and sometimes fatal accidents. Some of the most common accidents that trigger wrongful death lawsuits in El Paso are:

Auto Accidents

Traffic is getting worse in El Paso daily. Unfortunately, driver distractions, speeding, failure to yield, and aggressive driving lead to many fatal auto accidents in town every year. Some of the most dangerous intersections in El Paso where serious and fatal accidents happen are:

  • Loop 375 and US 180
  • I-10 and North Lee Trevino Drive
  • I-10 and Hawkins Road
  • US 85 and TX-178
  • I-10 and George Dieter Driver

The most common types of fatal auto accidents in El Paso are intersection crashes, followed by rear-end crashes.

Tractor-Trailer Accidents

I-10 and I-25 are major interstate truck routes in El Paso, and many severe and fatal truck crashes happen regularly. Wrongful death claims involving commercial carriers are complicated and require the help of a skilled El Paso wrongful death lawyer to obtain favorable results. Trucking companies don’t want to pay large settlements or jury verdicts, so you can expect their insurance company to fight tooth and nail. But Nix Patterson’s lawyers have you covered and will stand up for you.

Premises Liability

A property owner or manager may not take reasonable steps to protect guests and visitors from harm from a hazardous condition. If the person is severely injured or killed because of their negligence, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. A slip and fall accident is the most common premises liability case leading to severe injury or death.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians are entirely unprotected in an accident with a motor vehicle. So, these incidents often cause death. There are thousands of pedestrian fatalities nationally every year, and El Paso has its share. Common issues in pedestrian death cases are drinking and driving, distracted driving, and speeding.

Nurse Home Abuse

Nursing homes are supposed to provide excellent care for your loved one in their senior years. But far too many Texas nursing home workers engaged in neglect or abuse that seriously injure or kill residents. Seniors are often frail, and even a minor abusive incident can cause death.

Job-Related Injuries

Any fatality that happens because of a work-related incident is usually because of the employer’s negligence. In Texas, the surviving family may be eligible for death benefits in a workers’ comp claim. It usually isn’t possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer unless there was a deliberate action that caused the person’s death.

However, if your loved one died because of a third party, such as a contracting company, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A common situation is if a worker is killed by a piece of malfunctioning equipment in a factory. The family would typically file a workers’ comp claim against the employer. However, if the equipment manufacturer was negligent in some way, you may be able to sue in a wrongful death claim.

Product Liability

All consumer products available for sale in the US are supposed to be safe, which is why most undergo rigorous testing. If a product is defective, improperly designed, or doesn’t have sufficient warnings, and a person is killed, a product liability lawsuit is possible.

Am I Eligible To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Only the immediate family is eligible in Texas to file a wrongful death claim, meaning the surviving spouse, minor children, or parents. If none of these parties file a claim within 90 days of the death, the deceased’s personal representative can file the case instead. This might be the family’s attorney or a close family member.

What Kind of Compensation Can I Get for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If the insurance company or court finds that the defendant caused the person’s death, you may be awarded compensation for your losses. Potential damages in an El Paso wrongful death case include:

  • Lost earning capacity. Suppose your husband was killed in a truck accident on I-10 in El Paso when he was rear-ended. You could receive lost income he would have earned if he had worked a typical number of years. For instance, if he was 35 when he died, you might be entitled to 25 or 30 years of what he might have earned.
  • Mental suffering. You may be entitled to various amounts for your mental suffering and anguish related to your loss. Your Nix Patterson attorney will show the court or insurance company how the tremendous loss has affected you emotionally.
  • Lost inheritance. If the deceased was a primary breadwinner, the close family may be entitled to money they may have inherited if the person had lived a normal lifespan.
  • Lost companionship, love, society, and comfort. You could receive compensation for the lost love and support your family member provided you.
  • Medical, funeral, and burial expenses. The settlement or jury award should cover your immediate costs related to the person’s medical care and funeral.
  • Pain and suffering. If the deceased suffered before death, you may receive money for their pain and suffering.

You may receive some or all of the above types of compensation. However, whether your case is successful mostly depends on proving that the defendant is liable for the accident. Your El Paso wrongful death lawyer will work hard to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant’s negligence or wrongful actions caused your loved one’s death.

How Much Can You Receive in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Many grieving families want to know what compensation they can receive in an El Paso wrongful death lawsuit. Every case is different, and you could receive more or less than someone in a similar circumstance. However, there are several elements in all wrongful death claims that may influence the size of the compensation package:

  • The age of the deceased. A person who died in their 20s had more years in front of them than someone in their 60s. So, the younger person’s case could have a higher value.
  • Training and education. If the deceased was a truck driver, their case may be worth less than someone who was a lawyer or doctor.
  • Benefits provided to the family. If the deceased was a breadwinner, they may have provided the family with health insurance and retirement benefits.
  • The age of and number of children in the family. Minor children dependent on the deceased typically raise the case value.
  • Evidence of negligence. If there is strong evidence that the defendant was 100% at fault for the death, the case value will rise. If the decedent was partially at fault, Texas has a comparative negligence standard, meaning the family’s compensation could be reduced.
  • How the case is resolved. Most wrongful death cases end in settlement because it provides money to the family faster. A settlement may not provide the total value if the case went to trial and the jury found the plaintiff’s favor. However, going to trial is risky because the jury could rule against you, meaning you don’t get anything.

After you hire an El Paso wrongful death attorney, they will thoroughly review your case and be able to estimate the potential value. However, they can only predict for sure what the result will be once there is a settlement or jury verdict.

Speak to Nix Patterson’s El Paso Wrongful Death Attorneys Today

There isn’t anything more traumatic than losing your spouse, parent, or child in an accident. Suddenly, the person you count on every day is gone. You may be entitled to compensation when the accident was due to someone’s negligence. A wrongful death lawsuit could provide essential financial support for your economic and emotional losses as you heal and for years in the future.

Nix Patterson’s El Paso wrongful death lawyers have many years of success in these complicated cases and will fight for every dime you may be owed. Contact us today for a complimentary legal consultation about your wrongful death claim. You don’t pay legal fees unless we win.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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