Dedicated Texas Personal Injury Law Firm Helping Families Obtain Compensation for the Loss of Their Loved Ones
With over 1.3 million residents, Dallas is one of the largest cities in Texas. Not surprisingly, many potential hazards may lurk in such large cities—from heavily trafficked highways to construction sites to crowded shopping centers. While most people are fortunate enough to avoid serious accidents, that isn’t the case for everyone. And when tragedy strikes, families are often left reeling.
Nothing in life is more difficult than dealing with the premature death of a loved one. However, when a loved one’s life is taken away due to the negligence of another party, the situation is even more challenging. Families must not only face the tremendous grief that comes along with their loss—they must often learn to handle the anger they feel toward the person who wrongfully caused their loved one’s death. And on top of all that emotional pain, the financial repercussions can be devastating as well. While nothing can bring back a deceased loved one, pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit can provide meaningful compensation that allows the family to overcome the financial burdens they face.
At the Hartley Law Firm, our Dallas wrongful death lawyers proudly helps families hold those responsible for their loved ones’ deaths financially accountable. Our Dallas wrongful death attorneys care deeply about each of our clients and aggressively pursue maximum compensation for their losses. With the Hartley Law Firm in your corner, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death case is a type of personal injury claim. However, instead of the accident victim themselves filing the case, it is brought by the victim’s surviving family members. Like other personal injury cases, wrongful death claims are based on the theory of negligence. Thus, to succeed in a Dallas wrongful death case, family members must prove the following:
- The other party owed their loved one a duty of care;
- The other party violated the duty owed to their loved one;
- The other party’s actions caused the death of their loved one; and
- The family suffered damages as a result of their loss.
While each of these elements may seem straightforward in theory—in practice, proving a wrongful death claim can be challenging. The assistance of an experienced Dallas wrongful death lawyer not only makes the process easier on grieving families but may also increase the chances of obtaining full and fair compensation for their loss.
When Can a Family File a Dallas Wrongful Death Claim?
A family member can file a wrongful death claim after any kind of accident. There is no law limiting the type of accidents that fall within the scope of the wrongful death law. Instead, Texas law states that “[a] person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual’s death if the injury was caused by the person’s or his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” Essentially, this means that a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate anytime an accident victim’s death was the result of another’s negligence.
While any fatal accident can form the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit, most Dallas wrongful death lawsuits involve the following:
- Car crashes;
- Truck accidents;
- Motorcycle wrecks;
- Slip and falls;
- Dangerous and defective products;
- Dog bites;
- Medical malpractice;
- Construction accidents; and
- Workplace accidents.
At the Hartley Law Firm, we represent families in all types of wrongful death cases. With our resources, trial experience, and in-depth understanding of the complex laws that govern these claims, we have what it takes to effectively handle your case.
Who Can File a Dallas Wrongful Death Claim?
State law varies in terms of who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004, the following parties can file a wrongful death claim:
- The accident victim’s surviving spouse;
- The accident victim’s children; or
- The accident victim’s parents.
If none of these parties file a wrongful death case within three calendar months of the victim’s death, the executor or administrator of the accident victim’s estate must file the claim. However, the victim’s family members can ask the administrator or executor not to file a claim if they so desire.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
All personal injury claims are subject to time limits, outlined in what is called a statute of limitations. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, accident victims have just two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a Dallas wrongful death claim. However, it is best to begin the process as soon as possible because witnesses’ memories may fade, and evidence may be harder to locate as time goes on.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Families who lost a loved one in a preventable accident often encounter financial difficulties as a result of their loss. Successfully pursuing a wrongful death claim can help families by providing them with monetary compensation for the following:
- Mental anguish;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Lost care, support, and guidance; and
- Lost love or companionship.
At the Harley Law Firm, our Dallas wrongful death lawyers conducts a thorough investigation into every case we handle. This ensures we identify the full extent of our client’s damages. That way, you can rest assured that you recovered everything you are legally entitled to when your case is complete.
Do I Need a Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer to File a Claim?
Legally, there is no requirement that family members retain the assistance of a Dallas wrongful death lawyer to bring a claim. However, most people end up working with an attorney for a few reasons.
Lawyers Know the Law
You only get one opportunity to bring a wrongful death claim. If the other party (or their insurance company) convinces the court that you shouldn’t be compensated for your losses, you will not get another chance to bring your case. Thus, it is important to ensure that your case is properly handled from its inception. Even a seemingly small mistake can result in you losing your ability to pursue a claim.
Lawyers Are Good Negotiators
When you file a wrongful death claim, the chances are that an insurance company will be defending the case. On one hand, having an insurance company involved is a good thing because it ensures there are sufficient assets to cover any damages award you receive. However, insurance companies can also stand in the way of grieving families hoping to recover compensation for their loss. For example, an insurance company may claim that your loved one was at fault for the accident, which could either reduce the value of your claim or defeat your claim entirely. An experienced Dallas wrongful death lawyer understands how to negotiate with insurance companies in terms they understand.
Wrongful Death Attorneys Handle the Heavy Lifting
After losing a loved one in a tragic accident, trying to file a lawsuit on your own is a tremendous undertaking. Understandably, many families are not looking to take on these additional burdens. However, when you work with an attorney, they take care of everything. This frees up your time so you can focus on what’s important—overcoming your own grief and nurturing other loved ones impacted by the loss.
Lawyers Know What to Expect
In the wake of a tragic accident, it may feel as though your world has suddenly turned upside down. During this time, most families value having an advocate on their side who can help explain the process. You don’t need more stress at a time like this; you need less. Having a lawyer eliminates much of the uncertainty surrounding your case and alleviates much of the stress of trying to handle the case yourself. At the Hartley Law Firm, we routinely handle wrongful death cases and have a thorough knowledge of the process these cases follow. We also make ourselves available to answer your questions and address your concerns whenever they arise.
Clients Represented by Wrongful Death Attorneys Recover Greater Damages Awards on Average
The final reason to consult with a Dallas wrongful death attorney is that parties represented by an attorney recover more in damages than unrepresented parties. For example, a few years back, the Insurance Resource Council released a study finding that accident victims working with an experienced personal injury attorney recovered 3.5 times more in damages than those who pursued the claim on their own.
Contact Our Experienced Dallas Wrongful Death Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
If you recently lost a loved one in a tragic accident, the Hartley Law Firm is here to help. From the moment you first speak with us, you will realize what makes us different from the other Dallas wrongful death law firms. We truly care about our clients. Along those lines, we take as much time as necessary to listen to your concerns and take them into account when developing a strategy. We also offer all prospective clients a free consultation. During your consultation, we won’t pressure you or bombard you with legal jargon. However, we will answer all of your questions about the process and explain how we can help. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with our Dallas wrongful death attorneys, give us a call at (469) 289-6063. You can also connect with us through our online form. And because we take all wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, we will never ask you to pay for our legal services unless we can secure a settlement or jury verdict in your favor.
Hartley Law Firm handles other types of cases as well, including:
- Personal Injury
- Bike Accidents
- Head and Brain Injury
- Burn Accident Injury
- Bus Crash Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Construction Site Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Uber & Lyft Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Worksite Accident Injury
- Dog Attack
- Sexual Abuse
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Oil Field Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injury