Was a family member or loved one wrongfully killed? Our Dallas wrongful death lawyers are here to help.
Some accidents or injuries are so severe that they result in a loved one’s untimely death. If you’ve lost a family member due to someone’s negligence, we’ll help you seek justice.
Losing a loved one is heartbreaking, especially when their death was preventable and/or the result of negligence. While nothing can undo what’s already occurred, the job of a wrongful death lawyer is to seek both answers and justice on behalf of the victim’s family.
We understand the emotional pain and uncertainty you’re likely experiencing, but know that we’re here to help you. If you’ve lost a loved one as the result of someone else’s negligence, our team will investigate your claims, find out what happened, and pursue justice on your behalf. We’ll make sure that your needs are addressed, and will handle the entire claims process from beginning to end on a no-win no-fee basis.
At Montgomery Law, you and your family are our first priority. For a free consultation—or to simply get answers to your questions—shoot us a quick email using the contact form on this page, or call us 24 hours a day at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free).
Understanding the legal process can help you make the best possible decision when it comes to your family’s wrongful death case. Click below to learn more about Texas wrongful death law, as well as how Montgomery Law can help.
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What is a Wrongful Death?
Under Texas law, a “wrongful death” is defined as any death caused by the wrongful act, carelessness, unskillfulness, neglect, or default of another person or corporation. A wrongful death claim/lawsuit seeks to recover compensation for the family’s related losses, such as:
- Any loss of familial income (what the victim would have provided his or her family in income up to retirement, given their age and work history).
- Loss of consortium, companionship and society, advice and counsel.
- Funeral expenses.
- Mental anguish and emotional distress.
In addition to a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family may also be permitted to bring what’s called a “survival action” claim. Survival actions seek to recover compensation for the pain and suffering that your loved one endured prior to their death (i.e., what would have been their personal injury claim had they survived).
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
The types of accidents and situations that can result in a wrongful death are obviously wide-ranging. According to Texas’ wrongful death law, nearly any death that was caused by someone else’s negligence could be grounds for a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Wrongful deaths can occur due to a variety of causes, including but not limited to the following:
Why Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?
In the aftermath of a family member’s death, we understand that a lawsuit may be the furthest thing from your mind. While many people are reluctant to pursue their legal options after the death of a loved one, one of the best ways to get answers about what happened—and to hold the responsible parties accountable—is through a wrongful death claim.
Once you hire an attorney, they will be entitled to request documents, photographs, videos, and evidence from the other party (or parties) involved in a process known as discovery. This information can help you find out exactly what happened, and who was responsible.
Losing a loved one does not just take an emotional toll, but a financial toll as well. In these situations, a lawsuit can help to provide the compensation necessary to continue to care and provide for your family.
A lawsuit may also be the only way to hold accountable the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death. In many cases, the negligent actions that led to the victim’s death will not be considered intentional acts. Regardless of whether or not police decide to pursue criminal charges, you have every right to hold them financially responsible for their negligence through a civil lawsuit. Allowing the perpetrator to escape responsibility simply because the victim is no longer around to pursue their own claim would frankly be unjust.
Beyond holding individuals accountable, a lawsuit can also help to bring about positive changes industry-wide. For example, if your spouse died in a work-related incident caused by a forklift, your lawsuit could result in mandatory safety training, or even rules requiring warehouses to use marked lanes for forklift traffic. These kind of changes can protect workers across the country—and potentially save thousands of lives.
What Does a Lawyer Do and How Can They Help?
In the aftermath of a tragic loss, your time and attention should be spent on grieving and connecting with your loved ones; not arguing with insurance companies, collecting evidence, and filling out paperwork. Having a skilled Dallas wrongful death lawyer on your side can help take the weight off your shoulders.
At Montgomery Law, our attorneys will help throughout the entire process, answering all of your questions along the way. We will handle your claim from beginning to end, including all communication with the insurance company and/or defendants.
In order to give you the best chance at a successful outcome, we will investigate your claim, collect evidence, follow new leads, prove liability, and help quantify the value of your family’s related damages. From there, we will draft a lawsuit and issue a formal demand to the insurance company.
From there, our job is to negotiate with the insurance company to try to obtain a favorable settlement without the need for a lengthy trial. If negotiations ultimately prove unsuccessful, we’ll file a lawsuit and take the case to court to aggressively pursue the money you deserve.
Our number one goal is to get you and your family the justice (and compensation) that you’re rightfully owed. At Montgomery Law, your best interests are always our number one priority.
