Wrongful Death Lawyer in Dallas, Texas

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The goal of a wrongful death claim is for a survivor’s family to receive compensation for the death of their loved one. When a family member passes away, not only are individuals subject to emotional loss, they are subject to financial loss as well, especially if the individual’s wages supported the rest of the family.

Negligence means a person failed to act in a reasonable manner given their situation. Our wrongful death attorneys can help you determine if another party acted negligently and if you have a claim.

Call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to get started with a free consultation with one of our Dallas wrongful death lawyers.

Wrongful Death Defined

In Texas, a wrongful death occurs when a death is caused by a person’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default. This means that a wrongful death claim exists when the death was caused by the negligent acts or omissions of another person.

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim that can be brought by certain surviving relatives of a deceased individual against another person or entity who can be held liable for the death.  In Texas, wrongful death claims may be filed by the surviving spouse, the surviving children, and the surviving parents.  Surviving siblings are not allowed to file a wrongful death claim.  A wrongful death lawsuit, if successful, can provide financial compensation in the form of money damages to the party who brought the lawsuit.

It is important to keep in mind that although the circumstances of some of these cases may cause law enforcement to criminally charge a defendant, a civil wrongful death action may still be pursued in civil court.  However, things can get complicated when a criminal case and a civil case proceed simultaneously.  In these situations, you may want to consider discussing your options with an experienced wrongful death attorney.

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Common Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful deaths can and do occur in many ways on a daily basis.  This section describes some of the most common cases of wrongful death, as well as the party that could be held liable in each case.

Auto Accidents

Car crashes are one of the most common causes of wrongful death.  A wrongful death can occur in a multi-vehicle collision, or even a single-car accident.

In situations where there is a crash involving two or more vehicles, the negligence of one of the drivers may be sufficient to establish fault in a wrongful death suit.  For example, a distracted driver who had been texting prior to the crash may be held liable for the death of the decedent.  Other common scenarios involve drunk drivers, motorcyclists, speeding motorists, or bicyclists.  If it can be established that the negligence of these parties caused the death of the decedent, a wrongful death claim may be pursued.

A wrongful death cause of action may also exist for single-vehicle car accidents.  Common scenarios involve a car that is equipped with defective parts.  For instance, if a vehicle’s brakes fail to work, a driver may end up in a fatal car accident.  If this is the case, it is possible that the manufacturer of the vehicle or the defective car part may be liable for the death.

Work-Related Accidents

A death that occurs while on-the-job may give rise to a wrongful death cause of action.  Common examples of workplace-related accidents leading to death include: fires, explosions, illness from toxic substances, and machine-related accidents.

Depending on the circumstances giving rise to the accident that led to death, liability for work-related incidents can hold against the employer, the manager or supervisor on duty, or the manufacturer of defective equipment.

Trucking Accidents

Fatal accidents involving big-rigs or 18-wheelers are common source of wrongful death litigation.  One common scenario involves an overworked and under-slept truck driver who falls asleep at the wheel and crashes his rig into another vehicle.  Another scenario involves a trailer that has a defective piece of equipment which somehow causes an auto accident.

In these cases, a wrongful death suit may be initiated against the driver as an individual, or against the company that employed the driver.  Failure to maintain proper driver’s logs, failure to adhere to strict federal regulations, and other forms of negligence may give rise to liability in a wrongful death case involving a truck accident.

Products Liability

Products liability occurs when the manufacturer, designer, seller, or distributor of a consumer product fails to adhere to its duty to provide the customer with a safe product.  A common example of a products liability wrongful death case is when a child dies from choking on a small toy that did not come with a warning label.  Faulty design, defective manufacturing process, or failure to warn of possible injuries or death can make certain parties liable for a wrongful death.

Medical Malpractice

Doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff members have a duty to provide their patients with safe and comprehensive care.  If this duty is not carried out, a wrongful death cause of action may exist.

Medical malpractice can lead to death in several ways.  Examples include: prescriptions errors, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical error, or medical equipment malfunction.  In these cases, the medical professional, the entity that treated the patient, or the manufacturer of the defective medical equipment may be held liable.

Aviation Accidents

A wrongful death cause of action may also arise after an aviation accident.  These types of accidents typically involve airplane or helicopter crashes.  Parties that can be held liable for wrongful death include the airline company, the manufacturer of the airplane or helicopter equipment, or the pilot.

