Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer

Call Our Firm after the Tragic Death of a Loved One

Too many accidents fatally injure victims, who die at the scene or later at the hospital. Their surviving family members are left to process this tragic loss, and many are unsure of what to do. Helpfully, Texas has a wrongful death statute which gives certain family members a legal right to seek compensation after the death.

Contact The Pennington Firm today. A Dallas wrongful death lawyer at our firm can provide an overview of this type of legal claim, as well as your ability to seek compensation. Our consultations are free, so do not hesitate to reach out online or by phone.

Understanding Wrongful Death

Some deaths are truly accidental, which means no one is to blame. However, others qualify as “wrongful” under state law when they are caused by a person’s carelessness, neglect, unskillfulness, default, or wrongful act.

Some of the most common wrongful death cases stem from:

  • Car accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the state saw 4,481 traffic fatalities in 2021. We might sue a negligent motorist for crashing into your loved one.
  • Truck accidents. Large trucks pose a real threat of fatal injury. We might sue a trucker, trucking company, truck manufacturer, mechanic, or other party.
  • Medical malpractice. Substandard medical care kills hundreds of thousands of people annually. You might have a wrongful death claim if a medical provider failed to make a timely diagnosis or made some mistake in treatment. You can even sue if negligent treatment made a pre-existing condition worse.
  • Premises liability claims. We can sue a property owner when a defect causes a fatal accident, including a failure to provide adequate security to protect against crime.
  • Violent attacks. An intentional crime is also “wrongful” under the law, and family members might sue their loved one’s assailant.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Texas law gives the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If they don’t file within three months, then the estate’s personal representative can file the claim—unless the surviving family requests that they not do so.

Contact our firm if you lost a spouse, parent, or child in an accident or due to a violent attack. We can review whether filing this claim makes sense.

If your case has merit, we will attempt to negotiate with the defendant who caused the death. Some of the evidence we rely on includes witnesses, physical evidence, video evidence, and even statements the deceased made before passing away. There is no “typical” wrongful death case. Each must be brought according to its own facts.

Recovering Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

No amount of money can ever replace a beloved family member. Nonetheless, money damages are available in a wrongful death case for:

  • Lost household services provided by the deceased, such as cooking, childcare, transportation, laundry, cleaning, yard work, and things of that nature;
  • Loss of income or financial support, such as the wages your spouse earned or money a child provided to parents;
  • Lost savings or inheritance;
  • Emotional anguish suffered by the survivors.

To value your case, we will need to review how much your loved one earned at death, as well as their age and education. We can also help you document your suffering.

Sometimes, a victim’s own negligence contributes to an accident. For example, your loved one might have been jaywalking when she was hit by a speeding motorist. Texas law will reduce the compensation proportionally based on shared fault.

Meeting Deadlines

You have only two years from the date of death to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. This deadline is spelled out in the statute of limitations. Surviving family members must do everything possible to avoid going past this deadline. You will forfeit your ability to sue and lose any leverage in settlement negotiations. Call our firm as soon as possible.

Bringing a Survival Action

A survival action is slightly different from a wrongful death claim. In a survival claim, we seek compensation for any losses which take place after the accident but before death.

For example, your loved one might have been severely injured in a car crash. He is rushed to the hospital, where he is kept alive on life support for two weeks before finally dying. A survival action would request money for this medical care, as well as lost income and conscious pain and suffering endured after the accident and before death. Our firm can file a survival action on behalf of the estate.

Call a Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney

The Pennington Firm is available to meet with anyone to discuss a tragic loss. To schedule a compassionate, confidential meeting, please call us today.