• Apr 08, 2020|
  • Posted by: Michael Francis|
  • Read Time: 3 minutes

The global coronavirus pandemic has rapidly begun to affect nearly every facet of life. As a result, many people have unfortunately passed away due to COVID-19 complications.

In too many cases, employers, nursing homes and other companies put employees, patients and customers at risk of contracting coronavirus. Failure to take reasonable steps to protect employees, patients, and customers from this deadly disease may give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you have lost a loved one to the COVID-19 virus, you may be entitled to compensation. In fact, you may have a legal basis to bring a Texas wrongful death lawsuit. The personal injury attorneys at the Francis Firm are standing by and ready to help you through this unprecedented time.

What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?

Under the Texas Wrongful Death Statute, someone may bring a wrongful death action if the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party caused the death of another. However, only certain people may bring a wrongful death claim under the statute. 

The only people who may benefit from bringing an action are the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. Thus, while you cannot bring a claim for the wrongful death of a close friend or extended family member, you can for the death of a spouse, child, or parent.

Coronavirus and Wrongful Death

Coronavirus is a new infection that we are still learning more about each day. However, the factors giving rise to a wrongful death claim remain the same. Thus, if the wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default of a party, in connection with coronavirus, led to the death of a loved one, you may have a valid wrongful death claim. 

Companies and healthcare facilities have a duty to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Failure to take reasonable actions and precautions in doing so may constitute a breach of that duty and result in liability. Scenarios where a party may be at-fault in a coronavirus wrongful death case include: 

  • Failure to provide personal protective equipment (“PPE”);
  • Lack of sanitary work or living conditions; 
  • Negligently bringing too many people into contact with the coronavirus; and 
  • Failure to properly screen and isolate co-workers or patients.

If you believe you have lost a family member due to the negligence of another party that needlessly exposed your loved one to COVID-19, call the Francis Firm today.

Wrongful Death Damages

In general, a person can recover actual damages in a wrongful death case. Actual damages compensate an individual for the loss suffered due to the wrongful death. These are comprised of economic damages and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages typically compensate an individual for any monetary losses incurred in the death. These might include funeral costs, loss of inheritance, loss of household services, and lost expected earnings of the victim. Conversely, non-economic damages are more subjective and may include mental anguish and loss of care, companionship, or consortium. 

However, where there exists a “wilful act or omission” or “gross negligence” that results in someone’s death, Section 71.009 of the Texas Wrongful Death Statute also provides for exemplary damages. Exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages, are different from actual damages.

Whereas actual damages are designed to compensate an individual or make them whole, the purpose of exemplary damages is to punish and deter future wrongful conduct. 

Thus, if you have reason to believe that a healthcare facility, nursing home, or some other company purposefully exposed your loved one to the virus or was grossly negligent in providing care or services to them, causing their death, you may be entitled to exemplary damages. 

Get Started on Your TX Coronavirus Wrongful Death Case

You and your family deserve justice and full financial compensation.

Unfortunately, much of the situation surrounding COVID-19 remains uncertain. However, the Francis Firm is ready to adapt to these circumstances so that we can continue to fight for you.

For more than 25 years, the Board Certified Texas Wrongful Death lawyers at the Francis Firm have fought aggressively to protect the rights of grieving families. In these unprecedented times, our attorneys will come to you or use teleconference to discuss your claim, your rights and what we can do to help.

Contact us today for a free consultation and see how we can help you.

Author Photo

Michael Francis

Michael Francis is the founding partner of the Francis Firm and Flynn & Francis, LLP and has spent more than twenty-five years litigating personal injury and commercial litigation cases throughout the state of Texas and across the country. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Michael focuses his legal practice on personal injury and business litigation cases, with a particular emphasis on trucking, motor vehicle and complex commercial litigation matters. Michael has more than twenty-five years of experience litigating cases throughout the State of Texas, against many of the largest corporations and insurance companies. He has secured verdicts and settlements for clients in excess of $20,000,000.