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What To Do After an Accidental Death

1.) Call 911

When an accident resulting in unexpected death occurs, your first step should be to call 911.  This is true even if the accident led to a serious, but non-deadly injury.  In this scenario, alerting emergency responders as soon as possible can help preserve a life.

2.) File a Report

Your next step should be to file a report with the proper authorities.  The report will describe the circumstances that led to and caused the incident.  When making the report, describe in as much detail the events that occurred leading up to the accident.  A clear and comprehensive report may be helpful if a wrongful death lawsuit is later pursued.

3.) Contact an Attorney

If you are interested in pursuing a wrongful death claim, or if you would like to learn more about what you can do to seek compensation for your family, contact a wrongful death attorney.  An attorney will listen to you and discuss the facts of your case.  The attorney will then be able to guide you through the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.


Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

The primary element of a wrongful death claim is a death of a human being.  The other key elements of a wrongful death claim include:

1.) A Duty of Care

The party bringing the wrongful death claim (Plaintiff) must establish that the person or entity that caused the death (Defendant) owed a duty of care to the deceased person.  Although the precise definition of a duty of care depends on the nature of the relationship between the parties, a duty of care generally refers to a duty to keep someone safe, or to refrain from doing something that would harm someone.

For example, consider the case of a fatal car accident.  In such a scenario, the Plaintiff will need to establish that the Defendant had a duty to act reasonably, by doing things such as obeying traffic laws and driving carefully.

2.) Breach of Duty of Care

After establishing that a duty of care existed, the Plaintiff must then show that the Defendant breached his or her duty.  Typically, this means that the Plaintiff must show that the Defendant did not act carefully or responsibly.  This can be accomplished by providing evidence that the Defendant engaged in an act that led to the death in question.  In the case of a fatal car crash, the Plaintiff may offer evidence that the Defendant was drunk, speeding or texting while driving.

3.) Causation

The Plaintiff must be able to show that the Defendant’s breach of duty caused the decedent’s harm.  This means that the Plaintiff must be able to establish that the actions of the Defendant directly caused the wrongful death.  This may be accomplished by use of evidence such as expert testimony or witness statements.

4.) Damages

Proving damages means proving that the injured party suffered some sort of harm.  In cases of wrongful death, if the elements of duty, breach, and causation are established, damages will be presumed.

Determining Who is at Fault

Determining fault in a wrongful death case involves establishing the four elements listed above.  In order to establish these elements, it will be necessary to thoroughly comb through the facts of your case.  For instance, an investigation into witnesses, accident reports, autopsy reports, medical records, and consultation with experts will all likely be necessary in order to establish a good case that a party is liable for wrongful death.

