Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney
When one person injures another due to reckless actions, the injured party can file a personal injury claim against the offender. However, if the offender’s actions result in the death of another person in the Dallas area, his or her surviving family members must rely upon the state of Texas’ wrongful death statutes to secure compensation.
Wrongful Death Laws in Texas
Wrongful death lawsuits provide compensation to the deceased victim’s surviving loved ones. In Texas, a deceased person’s spouse, parent, or child may file a wrongful death claim. If no claim is filed within three months after the death, a representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death claim, unless a surviving family member specifically requests that no such claim be filed. If surviving family members do wish to file a wrongful death claim, they have two years from the date of death to do so.
State laws dictate how wrongful death cases function, and there are special considerations in each state. When you file a wrongful death claim in Texas, the types of compensation you can collect include:
- Lost income. You can sue for the financial support you would reasonably have been expected to receive from the deceased had he or she survived.
- Lost love, care, counsel, support, guidance, companionship, and comfort from the deceased.
- Lost inheritance, which extends to what the deceased person would have likely been expected to have saved and left to his or her family had he or she survived.
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
- Medical costs for the deceased’s final injury or illness.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
Additionally, in some cases you may be able to file a survival claim. Survival claims cover the damages and expenses between the final injury or illness and death, and this includes the pain and suffering your deceased loved one experienced before death.
Proving Negligence and Winning Your Case
The success of your lawsuit will hinge on your attorney’s ability to establish that the defendant’s negligence directly caused your loved one’s death. Proving negligence revolves around showing three facts to the court:
- The defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care. This means exercising caution that any reasonable person would display in similar circumstances.
- The defendant violated this duty by some action or, in some cases, inaction.
- The violation of duty to act with reasonable care resulted in the victim’s death.
If the defendant’s behavior that led to the victim’s death is deemed grossly negligent or intentional, he or she will likely face criminal charges in addition to your civil wrongful death claim.
Legal representation will be vital to a successful outcome in a wrongful death case. Your attorney should have the experience and skill to navigate all aspects of your case, from compiling the necessary documentation and data to establishing your total financial damages to securing expert witnesses to provide pertinent testimony in your case. Wrongful death claims in Texas can be extremely complicated affairs, so it’s vital that you connect with the right attorney.
If you have any questions about wrongful death claims in Texas, get in touch with the Law Office of Stephen W. Shoultz. Our team of professionals is ready to handle any type of wrongful death case, no matter how complex. We understand how distressful the death of a loved one can be, and although financial compensation can never replace a lost loved one, it can make the rest of life a little easier by alleviating your financial burdens. We will handle your legal troubles so you and your family can mourn in peace, knowing that the responsible party or parties will be held accountable for their negligence.