Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer
When you lose a loved one to a preventable accident caused by the negligence of others, you may have a wrongful death claim. Seeking damages for the wrongful death of your loved one may be a means of holding negligent parties accountable for their misconduct and getting compensation for your losses. Getting the advice of a Dallas wrongful death lawyer may be the most effective way of determining whether you have a valid legal claim.
If your family has gone through the devastating experience of losing a loved one, you likely have many questions about your rights. You may want to seek justice on behalf of your loved one and help ensure that no other families must suffer similarly. A personal injury lawyer can be vital to your ability to pursue a legal claim following the death of your loved one.
Explaining Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims are civil claims against people or companies that caused the death of someone. The death typically must have occurred through the carelessness, recklessness, neglect, or other wrongful acts of the responsible parties. Some surviving family members may file wrongful death claims against these parties for causing the death of their loved one, even if they are not criminally liable for the death.
Some common examples of situations that might give rise to wrongful death claims may include:
- Fatal drunk or drugged driving accidents
- Defective products that lead to the death of consumers
- Acts of medical malpractice by a doctor or hospital
- Motor vehicle accidents resulting from speeding, failing to yield or driving while distracted
To prove a case for wrongful death, the parties pursuing the claim must provide evidence showing that it was more likely than not the irresponsible conduct of the responsible parties that caused the death. They must prove that the parties are responsible for the death by a preponderance of the evidence. A wrongful death lawyer in Dallas may evaluate an incident that led to a death and determine whether a valid wrongful death claim exists.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Dallas?
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies. Code § 71.003 authorizes specific surviving family members to file wrongful death claims on behalf of their deceased loved ones, either individually or jointly. The eligible parties include the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. If none of these parties takes the initiative to file a claim, the executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased may move forward with the claim unless all family members oppose it.
Whoever files the wrongful death claim is responsible for seeking damages on behalf of all eligible surviving family members. Other family members, such as siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, are ineligible to file for wrongful death or receive the proceeds of a wrongful death action. A wrongful death attorney in Dallas may assist eligible family members in seeking damages from those responsible for the death of their family member.
Seeking Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
Damages in wrongful death claims are designed to compensate surviving family members for losing their loved ones. The types of and extent of the damages can vary considerably depending on the relationship of the surviving family members to the deceased. Potential damages in a wrongful death claim could include:
- Emotional distress and loss of companionship
- Loss of financial support and earning capacity
- Loss of care, support, and guidance
- Final medical expenses and burial costs
Damages such as lost wages and medical bills are easy to quantify. More intangible or non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim can be more challenging to put into dollars and cents, but still are legitimate forms of compensation.
Are Punitive Damages Awarded in Wrongful Death Cases?
Tex. Civ. Prac. and Rem. Code § 71.009 permits parties to a wrongful death claim to seek exemplary or punitive damages in some cases. These damages are meant to punish or penalize the responsible parties for their behavior. These damages are generally only available when egregious intentional or grossly negligent conduct led to the fatal incident.
Consult a Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney for Advice
While any loss of a loved one is painful, unexpected and premature death can be particularly challenging for a family to bear. When you want to hold negligent parties responsible for fatally harming your loved one, a Dallas wrongful death lawyer might help.
Although monetary damages cannot bring back your loved one, they can compensate your family for your losses and provide you with some financial security. As you begin to rebuild your life after your loss, you can rest assured that you have sought justice for your loved one.