Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer

Was your loved one’s death caused by someone else’s negligence? Get a free case review by speaking with our Dallas wrongful death lawyers today.

A “wrongful death” is legally defined as a death that occurs as the result of someone else’s negligent behavior or misconduct. The negligent party may be an individual, company, or other entity. A wrongful death case can include momentary negligence, intentional misconduct, or neglect.

If your loved one has suffered a wrongful death in the Dallas, TX, area, please call the wrongful death lawyers at Rasansky Law Firm for a free consultation. We’ll assess whether we can help you seek justice through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. If we decide to take on your case, we’ll do so on contingency, meaning that you never pay a dime out of pocket for our legal services.

What Types of Cases Might Include a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death occurs when an injury or someone else’s neglect or intentional misconduct results in a person’s untimely death. The following scenarios can constitute wrongful death claims:
  • Auto accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective automobiles or other products
  • Toxic foods
  • Workplace accidents
  • Criminal acts

Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

There are four main elements that must be proven in any Dallas wrongful death lawsuit. They are as follows:

  • A legal duty was owed by the defendant to show care to the plaintiff. For example, a driver on the road owes a duty of care to all other motorists to drive safely and follow all laws.
  • There was a breach of the legal duty of care. You must be able to prove that the defendant not only owed you a duty of care but breached it through negligent behavior or misconduct. For example, a speeding driver would be considered to be breaching his duty of care.
  • The breach caused an actual injury leading to death. You need to show that the breach of care, for example speeding, is what caused the wrongful death. If someone is speeding excessively and causes a wreck, the person who caused the wreck is liable.
  • There were monetary damages as a result. This is usually the easiest element to prove, because it involves showing documentation that evidences the expenses incurred as a result of the death - things like hospital bills, funeral bills, and lost wages.

All four elements must be clear and proven to win a wrongful death claim.

For example, if the at-fault party was a drunk driver, the plaintiff would need to demonstrate that the victim’s death was a direct result of driving under the influence. If the claim is for medical malpractice, they would have to prove that the responsible party breached their duty of care towards the patient and the breach caused the patient to die.

Jeff Rasansky has an outstanding record of winning cases for his clients in Dallas, spanning the past 25 years. Well-known and respected by the community, Jeff and his team have won countless awards in recognition of their success. When it comes to an important issue such as a wrongful death claim, you can trust an experienced Dallas wrongful death lawyer at Rasansky Law Firm.

What Can a Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer Do for My Family?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a complex legal process that is best handled by a seasoned Dallas wrongful death lawyer. When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, especially due to someone else’s actions, it often leaves the surviving family members in a financial bind. Here are some of the challenges that families face after losing their loved one:

  • If the deceased person was the main provider for the family, the surviving spouse may have little or no income.
  • The surviving family will be faced with expensive funeral and burial bills.
  • The family may be faced with emotional hardship dealing with the loss of familial relations of the person who passed away.

Getting the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney to take legal action on behalf of the surviving family members will save time and money and increase the chance of success. In Dallas, our law firm will fight to obtain the wrongful death settlement you deserve.

Leading Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas

Dallas, TX, is a crowded city with several modes of transportation. Many wrongful death cases have to do with traffic negligence in various forms, such as:

Other cases that are unrelated to car accidents are often due to:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents
  • Defective product
  • Property negligence
Texas wrongful death statistics show some of the highest rates of workplace fatalities in the country. However, they also indicate that many wrongful death cases are accidental and preventable. That is why you have the right under the law to hold the liable party responsible for your loved one’s death if you can prove that they caused it.

What Do You Have to Prove in a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death lawsuit serves to seek damages (in the form of monetary compensation) from the responsible party or parties determined to have caused or contributed to the victim’s death. Had the death not occurred, they would have been able to provide significant financial support to their family over the course of their lifetime. Nothing can ever bring the lost loved one back, but a Dallas wrongful death lawsuit can help ease the financial burden and help your family move on as best as you can from such a terrible tragedy.

Families in this situation must not only deal with the emotional suffering that comes with losing a loved one but often mental anguish from the financial burden as well.

Another important reason why we file wrongful death lawsuits is that they can bring about changes in policy (for example, with traffic laws), which can help prevent similar wrongful deaths from occurring in the future. If the at-fault party is never held accountable for their negligence, there’s a good chance that similar accidents may occur again later on down the line.

