Wrongful Death Lawyers in Dallas Texas
Wrongful death actions in Dallas may yield better outcomes with the assistance of a lawyer.
A wrongful death attorney in Dallas at the Cooper Law Firm in Texas can help victims of unexpected loss with formal legal action in Dallas. A wrongful death case is filed in court when a person dies because of the negligent, reckless, or deliberate act of another person, or entity. In the State of Texas there are legal requirements as to who can file a claim, a timeframe for the action to be filed, and the need for proof of negligence resulting in the wrongful death. Because of the complexities of this type of case and the risks to beneficiaries, it is best to hire qualified wrongful death lawyers in Dallas TX to act in the best interests of grieving clients.
Difference between wrongful death and criminal homicide.
Filing processes are different for wrongful death claims and criminal homicide case actions. Personal representatives, or family members must file a wrongful death claim directly, and liability will be addressed exclusively in terms of monetary compensation. In contrast, criminal charges are filed by the prosecuting attorney’s office and fault is addressed with fines, probation, and imprisonment. Texas wrongful death claims can proceed simultaneously even when criminal prosecution is underway. Seasoned Dallas Texas wrongful death lawyers can explain case differences and how the criminal case may impact the civil wrongful death claim outcome.
Wrongful death statute of limitations.
In Texas, family members, or legal representatives must file a wrongful death legal action within two years from the date of the untimely death. A wrongful death attorney in Dallas TX can assist with damage valuations and timelines relevant to a case. Hiring competent legal counsel to act as an intermediary between insurance companies, other lawyers, and entities that have a legal interest in the wrongful death incident may be a prudent decision. Knowledgeable legal counsel will be able to minimize additional stress on grieving family members and loved ones.
Wrongful death actions in Dallas, in accordance with Texas state statute, have requirements as to who can file a claim allowing specific family members and/or representatives of the deceased party to sue for civil damages including pain and suffering, and loss of financial support when someone is lost to the negligent act of another. The wrongful death claim can be brought by a designated beneficiary, or the estate of the deceased. Designated beneficiaries include:
- immediate family members, including surviving spouses, surviving children, surviving adopted children, and parents of unmarried children, as well as divorced parents.
Individuals who cannot file a wrongful death legal action include:
- distant family members, such as siblings and grandparents,
- domestic, or life partners.
In some cases, a personal representative of an estate, who may be appointed by the court, or named in a will, to administer a person’s assets, would bring forth legal action in their name alone. Any recovered compensation for the loss would be held in a special trust for disbursement among all designated beneficiaries during the probate process. Because of the uniqueness of each case, it is always wise to speak to a Dallas wrongful death attorney for guidance.
A wrongful death victim’s family, or personal representative can seek monetary damages that cover funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses for treatment up until the time of death, pain and suffering, loss of wages relevant to life expectancy and potential future earning capacity, and the loss of companionship, or consortium. Wrongful death actions commonly end with a financial settlement offer where all parties to the action must agree upon the provision laid out for a specific dollar pay-out, in return for the forfeiture of the right to a trial. Damages may be broken down by those that relate to the individual who died, and those that are necessary to compensate those left behind.
- Survival damages are calculated based on expenses related to the care in the final days of life for the deceased, as well as funeral and burial expenses.
- Loss damages include those related to lost income, the deceased’s contribution to household upkeep, and the loss of affection and comfort to a spouse and support and guidance to children.
Settlement and jury award limitations.
In general, Texas does not carry wrongful death damage caps except as it related to wrongful death caused by medical malpractice. Wrongful death settlement and jury award requests in Dallas are based on a variety of factors that account for the percentage of liability involved, case-specific circumstances surrounding the untimely death, expenses and bills caused by the injury and death, and any other relevant burdens placed upon remaining family and loved ones. Judges often consider the facts of the case to build grounds for negligence and responsibility surrounding the death.
Liability for death.
A determination of who is at fault for an injury leading to wrongful death must be proven. In certain cases, the liability falls upon more than one party, and may even include a portion of fault placed upon the person who died. When the deceased individual is charged with a percentage of fault, a settlement amount may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them in their untimely death. Liability is based on actions, or lack of action that reasonable parties would take in a similar situation to that which caused the death claimed in the wrongful death lawsuit.
In wrongful death cases, a relationship between the deceased person and the person who most likely contributed, or caused their death needs to be established. Once established, the court can determine if negligence was present.
An experienced wrongful death attorney in Dallas will build a case for economic damages such as lost wages and expenses, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, and in some instances, punitive damages to punish the individual responsible for the death. Individuals should seek guidance to determine if they have an actionable wrongful death claim, based upon case-specific facts revealing another’s negligence.
Cooper Law Firm
N. Eric Cooper
Address: Dallas, TX
Telephone ; (903) 297-0037
Toll-Free: 1-855-297-HURT (4878)
Facsimile: (903) 236-0035