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I had the privilege of working with Zinda Law Group recently and was thoroughly impressed with the level of service and support they provided. When we began, I had reservations about the likelihood of reaching a settlement, but the team's professionalism, intelligence, and dedication quickly put those doubts to rest. They went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable throughout the process, and their hard work and strong advocacy ultimately led to a successful outcome. I cannot thank Zinda Law Group and their staff enough for their exceptional service and support, and I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal assistance. Their commitment to their clients and their willingness to fight for what's right truly sets them apart. In short, I give them a rating of five stars for their outstanding work.
Zinda Law Group is amazing! My husband was in an accident and they made the process super easy and hassle free. They took care of everything, we are so appreciative for them! They exceeded our expectations. We will definitely be telling everyone we know about them. Thank you Zinda Law for everything!
Zinda Law Group is an amazing firm! My case was not without its challenges, but they handled it all in stride. They kept me up to date, kept me informed every step of the way, and ensured I understood the process and all of my options. Burgess, Ryan and their extremely capable staff of Paralegals made a very challenging process as painless as possible. They were kind, compassionate, and patient, and just a real pleasure to work with. I would, and will, recommend them highly to anyone needing an attorney.
My experience with Zinda Law Group was pretty awesome. I definitely would recommend their Law firm. Brendan and his team were very friendly, helpful and informative about my case and were able to win as well. I really appreciate all of their hard work and dedication, I highly recommend.Thank you all again for your help and your time.Sincerely,Pat.b
I was very satisfied with the professionalism of my attorney and the paralegals, they helped me threw this accident and got me a great settlement, all while keeping me involved and informed. Zinda law group made me feel comfortable and I trusted them to fight for me. The trust was well placed! Thank Yous, I appreciate all that Yous done for me and my family!!
I’ve had such a great experience with Zinda law group! They’ve handled everything relatively quickly and professionally. They really have made my life a lot easier. I recommend anyone dealing with auto accidents (or similarly) to Zinda Law group.I felt I was very important to them and that my feelings and thoughts were validated. They treated me with much care and respect, not like “just another client”. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.
I truly recommend Zinda law group they truly helped me and my family during such a hard hard time. Very accommodating they work extremely hard to make sure that you are compensated from start to finish they made it happen and made a rough time a lot smoother than I could of ever imagined thank you all for everything if you are looking for a lawyer that goes above beyond look no further Michael will get you taken care of!
Zinda Law did an excellent job for us from start to finish. They communicated clearly and their staff was great! My son Nic was in a car accident and had an injury to his eye. Zinda Law took care of everything start to finish and obtained the maximum amount possible from insurance for his injury.
I am so glad I called Zinda law group. being hit by a drink driver was the worst experience of my life physically and emotionally. As soon as I reached out they got the ball rolling with all my medical needs. They were in contact with all of my appointments and made my recovery as smooth as possible. I would definitely without a doubt recommend them. A huge shout out to Shivangi for taking over and fighting for what my family and I deserved.
My experience with Zinda Law Group has been OUTSTANDING! Big shoutout to Joe Caputo and his team!I was the passenger in a terrible car accident that left me needing medical attention. The person at faults insurance company reassured me that my medical bills would be taken care of. However, that was not the case. I started receiving multiple calls from debt collectors, and bill after bill by mail. The driver’s insurance company no longer returned my calls, and emails went unanswered. I was so stressed and over my head with how to handle the situation. It was time to call the pros! As soon as I made the call to Zinda Law Group, Joe and his team I were on it! I no longer received calls from debt collectors, so I knew action was taken immediately. I was informed every step of the way, and every call/email was answered. Had I called sooner, I would have never gone through all that stress. I was treated like a friend, not just a client.Thank you Zinda Law Group!
I hired Zinda for a crazy situation involving an 18 wheeler where an object flew off a trailer and blasted through my windshield.I reached out to Zinda and spoke with Michael Cupero, my attorney at Zinda, after the accident once I realized this is affecting my day to day life in a significant way (PTSD from a "Final Destination" type of incident) and Michael was nothing short of fantastic through the entire process.The Zinda team, including Michael and Mary-Catherine Holt and several others, guided me through the entire process from initial settlement offers, filing the lawsuit, depositions, the whole 9.They listened to my concerns, provided clarity and perspective when needed, and not once did I feel that my best interest was not at the forefront of their actions and behavior through my experience as a client.Thank you Michael, Mary-Catherine and Zinda!If you want a team that will treat you with professionalism, respect, and understanding then do yourself a favor and reach out to Zinda!
Extremely professional and communicative . They explained the process as we went along and made it very clear weighting pros and cons. They understood my pain and my worries but kept their expertise always on the top of things finding elements for me to win my case. I am thankful to have had Zinda Law Group to support me during those two years as it finalized and I can keep on living.
My experience with Zinda law group has been wonderful from start to finish. Natasha and Emily explained everything very well and answered any questions I had, communicated well throughout the whole process , and handled the case very professionally, they worked very hard on my case I would definitely highly recommend to friends and family.
I found myself in a situation where I needed legal representation. After looking over reviews in the area, I decided to contact Natasha at Zinda law group in the hopes that she could represent me . Natasha put me at ease with her responsiveness and her ability to accommodate my last minute needs. I had no idea what to expect. It felt like a wave of relief knowing that you're working with a professional that knows what she's doing, and knows how to get things done quickly and efficiently. I appreciate the time and attention that Natasha put into my case. I hope I won't be needing their services again in the future, but I would absolutely contact them again if I do. Thanks again
