Discover Who Can Sue, How These Claims Work & How a Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
Justice for wrongful death won’t appear out of thin air. In fact, many parties who are responsible for wrongful deaths will go to great lengths to dodge and deny liability, even when there is clear evidence of fault. That can mean that families face a fight when they’re seeking the justice they deserve.
And it’s one reason why it’s so crucial to take legal action with the help of a Dallas wrongful death lawyer near you. Those who do can benefit from legal knowledge, counsel, and strategies that could go a long way towards positioning their case for success.
Here’s why and what you need to know if you’re filing a wrongful death case in Dallas, TX.
Can a Sibling File a Wrongful Death Case in Dallas?
No. Brothers and sisters of the victim (the decedent) cannot file a wrongful death case under Texas law. Instead, the only parties eligible to file Dallas wrongful death claims are:
- Husbands and wives, even if they are separated, as long as they were still legal married at the time of death
- Biological children and parents
- Adopted children
- Adoptive parents
Along with siblings, others who are barred from filing a wrongful death case in Texas include (and are not limited to):
- Divorced spouses
- Stepparents who have not finalized the adoption of a decedent
- Stepchildren who were not legally adopted by a decedent
- Other relatives, like cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents
While the above parties cannot seek wrongful death compensation under Texas law, they may be eligible to pursue a survival action, as part of the decedent’s estate.
What Happens After I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Dallas, TX?
Once you formally initiate a wrongful death claim, what happens next will depend on several factors, like (but not limited to):
- The type of accident or event caused the death
- How much is known about the exact causes of death
- Who is liable for the wrongful death
- Whether there are disputes over liability
- What the plaintiffs want, need, and choose to do as their claims move forward
These and other factors can open up various paths for resolving Dallas wrongful death claims. Nevertheless, no matter what the specifics may be, most claims will include indispensable stages, including (but not limited to):
- Settlement negotiations
- Settlement offer reviews and/or counteroffers
Additionally, most Dallas wrongful death cases are resolved via out-of-court settlements. When that’s impossible, however, these cases will go to court for trial. Though decided by a jury or judge, the verdicts in these cases can be appealed. If they are, wrongful death claims can be drawn out even longer.
What Is Covered in Wrongful Death Compensation?
Wrongful death settlements and jury awards for plaintiffs can cover various damages, including economic (financial) losses and non-economic (non-financial) losses resulting from the death. Specifically, those damages can include (and may not be limited to):
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income and benefits
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of comfort, companionship, affection, and intimacy
- Permanent impacts on quality of life
These compensatory damages will never make up for the loss of a loved one. They can, however, help families focus on grieving and saying goodbye without having to worry about mounting bills and more financial stresses.
Beyond that, wrongful death compensation can also send a message to the negligent parties, possibly making them think twice and act with more care in the future.
What Will a Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me Do?
When you retain a Dallas wrongful death attorney, you can hand off your claim to a professional who:
- Can handle the complex administrative needs of the case so that you don’t miss deadlines or make other mistakes that could create new challenges for your recovery
- Is skilled at building, presenting, and resolving wrongful death cases
- Knows how to protect your rights and interests in any legal setting and at every phase of your claim
All of this can be incredibly valuable, especially when you’re facing opponents who are experienced at defending against wrongful death cases — and who are likely intent on doing whatever they can to avoid paying compensation.
Ultimately, that means that the representation and counsel of a Dallas wrongful death attorney can give you better chances of bringing your case to a favorable resolution. That can be priceless when you only have one shot at getting justice for a loved one.