Unexpectedly losing a family member is a horrible tragedy. The grief is worse when you learn their death could’ve been prevented.
If someone else’s wrongful actions caused your loved one’s death, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation from the responsible parties.
While no amount of money can make up for the loss of your loved one, the settlement can help ease the unexpected financial burden you’re facing. To learn more about pursuing a wrongful death claim in Texas, speak to an experienced Dallas wrongful death lawyer right away.
At the Zimmerman Law Firm PC, we have decades of experience assisting Texas clients with their personal injury needs, including wrongful death lawsuits. We understand what a painful and challenging time it is for your family. We also understand how complicated these types of claims are, which is why we don’t recommend you pursue one independently.
Instead, consider hiring professional Dallas wrongful death attorneys like the team at Zimmerman Law Firm, PC. We provide the aggressive yet compassionate representation that your family needs right now.
What Is Considered a Wrongful Death in Texas?
A wrongful death is when a person passes away due to injuries that they sustained because of another party’s negligence, intentional actions, or recklessness. The victim’s death is one that could’ve been prevented had the other party not acted in the manner they did. Responsible parties can be individual people or companies who acted negligently, which is common in certain types of personal injury claims.
When another party is responsible for someone else’s death, certain family members have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. This legal action is a civil lawsuit and differs from any criminal charges brought against the parties by the state of Texas. Even if there is a criminal case pending, surviving family members can still bring a civil lawsuit. These are two separate cases with different parties and causes of action.
To successfully receive compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to provide evidence of the following elements:
- The victim’s death was caused partially or wholly by someone else’s conduct, which could be a person or a business;
- The defendant was negligent or had legal responsibility for the victim’s death due to their actions;
- The deceased victim has surviving beneficiaries or dependents; and
- The victim’s surviving family members suffered financial harm.
With a wrongful death claim, surviving family members could be entitled to recover compensation for their own losses and pain and suffering.
When you retain a Dallas wrongful death attorney, we will protect your rights throughout the claims process and help you fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Who Has the Right to File a Dallas Wrongful Death Claim?
The laws on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit vary based on state law. Texas law gives the right to file a claim to a surviving spouse, children, or parents.
Legally adopted children and adoptive parents are also included in the right to file. These parties have the first right to bring a claim. The estate’s personal representative is next. Some states include surviving siblings as having the legal right to bring a claim.
However, Texas law does not. Eligible parties have a choice to file a claim on their own or together as one cohesive group.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims in Texas
While a wrongful death claim can arise from nearly every situation or event, some accidents and events most commonly lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. At the Zimmerman Law Firm, PC, we have decades of experience handling personal injury claims, including wrongful death lawsuits.
We will work tirelessly to achieve the desired outcome while providing the professional and compassionate legal counsel your family needs.
Here’s a look at some of the most common types of Dallas wrongful death claims we handle:
- Car accidents,
- Truck accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents,
- Boating accidents,
- Slip and fall accidents,
- Dog bites,
- Medical malpractice,
- Product liability,
- Construction site accidents,
- Other workplace injuries,
- Swimming pool accidents,
- Negligent security, and
- Violent crimes.
Every wrongful death claim is different. The individual specifics of your family’s case will determine whether you have a right to bring a suit and what types of compensation you might be eligible to receive.
Types of Damages Available in a Dallas Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Compensation awarded in a Texas wrongful death lawsuit helps surviving family members with their damages and overall loss. The types of damages you can collect in a case will vary. These damages also depend on who the victim is, such as a child versus a spouse.
In general, some of the most commonly awarded damages in a Dallas wrongful death lawsuit are:
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Loss of household services;
- Loss of inheritance;
- Loss of support, guidance, and care;
- Loss of companionship or love; and
- Mental anguish.
The court might also award punitive damages in special cases where the defendant’s actions are deemed intentional or grossly negligent. For example, a driver under the influence of alcohol, which causes someone else’s death, could be “punished” with a punitive damages award.
The object of punitive damages is to deter the defendant from engaging in similar behavior again.
Statute of Limitations on Dallas Wrongful Death Claims
You only have a limited amount of time to file a Dallas wrongful death lawsuit under Texas law. In most cases, the deadline is two years from the date of the victim’s death.
There might be some limited exceptions to this rule, but you shouldn’t assume that they apply to you. Please speak with our Dallas wrongful death attorneys at the Zimmerman Law Firm first.
What Is a Survival Action?
A survival action may accompany a wrongful death claim in some situations. These claims allow the estate to recover compensation for the victim’s damages.
These are the losses the deceased could’ve pursued had they not died. Damages in a survival action typically include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, etc.
Contact Our Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
If your family member died due to someone else’s negligence, you need to speak with a Dallas wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. With decades of experience, the legal team at Zimmerman Law Firm is here to help.
Contact our office today to learn more about how we can assist you and your family in such a trying time. We understand how devastating it is to lose someone and how stressful the claims process can be. Let us put our skills and experience to work for you.
We will provide the aggressive representation needed to help hold the responsible parties accountable and help your family get the compensation you deserve.