I am very satisfied with the service and the outcome of my case.Since the first phone call, and every step of the way until the end, Zinda Law was on top of every detail pertaining to my auto accident case.The case is now closed, and looking back, they made every step of the process easy and manageable. They were very thorough in explaining the different scenarios, and extremely transparent with all the possible outcomes.Thank you to every person who aided in the success of my case, all of whom were exceptional in their tasks and working as a team.
The Zinda Law Group was outstanding in helping me with my aunts case. My two Attorneys Neil and Shivangi were very compassionate, kind, eager to help, and really listen carefully and attentively to my case about my aunt. My aunt got hit by a driver while crossing the street and killed. I went after the guys insurance; although, this doesn't bring back my aunt, but allows for this not to happen to other people like this in her case. These attorneys worked very hard and efficiently to bring the justice that they saw fit. When I had a question they explained in terms I understood and not above and beyond me. I appreciate it when people can come down to my level and not intimidate and use trepidation on someone in feeling like they are the fly while they're the spider waiting for the right moment for the fly to walk into its web.Neil and Shivangi always whenever they called asked me how I was at the beginning of our conversations and is there anything I needed at the end of each call. Each call they made to me, was made very professional, personable and felt heart felt as if you were part of the family. At the end of each subject matter they always asked, "Do you have any questions for me before we go to the next thing we need to talk about?" They always wanted to make sure I understood everything before the next item we needed to talk about. These guys really are good and want to please the client anyway they can I thought; when I first started talking to them. I give them above and beyond a 5-Star rating if there was such a thing. I Highly Recommend The Zinda Law Group to Anyone who needs them. This is what I give them if I could!!💯💯💯💯💯 and👍👍👍👍👍 and⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐❗❗❗THANK YOU TO NEIL, SHIVANGI, MARA AND TO EVERYONE AT THE ZINDA LAW GROUP WHO WORKED ON MY CASE!! I APPRECIATE YOU ALL!
I would like to recognize a fantastic attorney named Joe Caputo from Zinda Law Group. I was involved in an auto accident that had many complicated moving parts that were hard to navigate and understand as a victim. Joe was so gracious and spent quality time explaining what courses of action I needed to take as a victim to protect myself. Joe was also diligent in following up with me regarding my case and provided guides and checklists that were extremely helpful to keep things organized and moving. Joe was always readily available for my questions and responded promptly. Joe Caputo's excellent counsel ensured I protected myself when dealing with the opposing insurance company and ensured the best possible outcome for my case. Joe's expertise in personal injury lawsuits helped alleviate the stress and anxiety that follows the aftermath of an auto accident. Thanks again Joe! You are truly an amazing, kind person and attorney!
Zinda Law was incredibly amazing. I had the pleasure of working with Michael and his incredibly hard working team after my wreck in November. They went above and beyond keeping up with my health, bills, insurance companies, all that fun stuff I had no time for. After what felt like such a short amount of time, they were able to win every last penny from the "bad guys" insurance (loved that term). I couldn't happier, and even though I went through something traumatic, it was still the best experience I could have ever asked for. Thank you Michael and everyone that helped with my case, yall are the best!!
My attorney was Christina , she and her team gave me the best outcome for my case .I am giving an honesty review at first I was very upset because I kept getting moved around and I never knew who I was talking to because they switch attorneys and kept changing my paralegals.. I was going to go with another law firm but Christina helped me with my case from then on out and she worked around my schedule to talk to me which I appreciate. Also my last law firm took 30 percent, and this one took 33 percent which I wasn’t to happy so just a heads up. Overall I rate this 4 stars cause I’m just happy the case is over with and I get to go back to my life.Update: I just received another call from my attorney and they have worked to negotiate my case with the billing and have put more money in my pocket. All the money that I had spent while working on the case has came back to me. I can fully move on and say that I have gain every penny that was lose during those hard times. I’m so happy and thankful to Zinda law group!!!!!!
Zinda Law Group did an excellent job with my case. The staff was super friendly and super effective as far as communicating with me throughout the entire case. I highly recommend Zinda Law Group for your next case and for any of your future cases. 5 Stars across the board thank you so much for everything!
Joh Harper, Priyonka Bhikha, and the rest of the team gave my case a quick and satisfactory conclusion. The attorney, Mr. Harper did an absolutely amazing job keeping me on the same page as far as the case goes. Honestly, if anybody is hurt in a car wreck or another personal injury case, I WILL STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU SPEAK TO THEM.
I was in a motor vehicle collision about two years ago. From the minute I picked up the phone to speak with a representative to the case finally settling, it was a great experience. I worked with Burgess Williams and his team (Kathy, Ryan, and Linda) throughout the process. They were all very professional and helpful when I needed them the most.
Great Firm. I was in motorcycle accident- T-boned at a full stop with my daughter riding on back. Zinda's team was instantly responsive. Christina was very compassionate, organized and scheduled time before every legal event to discuss goals and overview. The process was 2 years but during that time the lawyers and staff (John and Shane were also great) were always available and understanding. The team is focused on doing what is right and by the book. I would highly recommend this firm to anyone who is suffering from a motorcycle accident.
Jason Aldridge and his paralegal Mara did an absolutely amazing job on my case. They were very responsive to all emails, calls and even texts. They treated me with dignity and respect from start to finish. I never once felt like my case was at the back of the list or anything. Not only did they explain and walked me through everything, they got me the help I needed and a final outcome over what I had expected. I would highly recommend this law firm, Jason and Mara to anyone seeking legal assistance.
Highly Recommended-100% Satisfied!.From the initial phone call I felt confident I chose the right firm. They explained the process and I was always in the loop, even when we were at a stand still. Very grateful I was quickly referred to them by a friend who had a similar case. Both of us are happy with the end result. Thank you!