Wrongful death cases involving medical malpractice or a car accident with a drunk driver are major examples of serious future risks to other people. In these situations, it’s important to hold those who caused the deaths accountable to help deter the same behavior in the future by the defendant as well as others.

In certain circumstances, the police may file criminal charges against those responsible, but only if their actions are determined to be criminal in nature. If someone is killed due to improper training, poor work site conditions, or other instances of someone else’s negligent behavior, there may not be any criminal charges filed. In this situation, the only recourse is a civil lawsuit.

It’s important to understand that there are two separate legal systems: criminal law and civil law. Even if someone is not charged criminally in relation to the wrongful death, the family of the person who passed away may absolutely have a valid wrongful death claim. You don’t need criminal charges to be filed or someone to be convicted in order to file or win a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you believe that a loved one has suffered a wrongful death in Dallas County (or anywhere in Texas), we encourage you to reach out to us. We’ll help explain the process and advise you of your legal options moving forward – all free of charge.

How a Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You

If you think you have a wrongful death claim for a loved one who died because of someone else’s negligent or other reckless behavior in Dallas, a wrongful death lawyer is your best advocate to help you recover compensation.

The deceased’s surviving family members often do not have the money or resources to pay for a wrongful death lawyer and deal with the insurance company of the at-fault party. That is why personal injury cases where someone is injured or killed through no fault of their own allow for payment based on contingency. This means that the payment for legal action depends on the success of the case. If a wrongful death lawyer fails to recover compensation, the plaintiff owes nothing. If the lawsuit is successful, the attorney’s fees will be taken as a percentage of the final settlement or court-awarded amount.

When a settlement cannot be reached through negotiations with the various involved parties through their insurance companies, the case may need to go to trial to secure fair compensation for the surviving spouse or loved one. In this scenario, it’s important to get a highly skilled Dallas wrongful death lawyer who has experience taking cases to trial for the best possible outcome.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

In most cases, a claim for wrongful death damages in Texas can only be filed by close family members of the deceased (those determined to be wrongful death beneficiaries). All states allow immediate family members, such as spouses and children, to file a claim. Beyond that, it can vary depending on the state laws and the specific circumstances of each case. It is strongly advised to speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer in Texas to determine who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim in your situation.

Generally, Texas law states that the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the wrongful death victim can file a claim, but there are specific rules as to who can file and when. Adoptive parents and adopted children are included as possible beneficiaries, and adoptive parents can file a claim for their adopted child. Grandparents, grandchildren, siblings (whether adopted or biological), and other relatives are usually not eligible to file except in extenuating circumstances.

In some states, the deceased’s executor of their will is the only party that can file a wrongful death claim. Texas law, in particular, states that a non-familial executor of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim only with the deceased’s family’s permission.

Who Pays Damages for a Wrongful Death in Texas?

The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to recover compensation for the family of the deceased. In Texas, you can pursue compensation for your deceased loved one (the plaintiff) even if they were partly at fault, according to the comparative fault rule, which applies to all types of personal injury cases. It involves a modified form of comparative negligence, also known as the 51% rule. This law states that if the deceased was less than 51% at fault, you can pursue compensation for damages. Essentially, as long as the person who died did not hold the majority of responsibility for the incident, their surviving loved ones may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Generally speaking, the insurance company for the liable party is who will pay the damages for the wrongful death claim. For example, if your loved one was killed in an auto accident by another driver, that driver’s insurance company may be the party who pays out the damages owed to you. In some cases, there are multiple liable parties, which can result in a larger settlement or award. Your Dallas wrongful death lawyer can ensure you discover and hold accountable all liable parties for your loved one’s death.

What Happens When I Decide to File A Wrongful Death Claim?

Starting a wrongful death claim can happen in one of two ways:

  • Filing a wrongful death claim after your loved one’s death
  • Filing a personal injury claim and having it turn into a wrongful death claim after your loved one dies

Regardless of the scenario, our Dallas wrongful death lawyer can help you with this complex legal process.

Once the initial complaint is filed, there is a period of investigation into the medical records and other evidence to determine the circumstances surrounding the cause of death. Both sides will share the information they have with each other. Then, settlement negotiations may begin, and will hopefully resolve the case prior to trial beginning.

