Dallas Wrongful Death Lawsuit
As an experienced wrongful death lawyer, Dottie Hyde is here to help families rebuild their lives while holding negligent parties accountable for their actions. Compensation secured through the courts can offer survivors some measure of closure, while providing long-term financial security.
If your loved one died because of the reckless or negligence actions of another person, business entity, employer, or co-worker, let us advocate for you in this life-altering legal matter.
The unexpected death of a loved one is difficult to contemplate. Overcome by grief and shock, it may seem impossible to move forward with your life. When death is caused by the negligence or transgressions of another, you need a place to turn for counsel, compassion and support. At the Texas law firm of Dorothy Hyde, we have been helping families grieving over the wrongful death of a loved one for more than twenty years. We have the knowledge and resources to obtain the compensation deserved to help you through the untimely loss of a parent, child or cherished companion.
Elements of a wrongful death lawsuit
Wrongful death is a civil action brought by the surviving family members or loved ones of the deceased. According to Texas statutes, this type of claim may be brought if a wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, or unskillfulness of one party resulted in the death of another. For more information about wrongful death claims.
A wrongful death lawsuit is based on four primary elements:
- The death was caused, either partially or fully, by the actions of the defendant
- The defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death or they are strictly liable for the death
- Beneficiaries or dependents such as a spouse or children are alive
- Monetary losses have resulted from the death
This type of litigation is different than a “Survival” action, which is a type of personal injury claim that the decedent would have been able to bring had they survived a fatal accident. See our frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims and types of wrongful death lawsuits that can be filed.
Contact attorney Dorothy Hyde. If we don’t win your case, there are no fees!
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Causes of wrongful death
At the law offices of Dottie Hyde, we handle wrongful death claims arising from a number of causes including:
- Death from slip and fall accidents stemming from inadequate property maintenance or lack of visible warning signs
- Medical malpractice such as surgical mistakes, diagnostic errors, and negligent care on the part of health care professionals, hospitals and the medical community
- Death from motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian knock-downs caused by drivers who do not obey road rules, are driving negligently or while impaired
- Workplace accidents resulting from hazardous conditions that violate safety standards outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Defective and recalled products including household items, prescription pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or automotive components that were defective in nature or sold without sufficient warning of risks.
- Nursing home abuse or elder neglect inside the home or at an assisted living care facility that results in the injury and death of a loved one.
- Violent attacks or assault that results in death may warrant criminal prosecution, but families may also seek compensation in a civil claim.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas
Every state has different wrongful death recovery stipulations. In Texas, the surviving children, spouse and parents of the decedent may seek compensation through the legal system. A wrongful death claim in Texas may be brought by just one beneficiary, or jointly among several family members.
More specifically, Texas state law allows adult children and adopted children to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a parent, whether biological or adoptive. Likewise, adoptive parents may bring a claim if their legally adopted child suffers a wrongful death.
Texas also recognizes common law marriage, which enables a spouse to file a wrongful death action regardless if the marriage was formal or not. Wrongful death actions may also be brought by a surviving spouse even if they were legally separated when the victim died.
It’s relevant to note that Texas law currently does not allow wrongful death actions brought by a same-sex spouse, nor does it sanction actions brought by siblings following the loss of a brother or sister. Additionally, grandparents are not able to pursue recovery after the death of a grandchild.
Monetary damages available
When determining the potential monetary recovery of a wrongful death claim, we rely on vocational and economic experts to determine the decedent’s contribution to the family during his or her lifetime. Other experts may help assess the non-economic contribution of the deceased, including emotional support, household chores, love and solace.
Actual damages that can be secured in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Hospital and medical care costs sustained prior to death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Immediate and long-term loss of income and insurance benefits
- Lost inheritance
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of spousal companionship
- Emotional suffering and grief experienced by survivors
Under certain circumstances, exemplary damages may be available to Texas plaintiffs who can demonstrate that the death was caused by the defendant’s willful act or omission, or as a result of gross negligence. This damage award is meant to punish the defendant.
Texas wrongful death statute of limitation
In Texas, family members must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the decedent’s passing. However, there are some exceptions that can extend the time frame for pursuing legal action. The courts may allow extra time in cases where the decedent did not know, or could not know that negligence or malpractice occurred.
For more information about these exceptions, it’s best to speak with wrongful death attorney Dottie Hyde, who is well-versed in the Texas Wrongful Death Act and extensions to legal statutes.
Find more information about death from car accidents – statute of limitations
Dallas wrongful death attorney
For more information about your legal rights regarding the wrongful death of a loved one, please call the Dallas law firm of Dorothy Hyde at 214-612-7347 to arrange your free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means no upfront fees and we only collect if we recover compensation on your behalf. For more answers to the most frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims, click here.
- Texas State Legislation, Civil Practice and Remedies Code TITLE 4. LIABILITY IN TORT CHAPTER 71. WRONGFUL DEATH; SURVIVAL; INJURIES OCCURRING OUT OF STATE http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CP/htm/CP.71.htm
- Texas State Legislation, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, TITLE 2. TRIAL, JUDGMENT, AND APPEAL, SUBTITLE B. TRIAL MATTERS, CHAPTER 16. LIMITATIONS, SUBCHAPTER A. LIMITATIONS OF PERSONAL ACTIONS, http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CP/htm/CP.16.htm