Houston Wrongful
Death Lawyer

Dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one is never easy, but the aftermath of knowing that loss could have been prevented stirs up emotions of anger and confusion. Outrage is at the forefront of every thought for many people who’ve lost a loved one in a wrongful death incident. 

The knowledge of reckless endangerment, negligence, or medical malpractice demands justice for the loss of your loved one. Tragedy can be intensified by the presence of complex legal issues. An extensive investigation and competent, aggressive legal representation can help your family move through due process in search of justice and compensation. That’s where our Houston wrongful death lawyers can assist. 

Navigating Due Process

The legal system can be complex and intimidating so you need bold, assertive representation that will give your family the personal attention it needs during this emotional time. The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., has over three decades of experience protecting and passionately fighting for the rights of people who have lost a loved one due to the negligence or misconduct of another party. We have extensive and thorough knowledge of the laws in Texas and we use that knowledge as we pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Basic Principles of a Wrongful Death Case

The fundamental elements of a wrongful death suit are pretty straight forward, although each and every case is different and handled on an individual basis. Here are some of the basic principles present or involved with most cases:

  • The death of a person caused by another party’s negligence or willful intent to harm; and
  • Surviving family members who may be suffering monetary loss or injury.

The wrongful death of a person may be caused by a number of actions as defined by the law. These actions may include but are not limited to:

  • Automobile, motorcycle, and semi-truck accidents;
  • Medical malpractice that results in death;
  • Willful criminal activities or behaviors;
  • Negligent occupational hazards; and
  • Negligence or willful disregard of a caretaker.

Generally, wrongful death lawsuits involve circumstances that would have led to a personal injury lawsuit had the victim survived his or her injuries. 


The grieving process is different for everyone. For most, it is an emotional rollercoaster. The loss of a loved one changes the entire family dynamics. Aside from the incredible emotional loss, many adjustments must be made in order to heal. Families involved in a wrongful death suit often experience feelings of anger and resentment, in addition to the sadness that has already taken root.

Emotions can be volatile during this time and even more so if there is an ongoing investigation into the wrongful death. As information is uncovered, it can leave you emotionally vulnerable. It is important that you have representation that understands this process and is willing to give your family the personal attention it needs during this challenging time.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer with The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. will handle all of the legal issues on your behalf, so your family can focus on grieving and piecing together a new life — a life that sadly, will no longer include your loved one. We will investigate thoroughly and fight diligently to seek justice and compensation for your family.

Who can file a wrongful death suit?

Although all states allow for the recovery of compensation due to wrongful death, each state observes individual statutes that may vary.

In general, there are two basic systems that are most commonly used to determine the eligibility of a person or people to file a wrongful death suit. The first system basically provides for the right of a beneficiary or statutory beneficiary to file a suit. The other system allows for the representative of a decedent’s estate to file a wrongful death claim.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer, Attorney Joseph Onwuteaka has dealt with many different types of cases involving wrongful death. His clients often include:

  • Surviving spouses and life partners;
  • Surviving children, adopted children, and siblings;
  • Parents of an unborn child who has passed;
  • Grandparents;
  • Personal representatives of the deceased’s estate; and
  • Those who suffer financial hardship as a result of the loss.

Who is awarded damages in a wrongful death suit?

The court will typically consider all of the circumstances surrounding a decedent’s death, including family dynamics and relationships. The surviving family members and children, their ages, and the role they played within the family dynamics will affect the decision of the court, as well as the amount of compensation awarded.

The type of damages awarded in each case will also help to determine the recipient of compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Most commonly, spouses, parents, and children are awarded financial compensation in wrongful death cases. 

A surviving spouse’s claim can be based on lost companionship, lost wages, and even emotional trauma, while minor children can be awarded compensation for the loss of comfort and support of a deceased parent. Parents of minor children in a wrongful death suit are most often awarded damages for emotional trauma.

Please keep in mind that these are just general guidelines to help answer questions and are not meant to represent a specific case in any way. Each case is different and treated on an individual basis. For this reason, it’s important to speak with a Houston wrongful death lawyer to learn more about your options. 