Your Dallas wrongful death lawyer will negotiate with the defendant through their insurance company and/or their own legal representation. When a wrongful death settlement is reached, the at-fault party’s insurer will send a check for the amount to your lawyer. If both parties cannot agree to a satisfactory settlement, the trial will proceed.

Wrongful Death vs. Criminal Charges

A wrongful death is a legal term describing a death for which someone else is liable in a civil sense (financial). The only way you can “punish” a defendant in civil court is monetary, by getting a judgment against them or agreeing to a settlement with their insurance company. However, sometimes the circumstances surrounding a wrongful death lawsuit might lead to the responsible party facing criminal charges in a separate court case. In a criminal lawsuit, the prosecutor may file charges for criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, or murder. These two types of cases are independent of each other and handled in two different court systems.

Collecting Evidence to Support the Wrongful Death Claim

To prove that a person’s death was the result of someone else’s negligent or intentional actions can be challenging. You must prove that their behavior was the direct cause of the accident which caused the injury or death. If the person survives for a time and eventually dies, you must be able to prove that the injury was what ultimately led to the death.

Evidence can come in the form of witness statements, medical records, expert opinions, accident reconstructionist reports, and much more. Make sure you maintain documentation of any information you may come across in the days and weeks following the injury and death of your loved one, as you never know what might become pertinent evidence.

Wrongful death attorneys specialize in investigating the circumstances surrounding the death. They know how to collect the necessary evidence to prove that the defendants’ behavior directly caused their wrongful death and resulted in monetary damages to their surviving family members.

Getting the Help You Need After the Loss of a Loved One

Are you in need of a Dallas wrongful death lawyer? Your loved one deserves justice, and you may have the chance to obtain a fair settlement. An experienced wrongful death attorney from our law firm will invest their time, energy, and resources into building the strongest case possible for your claim.

You can get started on the road to pursuing compensation today. Allow us to provide you with a free case review. We will listen to the circumstances surrounding your case and then explain what we can do for you and any other surviving family members of the deceased. Whether you wish to file a claim alone or as a group, as beneficiaries, you can represent your loved one as the plaintiff party.

What Do Wrongful Death Damages Include in Texas?

You may be eligible to obtain compensation for different types of damages through a wrongful death claim (and a potential survival action claim). Once another party has been determined to be liable, you may be owed compensation for the following:
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages (in rare instances)

End-of-Life Expenses

These expenses include funeral and burial or cremation costs and can be extremely expensive in the event of an unexpected death. These expenses often also include things like:</p/>

  • The cost of a wake or other celebration of life
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Travel costs for family members
  • Certain types of outstanding debts

Survival Damages

The Texas Survival Statute states that an executor or heir can pursue a survival action claim for personal injuries the deceased suffered. It accounts for damages your loved one could have sought had they survived.

A survival claim compensates the deceased’s estate for economic and non-economic damages they suffered that may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage costs
  • Mental anguish

Punitive Damages

Reparations in a wrongful death case can sometimes include more than compensatory damages. Also known as exemplary claims, punitive damages are additional reparations paid to the surviving family members. Going beyond compensation for the family’s expenses, these damages are meant to make an example out of the defendant and deter them and others from making the same mistake. Punitive damages are awarded only in rare situations and are usually reserved for cases in which the defendant engaged in particularly malicious or reckless misconduct.

Such damages are considered punishment for the defendant and awarded to the plaintiff at the court’s discretion. Since criminal charges would be separate from the civil claim, punitive damages still do not necessarily mean there will be criminal charges.

Our Wrongful Death Case Results Speak for Themselves

The following are just a few examples of outcomes for wrongful death lawsuits we’ve handled at Rasansky Law Firm:

  • Truck accident $1.34M: A mother of three was struck and killed by a gravel truck after the driver negligently ran a red light.
  • Automobile accident $975K: A woman was killed after her vehicle was struck by a speeding driver.
  • Nursing home abuse $925K: An elderly patient died from septic shock after the staff failed to address complications related to a catheter.
  • Construction accident $850K: A skilled welder was electrocuted and killed while working on location at a construction project.