The Cost of a Wrongful Death Attorney
Our law firm handles all personal injury and wrongful death claims on a contingency fee basis. To put it in simple terms: no-win, no-fee. If we don’t achieve a settlement or award for you, you never pay us a dime.
By taking these types of cases on contingency, you can hire us with no financial risk. You can also be confident that we will waste no time in getting started on your case. Because we don’t get paid unless (and until) we win, our incentive is to get to work quickly and work hard to get you the maximum amount of compensation with no unnecessary delays.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Texas, only certain parties have standing to file a wrongful death claim (and accompanying survival action claim). These types of claims are strictly limited to the decedent’s beneficiaries such as their spouse, children, and/or parents.
In a wrongful death occurring on the job in Texas, the existence of workers’ compensation insurance will have a big impact on the options available to you. What most people don’t realize is that Texas is the only state where employers are not required to provide workers’ comp.
In fact, the existence of workers’ compensation insurance may bar families from even pursuing a negligence claim against the employer. Instead, the victim’s beneficiaries may be limited to the (often inadequate) benefits offered through the state-run workers’ compensation insurance program.
It’s important to note that there are exceptions to this rule, so it’s vital that you discuss your case with an attorney before making any decisions. In fact, we can even check the employer’s workers’ compensation status for you during your free consultation.
The value of any wrongful death case depends on a number of factors, including medical expenses, the age of the victim, whether or not the victim’s income was supporting his or her family, as well as other types of damages like pain and suffering prior to their death.
There are three categories of damages available in a wrongful death claim: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages are for verifiable monetary losses such as medical bills and lost income. Non-economic damages refer to things that are harder to quantify like pain and suffering or loss of spousal support. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and send a signal to others that this type of conduct is not tolerated, but are rarely awarded unless the defendant acted with gross negligence or reckless disregard.
In general, any of the following types of damages/losses can contribute to the potential value of your case:
- Loss of financial contributions (familial income) and inheritance;
- Medical and funeral expenses;
- Emotional distress and mental anguish;
- Loss of benefits (such as health insurance or retirement benefits);
- Loss of services and support (such as care, protection and guidance);
- Loss of love, society, consortium, or companionship;
- Pain and suffering experienced by the victim prior to death (i.e., a survival action).
While putting a numerical value on non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress can be challenging, a skilled Dallas wrongful death lawyer can work with expert witnesses (such as an economist or a vocational expert) and draw from past case results to determine an appropriate valuation.
Time Limits (Statute of Limitations)
In Texas, there is a two year statute of limitations on all personal injury and wrongful death claims. This means that you must file a lawsuit with the court within two years of the date of the death of your loved one. If you fail to do so, then the claim will likely be dismissed before it ever reaches trial. For survival action claims, the statute of limitations is even shorter at just one year.
Even if you think you have plenty of time before the statute of limitations expires, the best course of action is to move quickly. As time passes, it often becomes more difficult to collect important evidence. It may also become harder to find and interview witnesses who may have moved away or forgot important details about what happened.
It is vital to speak to a Dallas wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that important evidence is collected, your rights are protected, and your claims are investigated. Your attorney will not only look out for your best interests, but will help you understand the process moving forward.
Settling Out of Court vs. Going to Trial
The vast majority (over 90 percent) of civil lawsuits in the United States settle outside of court. If you decide to hire an attorney to pursue a wrongful death claim, the likelihood of going to trial is very small. At the same time, wrongful death claims are often contentious because they typically involve large sums of money. Without an attorney ready to file a lawsuit at moment’s notice, the insurance company has little reason to fairly negotiate.
Unfortunately in wrongful death cases, insurance companies often resort to underhanded tactics such as causing unnecessary delays, giving unfair ultimatums, lying to victims, or simply denying liability and forcing you to take them to court. Having an attorney can help you to level the playing field and increase the likelihood of a fair out-of-court settlement.
The wrongful death lawyers at Montgomery Law will always attempt to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company; however, no settlement agreements will be made without your explicit approval. If we cannot secure an agreeable settlement offer, we will file a lawsuit and represent you in court—all on a no-win, no-fee basis.
Montgomery Law is a Dallas-based personal injury and wrongful death law firm devoted to representing victims of negligence, including families just like yours. With years of experience, our top-rated attorneys know how to get results. We’re highly-skilled when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies, and when necessary, aggressively litigating cases at trial to help our clients achieve results.
We only take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t charge you a fee unless—and until—we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule an in-person consultation, send an email or call us today. We’re available 24 hours a day to take your call at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free).