Plano prides itself on its small-town community feel, even as its population is over 285,000. It’s easy to relax and enjoy Plano’s rolling hills, parks, streams, and lakes. But if your loved one dies because of someone else’s carelessness, it’s not easy to return to your suburban life. To help surviving family members recover after a loss, the law provides for a wrongful death lawsuit.
While a verdict in your favor won’t bring your loved one back, it can help you find some peace. A financial award can provide relief from the bills you may be unsure of how to pay or compensation for your grief, pain, and suffering. When it’s time to hold someone accountable, call Hartley Law Firm. We have years of experience helping accident victims and their families in Plano, Texas, and the surrounding area, and we are here for you.
When Can a Plano Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
Under Texas law, a person who causes an injury that leads to another’s death is responsible for damages “if the injury was caused by the person’s . . . wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” The law allows a wrongful death claim if the injured person would have been entitled to bring a lawsuit for the injury had they lived. Common examples of accidents that lead to wrongful death claims include:
- Car accidents,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Slip and fall,
- Defective products,
- Medical malpractice, and
- Workplace injuries.
In these types of cases, you must show that someone owed a duty of care to the injured person and that they acted wrongfully or carelessly, causing the death of that person. For example, in a car accident, drivers must act as reasonable drivers under the circumstances. If they fail to do so and cause an accident that results in injuries, you can receive financial compensation for their negligence.
Only the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim in Texas. The estate executor may file if none of the entitled family members file within three months of the person’s death. If you have a wrongful death claim, it’s best to contact a legal practitioner sooner rather than later. Texas limits wrongful death claims to within two years of a person’s death. If you file later, the courts will dismiss your claim.
What Can a Plano Wrongful Death Attorney Help Me Recover?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim, so jail time is not an outcome. Instead, a favorable verdict is one where the award financially compensates you for the loss of your loved one. You likely have economic losses, such as medical bills, funeral costs, and lost income. You can also recover non-economic damages, which are less simple to quantify. Typical non-economic damages awarded in a wrongful death case include:
- Pecuniary loss—the loss of the loved one’s care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, and reasonable contributions of a monetary value;
- Loss of companionship and society—the loss of the positive benefits flowing from the love, comfort, companionship, and society of the loved one;
- Mental anguish—emotional pain, torment, and suffering because of the loved one’s death; and
- Loss of inheritance— loss of the present value of the assets that the deceased, in reasonable probability, would have added to the estate and left at natural death to the surviving family.
If you can prove that the person causing your loved one’s death acted willfully or with gross negligence, you may also receive exemplary damages. Also known as punitive damages, exemplary damages are meant to punish the actor and discourage others from acting similarly. Texas law caps exemplary damages at two times the amount of the economic damages plus any non-economic damages found by the jury (not to exceed $750,000) or $200,000.
In addition, Texas limits non-economic damages for healthcare providers and medical malpractice claims to $250,000, unless more than one institution is liable, and then you can receive no more than $500,000 for noneconomic damages. If medical malpractice caused a wrongful death, the law caps noneconomic damages at $500,000.
Hartley Law Firm: Your Plano Wrongful Death Law Firm
We understand that losing a loved one isn’t easy. Even while you are still grieving, debt collectors are calling for payment, and insurance companies want you to accept a settlement. Don’t face your loss alone. When you call Austin at Hartley Law Firm, you’ll reach an experienced wrongful death attorney who prides himself on being accessible to his clients and is committed to pursuing results that exceed expectations. Stop searching for a Plano wrongful death attorney. Hartley Law Firm has the success and experience to help you secure the recovery you deserve.
Our experienced lawyer also handles other types of injury cases, including:
- Auto Vehicle Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Uber & Lyft accidents
- Property Liability
Contact us now.