My team of lawyer were very professional and communicated extremely clearly. They kept me updated on their status and did not make me worry at all about my situation. They explained everything to me very well and put things into simple terms for my understanding. I am very satisfied with their performance.
I would recommend them to anyone that's been involved in an accident and feels skeptical in engaging an attorney.When one gets into an accident, you're traumatized, confused, angry and helpless.That was me last year, getting all kinds of advice becomes your next norm, to use or not to use an attorney.I was in so much pain from my injuries but at the same time knew I had to act fast.I called Zinda Law Group for consultation, they took my case seriously and treated me with respect, they were very professional and understanding.Elizabeth, kudos to you, you're true to your word, Integrity should be your last name.Jason Aldridge my attorney went to work immediately, he assured me that all be well and I should concentrate on my healing and he will do the rest. Thank your Sir, You did just that.His team, Mara, Zuleyma and Andrew, they all become my support system, so professional and lots of respect in each and everyphone call or email. Thank you guys.I would recommend anyone to use Zinda Law Group.
I honestly loved not dealing with the hospital bills while I was recuperating. It gave me peace of mind going through this process and Zinda took care of everything. They found awesome health providers for me and haven't had to worry about anything while they've been taking my case. I've been well informed, communicated with, responded to and understood by Zinda. They have been efficient and effective while working on my case and I'm so glad I choose to go with this law firm.
When I was injured in a car accident in March of 2020 the insurance companies were not concerned with my well being. I called Zinda Law group & spoke with Reagan, who went over my concerns & later had Jono contact me. After reviewing my information with Jono my case was immediately put in motion. I worked mainly with Sam Thomas who truly was a blessing to me, he was very supportive & genuinely concerned with my well being, everything wasn't simply about the case it was about me being healed & getting the proper treatment that I needed. Sam was also emotionally supportive when I went through several losses in my family & is a great friend. In all everyone was extremely supportive & all worked for me which was quite a different legal experience for me from Law groups in my past. I was well supported, always informed, treated with respect & made the priority in all decisions. Zinda Law Group made sure I was compensated completely & that I didn't have financial stresses over hospital bills after all was said & done. Sam, Katrina, Mary Catherine, Reagan & Jono I just want to thank you & all of Zinda for the incredible experience & the wonderful caring people that you all are, you are truly Golden in your field.
They helped me after I got into car accident, they are such a great professional business. I would honestly recommend them to anyone that would need help after a car accident for sure, they kept me up to date with everything that was happening on with my case. I had multiple people working on my said case and they were very professional and nice whenever they had called me and kept it very simple for me to understand what was actually going on. I'm extremely happy that I had found them and went with them to help me and I'm so thankful for them. 10/10 would recommend!
I am so glad I got in touch with Zinda! My car accident occurred just 4 days prior to moving, during the busiest week of the year at my job, and just a week before the quarantine was declared a new reality for all of us. Everyone at Zinda remained persistent, supportive, and most of all advocated for me throughout such a chaotic time. I’ll always be grateful for the care they took to make sure my health and well-being were taken care of. So super grateful to know that a split second mistake someone else made doesn’t have to dictate my life. Thanks!
My experience with Zinda Law Group was better than expected. After an accident that totalled my car, I reached out and was paired with a wonderful attorney. She communicated frequently and responded to my calls and texts in a timely manner. She was friendly, knowledgeable, and answered all of my questions. I was kept in the loop during every step of the process. I would call Zinda Law if I ever need this type of support again.
I had an excellent experience working with the attorneys at Zinda Law Group! They were knowledgeable, professional and patient. They walked me through every step of the long process of getting treatment after my car wreck and kept me updated with timeframes and next steps. I would absolutely recommend anyone working with them!
They helped me with so much! I had a dog bite happen 2019 and it was very heart breaking! This law group made everything so easy to help me through a rough time! John Rogers and Shane Eckert were very easy to talk to and open about if I needed to talk about frustrations I had with bills. Everything got closed before Christmas and I was so blessed! I highly recommend them no matter what! Thank you guys so much!
Zinda Law Group helped me with my personal injury case after an auto accident. I was hurt pretty badly and I wasn't sure which attorney to call, I looked at reviews for Zinda Law and called right away.Kaitlin Nares and her team were so responsive and helpful. Kaitlin called me right away and helped me navigate through a very difficult process and time in my life. Being hurt in a car accident changes you!!! My case settled for more than I thought it would, and a lot quicker. I know sometimes things are more complicated, but my case was settled in only 3 months after my accident. Mary-Catherine was also so helpful in making sure everything was finalized! I have referred two people who have recently been in auto accident because it's not IF, its WHEN these days... I usually don't write reviews unless I feel strongly about sharing my experience to help others! Thank you!!!
I was referred here by a family member. Our lawyer jason and his team did and amazing job. They kept me updated in everything made sure I understood what was going on. My son was hit by a van in the hospital jason came right over. He's awesome so much down to earth straight forward. I would recommend him and his firm to everyone and I have thank you zinda but most of all thank you Jason for being there for us for being a friend
Zinda Law Group was recommended to me from another satisfied client and I certainly received excellent service. The attorneys and staff are very proactive with communication and I knew every step of the way what was happening on my case. I never felt pressured with decision making and they went above & beyond to answer questions with satifactory explanations. This is a very professional group of attorneys & support staff. In addition, they were willing to meet me at a location more convenient for me. I appreciated their concern for my time.
Could not speak highly enough of the firm. I was involved in my first accident and thankfully had Zinda Law Group supporting me through the scary time. Jono took care of me every step of the way. He made me feel like I was a priority through the entire process. A big thank you to Jono and the rest of the Zinda crew!