We know that wrongful death cases are more than about money. Your family’s quality of life after your loved one’s death is important. The reality is, a fair settlement or award can go a long way toward reducing your stress and allowing you to move on as best you can from this tragedy. A free consultation from Rasansky Law Firm is waiting for you now, so give us a call.

Our Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyers Charge NO FEE Unless We Win

Are you the surviving spouse, parent, or child of someone who was wrongfully killed in Dallas, TX? You don’t have to deal with your situation alone. We’ll be with you every step of the way to provide you with the best legal representation we can offer. Call us for a free consultation today and get advice on your case, as well as some peace of mind.

Negotiating a Settlement for Your Loved One's Wrongful Death

The first and most important step in a wrongful death case is to contact an attorney. Don’t speak to anyone, and don’t sign anything in relation to the death of your loved one until you have sought the advice of an attorney. The liable party is motivated to try to get you to agree to a small settlement or sign your rights away altogether.

When seeking a wrongful death settlement, you will go through a negotiation process with the defendant’s insurance company and lawyer. Before you start, you need to know your claim’s value. Your lawyer will be able to calculate the highest amount you can receive for your claim.

It is common to initially receive low offers to which you must provide counter-offers. When you know your claim’s value, you will be sure to demand what you’re entitled to. Offers and counter-offers can go back and forth for however long you need to reach an agreement.

You must also be patient and expect rejection of your counteroffers. A wrongful death lawyer knows how to support your case with evidence to help streamline this process and bring the final offer to a satisfactory amount. They will also take your case to court if you continue to receive unfair counteroffers.

An insurance company would usually rather reach a wrongful death settlement agreement with you than go to court because trials can be very costly. For this reason, most wrongful death lawsuits do settle outside of court, so yours has a good chance of doing so as well.

Texas saw tort reform in 2003 when state lawmakers put a cap on the amount of non-economic damages plaintiffs can receive in cases of medical malpractice. The cap is set at $250,000. This applies to non-economic damages only, which includes things like pain and suffering. This cap does not apply to economic damages, such as medical bills.

Are Wrongful Death Settlements Taxable in Texas?

According to the Federal Register, IRS Rule 1.104-1, wrongful death settlements cannot be taxed. They count as personal injury claims rather than as income.

What is a Typical Wrongful Death Claim Settlement?

There is no typical amount for a wrongful death claim settlement. Every case is different, so the types and amounts of damages are unique to each case. We can, however, give you information about previous cases we have won when we discuss your case with you during your free consultation.

How Long Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?

A wrongful death settlement out of court can take anywhere from a few months to longer than a year. However, if the case goes to trial, it can take an even longer amount of time to resolve. There is no way to know for sure how long your wrongful death lawsuit will take, but having a good attorney on your side will help the process go as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Dallas Wrongful Death Attorneys

We at Rasansky Law Firm have been serving our community for decades with a team of seasoned wrongful death lawyers who care about each client and truly want to get the best possible outcome every single time. We have the skill set and resources necessary to fight greedy insurance companies to ensure you are adequately compensated for what you and your family have had to go through.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

Adhering to your statute of limitations means filing your wrongful death claim by the deadline, and it is vitally important for the success of your case. If you wait too long to file a claim, you may be barred from ever doing so. In Texas, we have a 2-year statute of limitation on wrongful death claims, but there are many exceptions to this rule that your attorney can explain to you. Two exceptions are when the plaintiff is a minor or when the negligence of the named defendants was not known during the two years after the deceased’s death.

Keep in mind that the longer you wait to file a claim, the harder it will be to win. As time passes, memories fade, witnesses disappear, and crucial evidence may be lost forever. All of this can make your claim more difficult to prove, and failure to be timely may result in having your claim dismissed altogether. A wrongful death lawyer can ensure the filing of your claim before the deadline if you contact one as soon as possible.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Dallas

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek financial compensation for the loss you have endured. Because these cases can be very complex, the best way to determine if you have a legitimate claim is to speak with a knowledgeable Dallas wrongful death lawyer to evaluate your case and discuss your options.

The death of a loved one often leaves surviving family members in mental anguish. Let us handle your case and seek the justice that your loved one deserves while you focus on grieving and rebuilding. Our Dallas wrongful death attorneys can be reached 24 hours a day by phone or via the contact form on this page for a free consultation.

Speak With a Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney For Free

The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 617-1886.

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Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.   

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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