Dallas Wrongful Death Attorneys
Wrongful death is defined as the loss of life to a person as a result of another’s intentional or unintentional actions. If an individual or entity causes harm to another person and the injuries sustained result in that person’s death, then the individual may be held liable for wrongful death. A wrongful death claim has no correlation with criminal action, meaning that even if the defendant is cleared of criminal charges, the victim’s family may still be able to pursue a civil action for wrongful death.
Though pursuing a lawsuit will not bring your loved one back, The Barber Law Firm will ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions. Our team of wrongful death attorneys can help relieve the financial burden placed on you and your family by bringing the responsible individual or parties to justice.
Who is Liable in A Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim may be filed against anyone or any institution that was legally at fault for a person’s death. This can include:
- Medical Institutions
- Government Institutions
Whether it’s a car accident or a medical malpractice suit, the surviving family members or other real parties of interest may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased to cover pain and suffering, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and lost wages.
What Types of Cases Might Include a Wrongful Death Claim?
By far the majority of wrongful death cases are the result of car accidents. When a driver causes an accident that results in the death of another driver, oftentimes the responsible party may be held liable for wrongful death. In addition to car accidents, wrongful death claims often arise from deaths due to the following;
- Motorcycle accidents – It is a driver’s responsibility to be alert and aware of potential dangers on the road. An inattentive or distracted driver may fail to notice a person a motorcycle and could hit them in a variety of different scenarios. If an accident like this were to result in the motorcyclist’s death, the family members of the deceased may have cause for a wrongful death claim.
- Bicycle accidents – Oftentimes, vehicle drivers are on the lookout for other cars and may fail to notice a cyclist. Accidents involving cyclists might happen when a driver in the righthand lane turns right without signaling or without first checking the bicycle lane to their right to for approaching cyclists. Accidents of this type can also occur when turning left if a driver fails to notice a cyclist approaching in the oncoming lane. These types of accidents often result in much more serious injuries than those which are sustained in a collision between two cars. These injuries often lead to death. The family of a cyclist who was struck and killed by an inattentive driver have a right to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.
- Pedestrian accidents – Sometimes an unaware driver might fail to see a pedestrian in a crosswalk or on the side of the road. Even if the pedestrian was jaywalking, however, and was largely at fault for the accident, the driver may still be found to bear some of the fault and may be held partially responsible for their wrongful death.
- Medical malpractice – Medical malpractice happens far more often than we might expect. It oftentimes goes unobserved and doesn’t result in noticeable harm to the patient. Sometimes though, a doctor or medical practitioner fails to meet the medical standard of care and loses their patient due to action or inaction which was preventable. If you suspect malpractice may have been involved in the loss of your loved one, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney who can further investigate your situation.
- Nursing home abuse – Professional caretakers for the elderly owe a duty of care to the residents of the care facility they work in. Abuse and neglect can take many forms and is shockingly prevalent in Texas nursing homes. Families For Better Care (FFBC), a national nursing home residents advocacy group issues nursing home abuse report cards every year to each state. The state of Texas has come in dead last in the nation every year for the past 3 years. Clearly, nursing home abuse in Texas is a serious problem that can lead to the unnecessary and untimely death of residents. The family of a person who has passed away due to the neglect or abuse of their nursing care facility may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
- Defective products – Many different types of defective products can result in wrongful death. Defective auto parts like seatbelts, braking systems, and airbags are a big culprit. Others include dangerous or defective drugs, toys that present a choking hazard, or baby items like cribs, high-chairs or strollers which collapse or fail in some way.
How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Differ From a Survival Claim?
A wrongful death claim is typically brought by the spouse or direct dependents of the deceased and includes compensation for the pain and suffering of the surviving family members, loss of the deceased one’s future income, funeral expenses, outstanding medical bills, and loss of consortium.
A survival action, on the other hand, is similar in that is it brought on behalf of a deceased individual, but this type of action takes into account the types of losses that the deceased person himself suffered. In simpler terms, this is for the damages they could have recovered in a lawsuit had the deceased not died. It is typically brought by the deceased person’s estate and then distributed to surviving family members and may include damages such as the pain and suffering and lost earnings that the deceased person endured prior to their death.
What Happens When I Decide to File A Wrongful Death Claim?
If you have recently lost a loved one due to wrongful death and are considering filing a wrongful death claim, its important to know that in most cases, Texas law states that you have just two years from the time of death to bring your claim. While two years may seem like a long time, remember that building a case can take a considerable amount of time.
First you’ll need to find the right law firm to work with. You should make sure upfront that the attorney you are considering has handled these types of cases before with successful outcomes, and that the firm has the resources needed to build a rock-solid case.
Next, your legal team will closely examine the circumstances surrounding the events that lead to your loved one’s death. It must be proven that the responsible party showed negligence. For example, in a car accident case, it must be proven that the guilty party was at fault for the accident which caused your loved one’s death. The type of evidence needed to prove negligence will vary based on the type of case but the underlying legal principals are the same. In most cases, witnesses will be contacted, experts may be consulted, and documents may need to be tracked down and compiled.
Once negligence can be shown, your team will need to establish a direct correlation between the consequences of the negligence, and the death of your loved one. If, for example, your loved one was badly injured in a car accident and then passed away several days later while in the hospital, it must be proven that the death was the direct result of injuries sustained in the accident and not due to some other pre-existing condition. A history of medical records may need to be compiled to rule out any other possible causes of death.
Finally, damages must be shown. This includes the bereavement of the surviving family members as well as all the quantifiable monetary damages. Once a case has been built, your legal team will seek compensation either through a settlement with the at-fault party or through a legal action in a court of law.
Standing Up for You Against Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often attempt to obtain the lowest settlement possible. It’s important to have a law firm on your side that knows how to deal with insurance companies, what to expect, what questions to ask, and ways to approach certain scenarios to provide the best outcome for you, the client. The wrongful death attorneys at The Barber Law Firm will do everything in their power to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Consult a Wrongful Death Attorney Today
The Barber Law Firm is knowledgeable of wrongful death litigation cases and will fight for you every step of the way. In most cases, we offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if you do. Since our success is dependent on your success, you can rest assured we will work hard to ensure you are represented fairly in court.
For a FREE consultation on a wrongful death claim, consult the wrongful death attorneys at The Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800, or fill out our online form.