Who Can File?

When a person meets an untimely death that could have been prevented, many people are impacted. These people include family members, life partners, friends, and financial dependents. Our Dallas wrongful death lawyers can help you through this difficult time by handling the legal process and bringing justice on behalf of your family member.

A wrongful death lawsuit can be pressed if someone dies as a result of another person or company’s negligence. There are many types of wrongful death claims, including medical malpractice, car accidents, product liability, or a construction accident.

Typically the only individuals who are eligible to request a wrongful death lawsuit are a victim’s surviving spouse, children of the victim, and dependent parents. If none of these survived a victim, parents who were not dependent on the victim can request a lawsuit as well as a victim’s siblings, grandparents of the victim, or any next of kin.

Factors To Consider Before Filing

Before a claim can be filed, a wrongful death attorney can help you evaluate who was at fault: A driver? An employer? A manufacturer? An installer? The owner of the premises? There are many individuals who could have been responsible and held liable. It is often a complex and difficult process establishing fault, which is why it is encouraged that you get the necessary legal assistance of a firm knowledgeable about wrongful death cases.

A wrongful death claim can be filed whether the accident was intentional or unintentional. When you file this claim, it is important to decide a number of factors:

  • Who could provide expert testimony regarding a victim’s life expectancy
  • What the lost financial support amounts to
  • What the monetary value of loss of companionship amounts to
  • Who was at fault

How To File a Wrongful Death Claim

1.) Contact a Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney

If you are an authorized party and wish to file a wrongful death claim, your first step should be to contact a wrongful death attorney.  A wrongful death attorney will meet with you to review the facts and circumstances of your case.  During this meeting, the attorney will ask questions in order to obtain important bits of information such as when the death occurred, how it occurred, and whether there were any witnesses or police reports filed.

2.) Investigation

After the initial meeting, the wrongful death attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.  In doing so, the attorney may interview several parties including the person who caused the accident, witnesses to the accident, and insurance companies who cover the accused party.  The attorney will also review important and relevant documents such as medical records, police reports, work-logs, and surveillance video.

