A wrongful death is without question one of the most devastating events a person can ever endure. Losing anyone you love is incredibly difficult to process. Losing someone suddenly to negligence makes that trauma all the worse. Emotional grief is only compounded by the unfairness of such a situation, causing most people to feel like they have nowhere to turn. At The Lenahan Law Firm, we know differently.
We have established ourselves as compassionate advocates on behalf of those suffering from a wrongful death and are committed to fighting for justice on their behalf. With over 50 years of combined experience and client testimonials unlike any other firm, you can have complete confidence in the outstanding legal representation we offer.
Marc Lenahan isn’t just a nationally respected wrongful death attorney, he’s a widower. When you and Marc talk, you can rest assure that he can understand your loss with all of its powerful grief and complexities.
Fill out a free case evaluation or call our office at (214) 295-1008 to speak with a Dallas wrongful death lawyer.
This type of legal action can allow the decedent's survivors to sue for damages related to the loss of their loved one, including their lost income and the loss of their personal relationship. To be eligible to file, however, certain requirements surrounding the details of a person’s death must be satisfied.
Texas law states that a wrongful death claim can be filed if another person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” results in the death of someone else. This can occur under almost any circumstances, such as a car accident, medical malpractice incident, or workplace accident. If family members wish to file a claim, they must do so within three months of death. After this time period, the executor of the deceased person’s estate may choose to file instead. It is important to note, however, that a person cannot sue for wrongful death if the decedent was killed while committing a crime.
All of the following individuals can file a claim on behalf of the deceased person:
- Adult children over the death of a parent
- An adoptive child over the death of an adoptive parent
- Adoptive parents over the death of an adoptive child
Siblings cannot file a claim for the loss of their brother or sister. If the claim is successful, compensation may be awarded to the surviving family members. Compensation generally encompasses lost earning capacity, emotional suffering, lost companionship, and lost inheritance.
"...my wife was killed by a hit and run driver...it looked like the person who hit her was going to get off Scott free...From start to finish it took about 5 months to get a favorable ruling. I received my check in June and now I can get on with my life thanks to Marc."
- Chris D.
In a wrongful death case, the survivors of the deceased can seek to recover a variety of monetary damages related to the loss of life. These damages can be broken up into two main categories economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate for quantifiable losses such as medical expenses or missed days at work. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate for more abstract losses such as pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Damages can be awarded for the following:
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost care of the family member
- Pain and suffering
- Lost love and companionship
- Lost inheritance
In particularly egregious cases where the death occurred as a result of gross negligence, exemplary or punitive damages can be awarded. As opposed to the compensatory nature of other damages, exemplary damages are meant to act as a punishment to deter others from acting in the same fashion. Any awarded damages are to be divided between the surviving family members as the court sees fit.
If the death was caused by an accident that was due to someone else’s negligence, it is a wrongful death in the eyes of the law. This means that there are countless ways wrongful death can happen. When you are evaluating whether your loved one’s passing qualifies as wrongful death, you should first consider who was at fault. If it was another party, then you most likely have a solid claim on your hands. In our experience, the more common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car crashes
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Pedestrian accidents
- Oilfield accidents
- Swimming pool drownings
Whatever led to your loved one’s death, try to find out what really happened. Without a liable party, you may be left with no one to file a claim against. Knowing who is responsible is the very first step in filing a successful wrongful death claim.
Filing a successful claim is not an easy process. While you may know that the liable party is responsible for your loved one’s death, you must be able to show that to the court. This means there are key pieces of evidence you must be able to present in your case. Without this evidence, your claim will fall apart.
There was a duty of care: A duty of care means that the liable party had a responsibility to keep your loved one reasonably safe. For example, employers have a duty of care toward their employees, and must make sure the work environment is safe. Doctors have a duty of care toward their patients. Landlords have a duty of care toward tenants. You can show a duty of care through proper documentation, such as contracts, leases, or bills.
There was a breach of that duty: If the duty is breached, then it means that the party with the duty of care may be held liable for that breach and any resulting injuries. For example, if a landlord does not provide proper maintenance to a building, then that is a breach of duty of care.
The death came as a direct result: Finally, your loved one’s death had to happen as a direct result of the breach. If we continue the landlord example, if that lack of maintenance led to a building fire that resulted in a tenant’s death, that landlord could be held legally responsible. Proving this would likely involve an in-depth investigation, where an expert would testify that there was faulty writing that the landlord should have known about and fixed.
Of course, getting ahold of experts and running an investigation is a lot to deal with, let alone when you are mourning the tragic loss of a family member. That is why you should work with an attorney who has years of experience helping those who have lost a loved one to wrongful death in Fort Worth or Dallas.
In the midst of your pain and suffering, the last thing you need to worry about is taking legal action on behalf of your loved one. Our firm is closely familiar with the process of filing a claim in Texas and will work hard behind the scenes so you don't have to. We believe that our clients deserve the best, which is why we consistently go above and beyond the expectations set for us.
Nothing can ever make up for the loss of your loved one, but requiring the responsible party to pay compensation is one way to ensure that justice is done. Speak with a dedicated Dallas wrongful death lawyer at The Lenahan Law Firm today.
- $10,004,323 Recovered ($4,029,590 in Fees & Expenses) in DWI Wrongful Death
- $6,504,961 Recovered ($2,738,046 in Fees & Expenses) in Wrongful Death
- $6,300,000 Recovered ($2,380,327 in Fees & Expenses) in Wrongful Death
View more case results here.
Let The Lenahan Law Firm walk with you during this difficult time; call (888) 473-2820 to take advantage of our representation.
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