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Information and resources related to Dallas wrongful death claims
In Texas, not every death is a wrongful death
Here at Accident Data Center, we learn every day about people who are killed in accidents of all kinds, and of all circumstances. And while some of these accidents are just tragedies brought on by unavoidable factors like adverse weather conditions, many are caused by the negligence of another person, a company, or another type of entity. When negligence causes a person's death, it is considered a wrongful death. A person or corporation must have committed a wrongful act that caused injuries to the decedent resulting in his or her death. To prove the defendant was at fault, you must show that the defendant owed a duty to the victim, that he or she breached that duty, and that this breach actually caused the victim’s death.
What is the legal definition of wrongful death in Dallas?
Texas Statutes section 71.001 states that an action for wrongful death may be brought if the "wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default" of one party causes the death of another.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Texas?
The surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person may file a wrongful death claim in Texas. Any one of these individuals may file the claim singly, or as a group together. Siblings do not have the right to file a wrongful death claim in Texas.
What are the most common causes of wrongful death in Dallas and across Texas?
- Medical malpractice - A recent study published by the BMJ estimates that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors, ranking just behind heart disease and cancer.
- Motor-vehicle crashes - There were 32,166 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2015 in which 35,092 deaths occurred. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in Texas in 2015 there were 3,516 people killed in crashes.
- Workplace accidents - According to the US Department of Labor, More than 4,500 workers lose their lives on the job every year nationally. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 in Texas there were 527 fatal workplace injuries.
What types of damages are available to families of Dallas wrongful death victims?
Damages in a Texas wrongful death claim are paid to compensate the surviving family members and the estate for losses including:
- lost earning capacity;
- lost care, maintenance, services, support, advice, and counsel the deceased would have provided his or her surviving family members;
- mental and emotional anguish, pain, and suffering;
- lost love, companionship, and comfort;
- lost inheritance, including what the deceased would likely have saved and left to surviving family members if he or she had lived a normal expected lifetime.
Many Dallas wrongful death claims stem from fatal crashes caused by drunk or distracted drivers
To reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by drunk drivers, Texas became the 25th state to pass an all-offender ignition interlock law in 2015, which has resulted in drunk driving deaths being decreased by 8.5%. According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Texas can strengthen its current drunk driving laws by doing sobriety checkpoints and requiring ignition interlocks for any driver who refuses to do a chemical alcohol test. Also, Texas just made it illegal to text while driving, which will certainly help reduce the number of wrongful deaths caused by distracted drivers.
If a loved one has died due to the negligence of another party, you will need a great Dallas wrongful death attorney to help
When a fatality occurs due to someone's negligence, it is crucial to get help from an experienced Dallas wrongful death lawyer. Wrongful death claims are complicated, and require a high level of experience to handle effectively.
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