Houston Wrongful Death Attorney

What type of damages are awarded in a wrongful death suit?

There are many different types of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death suit. Listed below are some of the most common:

  • Punitive damages
  • Pecuniary damages
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of income

There are basically two, very general, categories for compensation in a wrongful death suit. One category covers the loss of damages from the time of the neglect or mortal injury until the time of the victim’s actual death. For instance, in the case of a motorcycle accident, this would permit coverage from the time of the accident until the time of the victim’s passing, which may not be immediate.

The other category is meant to cover those losses experienced by the next of kin. This may include lost wages that the deceased would have earned, among other things. The laws vary by state, so it is important that you retain competent representation that has extensive knowledge of the laws in your state.

For over 30 years, The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. has been fighting for the rights of families and aggressively pursuing justice for those who have lost a loved one due to an individual’s negligence and carelessness. Wrongful death lawsuits provide you with an opportunity to recover some of the financial losses, helping to ease some of the tremendous burden. 

Time is of the essence

If you have experienced the tragic loss of a loved one due to medical malpractice, willful negligence, or reckless endangerment, you should contact our office today. As time passes crucial details can be lost, forgotten, or misconstrued. Witnesses or people with crucial details may move or forget things. Time is of the essence and it is imperative that no time is wasted in cases such as these.

Financial compensation does nothing to ease the pain and emotional trauma that is experienced by the loss of a loved one. However, it can help ease the financial burden while your family tries to move forward. As you and your family adjust to new dynamics and circumstances in everyday life, the Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., will work diligently to shed light on the truth, seek restitution, and bring about justice with a wrongful death lawsuit.  

The tragic loss of a loved one through medical malpractice, reckless endangerment, or willful negligence can take an emotional toll on the family. You can seek financial compensation through aggressive, formidable representation with a law office that is passionate about holding the responsible party legally liable through litigation in the courtroom or an out-of-court settlement.

Contact a dedicated Houston wrongful death attorney today

If you have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, willful negligence, or reckless endangerment and are considering a wrongful death claim, contact the Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. today. Call (713) 271-5760 or contact us online to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced wrongful death attorney.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer, Attorney Joseph Onwuteaka represents clients in Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas. Call (713) 271-5760.


How much is your personal injury claim worth?

The value of each personal injury case depends on the extent of the injuries, medicals, loss earnings, physical impairment, disability, mental anguish, etc...

What is the average percentage for attorney fees?

Average percentage of attorney's fees is 33 1/3 percent.

What do personal injury attorneys do?

Personal injury attorneys investigate the case, develop the case, enhance strengths and minimize weaknesses, monitor the case, advocate for the client and seek the maximum recovery available.

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit seeks compensation for damages suffered (past, present and future) because of the injuries sustained. The list is unlimited, but will mostly include, medical expenses, pain and mental anguish, loss earnings, physical impairment, loss of earning capacity, property damages, loss of consortium, etc. It can also, seek punitive damages in the case of gross negligence or intentional act.

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About Joseph Onwuteaka

Admission Details

  • Admitted in 1986, Texas
  • Texas Southern District/Bankruptcy Court
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • US Tax Court


  • English
  • Spanish

University Attended

  • Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University, Class of 1981 B.Sc.
  • Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University, Class of 1983 M.B.A.

Law School Attended

  • Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Class of 1986 J.D. cum laude

Associations & Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas
  • American Bar Association
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • The Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Association of Attorneys and C.P.A.'s.
  • Elite Lawyers of America

Credentials Of The Firm


Client Testimonials

Attorney Joseph Onwuteaka has represented my family is the legal arena since 1988. My first representation was in a divorce case w/ child support. Child support was awarded, however, we appealed because amount was too low. From that point until today, Mr. Onwuteaka has been retained as the family lawyer. Joseph is very passionate about his legal services and for the most part has been very pro-bono when it comes to our faith in ,him as a lawyer. I can't imagine not having him as a lawyer. My most recent case was delinquent property taxes. Each and overtime I have complete faith that I've received the best representation available. Mr. Onwuteaka will be the only attorney to represent me and my family for life!
- Gaynell McAfee