3.) Settlement and Lawsuit

After gathering as much information as possible, the wrongful death attorney will contact you to review your legal options.  If the case is strong enough, a lawsuit may be filed.  This process begins by filing the necessary documents which alerts the court and the defendant that a lawsuit is being initiated.

The remainder of the process consists of more investigation into the facts of the case.  Investigations and depositions may be conducted up until the time of trial, unless the parties reach a settlement.

Wrongful Death Settlement

Damages awarded in wrongful death lawsuits are meant to compensate the family members for their losses experienced when losing a loved.  In Texas, the types of damages can be separated into three general categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages reflect the financial contributions the decedent would have made to his or her surviving relatives had it not been for the untimely death.  Economic damages may include:

  • Medical expenses related to the death
  • Loss of expected earnings
  • Loss of benefits (e.g., pension plans and/or medical coverage)
  • Loss of inheritance
  • The value of goods and services that the decedent would have provided

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages cannot be objectively quantified.  Rather, these types of damages are subjectively evaluated by a jury in a wrongful death case.  Types of non-economic damages may include:

  • Mental anguish or pain and suffering
  • Loss of care, support, and protection from the deceased
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may be awarded in order to punish the wrongdoer.  Although uncommon in wrongful death cases, punitive damages may be awarded in instances where the actions of the defendant were particularly reckless or intentional.

Calculating Damages

Calculating damages is not an easy task, especially in wrongful death cases.  The damages phase of a trial often involves taking the testimony of expert witnesses who present opinions on the proper amount of damages.  Economic damages may be calculated by examining the financial statements of the deceased up until the time of death and projecting his or her future income up until the time of retirement.  Non-economic damages are much more difficult to calculate, and often require the jury to make subjective decisions based on many factors.

Legal Time Limits

A “statute of limitations” is a legal time limit in which a lawsuit must be initiated.  If a person does not bring a claim within the statute of limitations time period, that person is barred from litigating the claim in court.

In Texas, the surviving family members must file the wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the decedent’s death.  Thus, for example, if a person was killed in a car crash on July 1, 2019, a wrongful death suit must be filed before July 1, 2021.  If the suit is not filed before July 1, 2021, the claim is barred from being heard in court.

In certain situations, a statute of limitations may be paused or “tolled.”  In these cases, the statute of limitations clock does not begin ticking until the harm is discovered.  However, it is safest to assume that the two-year statute of limitations is always in effect.

Because the statute of limitations is a critical factor that can break a wrongful death case, it may be helpful to seek the advice of an experienced wrongful death attorney.  An attorney can provide you with legal advice regarding the status and viability of your claim.

Child Wrongful Death

In Texas, the parents of a child who was killed in a wrongful death case may bring a claim to recover damages.  Adoptive parents may also file a wrongful death claim for their adopted child.

Damages in wrongful death cases involving a child typically include monetary payment for the loss of the child’s contribution to the family, loss of the relationship with the child, the grief that is experienced because of the loss of the child, and possibly damages for future earnings.  If the child survived for some time following the accident, but eventually passed away, damages may also include medical expenses incurred as a result of treating the child.

In cases involving adult children, parents will typically not be allowed to seek compensation in the form of damages unless the parents depended on the adult child for support.  This means the parents must have received financial support from the adult child.  One example is payments received for living expenses.

Get a Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney on your Side

The most important step you can take before filing a wrongful death claim is to secure the help of a competent Dallas wrongful death lawyer. There are many things to consider when filing a claim that an attorney can advise you about. Most importantly, our Dallas wrongful death attorneys know the time limitations and wrongful death laws that impact your case.

Zinda Law Group is a wrongful death and injury law firm that genuinely cares about the best interests of its clients and that has qualifications you can trust. The firm is BBB accredited, has received a SuperLawyers® rating, and is a part of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Zinda Law Group’s attorneys have also received a 10.0 rating on AVVO and been recognized as “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers.

We truly desire to help our clients achieve a successful outcome, no matter what the details of the case. Seek compensation and justice today by calling Zinda Law Group at 800-863-5312. We offer free consultations with an attorney and there are no fees unless we win your case.

Our Awards

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Super Lawyers Rising Stars

AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)

National Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyers

AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)

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