One of the most painful events one can experience is the sudden death of a close loved one. The pain can be even more intense when the individual died because of someone else’s negligence. If you lost a loved one in this way, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. Dallas wrongful death lawyers can take care of all the legal requirements while you focus on your family. No amount of money will bring your loved one back to you but recovering damages can take the financial burden off your shoulders.
Several people will experience grief and sadness after an individual dies. However, under Texas’ laws, only certain family members can file a claim for compensation. Usually, these are the spouse, children or parents. Siblings can’t file wrongful death claims in this state. If you have any doubts about if you’re entitled to file a claim, you should speak to a lawyer.
Situations That Lead to Wrongful Death Cases in Dallas
Many families that lose their loved ones to negligence are not aware that they can file wrongful death lawsuits. Knowing the most common causes of wrongful death can help you to take the necessary action if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation. Wrongful death cases often stem from:
- Car accidents. Many people die because of a driver who is intoxicated, reckless or distracted. These drivers should be held accountable for their actions.
- Medical malpractice. Surgical errors, misdiagnosis, incorrect prescriptions, and several other actions on the part of medical personnel can lead to death.
- Workplace accidents. Falls, fires, building collapses, and other accidents can cause workers to suffer fatal injuries. The construction industry is especially deadly. The construction industry accounted for 1 percent of private industry worker deaths in 2018.
- Defective products. Faulty vehicles, toys, appliances, drugs, and even foods can cause individuals to suffer fatal injuries or illnesses.
Violence and intentional acts that result in death can also lead to wrongful death claims and lawsuits. You can file a wrongful death claim regardless of whether the at-fault party is facing criminal charges. Wrongful death claims are civil matters and are, therefore, separate from criminal proceedings. If an individual is found not guilty of a crime, you may still be able to bring a successful wrongful death claim against them.
How Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyers Help
Getting compensation following your loved one’s death may not be easy. It will be even harder if you try to handle it on your own. Hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer will ensure you get the support you need during this difficult time.
At TorkLaw, we will:
- Identify the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death
- Help you to quantify all your damages including both economic and non-economic losses
- Advise you on what would be fair compensation based on the circumstances
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf or take the case to trial if necessary
We will also ensure that you file your wrongful death lawsuit before time runs out.
In Texas, you have two years to file your action. That doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute to seek legal advice. Some survivors take a long time to contact a lawyer because they feel guilty about seeking monetary damages. However, it may take up a year to negotiate a settlement and having the option of taking the matter to court strengthens your position.
Compensation Survivors Can Recover in Dallas
The specific damages you can claim will depend on your relationship with the deceased. Children may lose their inheritance or the education their parents would have provided. Spouses may lose companionship and consortium. In general, Dallas wrongful death lawyer can help survivors claim compensation for:
- Loss of the decedent’s earning capacity
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of comfort and love
- Mental anguish and emotional pain of survivors
- Loss of household services
The victim’s estate can also seek compensation through a different claim known as a survival action. The distinction between wrongful death claims and survival actions can be confusing. Wrongful death claims reflect the losses that survivors incur because of their loved one’s death. However, survival actions reflect the damages the victim suffered.
These are damages the individual would have been able to recover if they survived. Therefore, they allow claimants to get compensation for damages the deceased suffered between the moment they were injured and the moment they died. Damages acquired through a survival action become part of the victim’s estate and they are distributed according to their will.
Damages in a survival action can include:
- Medical expenses your loved one incurred before they died
- The pain and suffering they experienced
- The wages they lost
- Their funeral expenses
- Exemplary damages if the at-fault party acted willfully or was grossly negligent.
The Process of Settling a Dallas Wrongful Death Claim
You may have heard about high-profile wrongful death cases that went to trial. However, these matters are usually settled out of court. This is typically in the best interests of both parties since trials can be both costly and lengthy. In some cases, liability is clear and damages can be easily quantified. If the at-fault party or their insurer accepts responsibility, the negotiation process can go pretty quickly.
However, there are cases in which liability remains in dispute for some time or ascertaining damages takes time. Sometimes, the only way to resolve these issues is to let the case go to trial. Another consideration is whether the at-fault party had a large insurance policy. Insurance companies are more likely to settle quickly if the amount is small. Regardless of the situation, you can be sure that your lawyer will try to get you a fair settlement in the shortest time possible.
Get a Free Case Review from TorkLaw Today
At TorkLaw, our Dallas wrongful death lawyers know how difficult it must be for your family to deal with an unexpected loss. We can make the legal side of things less overwhelming. The first thing you need to do is schedule a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions and help you to understand the process of filing a wrongful death claim. If you decide to hire us, you won’t have to pay until you recover damages either via settlement or a trial. Call us today to benefit from expert legal counsel.