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After the tragic passing of a loved one, depending on the circumstances surrounding their death there may be a potential for a wrongful death claim to be made. Here are answers to several questions that are often asked regarding potential wrongful death claims:
Question: DO I HAVE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
Answer: First of all, every state has different laws regarding who may be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim. The state of Texas generally limits claimants to the decedent's spouse, parents, and children, meaning that usually siblings and unadopted step-children are not going have a wrongful death claim.
Question: WHAT CLAIMS CAN BE MADE?
Answer: There is a wrongful death claim, which is held by the family members that we have discussed above for their loss, anguish, and suffering, among other damages. Additionally, there is oftentimes a survival claim associated. A survival claim is the estate's claim, and includes the potential medical bills of the deceased, and any pain and suffering he or she may have had to go through before their untimely death.
Question: SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
Answer: Not only are the laws involving wrongful death claims extremely nuanced, they are also oftentimes extraordinarily expensive. With a law firm paying for those costs upfront and you only paying an attorney if there is a recovery made on your behalf, oftentimes wrongful death attorneys create opportunities that clients wouldn't have on their own. Furthermore, there are usually subrogation issues where insurers attempt to take back money you received from your claim that attorneys can help you with so that at the end of the day you don't think you've settled your case for one thing, and have it all taken by the insurer the next. Additionally, after experiencing a terrible tragedy, hiring an attorney will allow you and your family to focus on other matters.
If you have any additional questions regarding wrongful death claims after the tragic loss of a loved one, please call an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer that can compassionately assist you and your family while fighting for your legal rights.