Losing a loved one can feel impossible to overcome, especially if someone else’s actions caused your loved one’s death. You may be entitled to recover compensation for your loved one’s death by filing a Texas wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. A monetary award cannot take the place of having your loved one by your side, but it can help ease your financial burdens and give you time and energy to heal.
The Arlington wrongful death lawyers at Hartley Law Firm aggressively fight for the rights of surviving family members. We understand your pain and will diligently advocate for you by filing a claim against the person or institution that caused your loved one’s death.
What Do You Need to Show to Win a Wrongful Death Case?
Under Texas law, someone is liable for the death of another if their “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” caused the person’s death. The law also allows you to hold someone’s agent or employee responsible if their actions caused or contributed to your loved one’s death.
In most wrongful death cases, you need to prove some version of the following:
- Someone owed your loved one a duty to act or refrain from acting in a certain way;
- That person, or someone acting on their behalf, didn’t satisfy the duty they owed to your loved one;
- By failing to act responsibly, their conduct caused or led to your loved one’s death; and
- You and your family suffered damages because of your loved one’s death.
A wrongful death lawyer can help you gather the appropriate evidence to prove that someone else caused your loved one’s death and help you calculate your damages.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If your loved one died because of someone else’s conduct, you might wonder who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Texas allows the following parties to bring a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse,
- Surviving children, or
- Surviving parents.
If one of these parties doesn’t file a wrongful death claim within three months after the person dies, the executor or administrator of the estate of the person who passed away can bring a lawsuit on behalf of those parties. The surviving spouse, children, or parents can request that the executor or administrator not bring a claim, but all must agree.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arlington, TX?
Surviving family members typically must file a claim against the at-fault party or institution within two years of their loved one’s death. If you miss this deadline, Texas law may prevent you from filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. A wrongful death attorney at Hartley Law can help you protect your legal rights by making sure you can meet this important deadline.
What Compensation Can I Receive by Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
Under Texas law, your family may receive economic, noneconomic, and in some cases, exemplary damages to compensate you and your family for the immense loss you have suffered.
Economic damages include the actual financial damages incurred because of your loved one’s death. These include medical expenses, lost wages, funeral and burial costs, and other expenditures.
Noneconomic damages compensate you for the emotional, social, and psychological impacts that your loved one’s death has had on you and your family. This includes mental anguish, loss of relationship, loss of support, and loss of parental guidance.
Finally, courts can award exemplary damages when the at-fault party’s “wilful act or omission or gross negligence” caused your loved one’s death. These damages punish the responsible party for their actions and are meant to deter others from committing similar acts in the future.
Why Should You Hire an Attorney to Represent You and Your Family?
Arlington wrongful death lawyers provide valuable services to you and your family during this trying time. Lawyers can perform legal research and collect evidence to help strengthen your claim. They also know how to craft legal arguments that will help maximize your chances of winning your case. An attorney can also negotiate and communicate with third parties on your behalf. If a fair settlement can’t be reached through negotiation, a lawyer can file a lawsuit for you and advocate for your and your family’s best interests in court. Attorneys and their staff will also be able to answer all of your questions and take care of your legal matters while you focus on taking care of yourself and your family.
Hartley Law Firm: Compassionate Arlington Wrongful Death Lawyers Serving Texas
You and your family have a lot to deal with, from your daily obligations to the immense grief of losing a loved one because of someone else’s actions. The attorneys at Hartley Law can help ease your burdens by pursuing justice on behalf of you and your family. In 2021, the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys named Austin Hartley one of the Top Ten Personal Injury Attorneys Under 40 in Texas. Austin and the Hartley Law Firm team will work tirelessly to help your family hold the person responsible for your loved one’s death accountable. If your loved one died because of someone else’s actions, call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our compassionate Arlington wrongful death lawyers.