Comprehensive Counsel after the Accident Death of a Loved One
When your loved one dies because of the carelessness or wrongful act of another person, the shock and emotion can paralyze you. But you’ll soon discover that it’s more than an emotional loss. You may be without the financial support of a spouse or parent. You’ll typically have funeral and burial expenses and may be saddled with unreimbursed medical expenses incurred by your loved one before death. You have the right to hold the wrongdoer accountable. In the wake of an accidental or wrongful death, you want an experienced, compassionate and proven lawyer to protect your rights. You want the attorneys at Bailey & Galyen.
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we have more than four decades of experience effectively representing people in personal injury litigation, including people who have lost a family member because of a wrongful or accidental death. In the decades since we opened our practice, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments and settlements in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. We understand that success in any legal matter requires hard work, dedication and a willingness to listen. We’ll take the time to learn the specific details of your situation, as well as your goals, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. We’ll keep you fully involved and informed, updating you on any developments in your case, so that you can make educated decisions about your future. We strive to be available and accessible whenever you have questions or concerns.
We offer a free initial consultation to anyone with a potential wrongful death claim. For a meeting with a compassionate and detail-oriented Arlington wrongful death attorney, contact Bailey & Galyen online or call us at 844-402-2992.
How Is Wrongful Death Defined in Texas?
In Texas, a death is considered to be “wrongful” when it results from the carelessness, negligence or legal misconduct of another person. Though you can always file a wrongful death claim based on another person’s intentional acts, the vast majority of wrongful death lawsuits allege negligence. To succeed with such a claim, you must prove to the jury that the party who caused the death was not acting as a reasonable person would under the circumstances.
Wrongful death is typically governed by state law and will customarily vary somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In Texas, a death is considered wrongful if it was caused by “[a] wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default.” Furthermore, the Texas wrongful death laws apply to fetuses, as well as persons already born.
Is a Wrongful Death Claim Different from Other Personal Injury Lawsuits?
In Texas, a wrongful death action has many similarities to other personal injury claims. The primary difference is, of course, that the victim has died and cannot bring the lawsuit personally. As a consequence, the civil lawsuit is filed either by surviving family members or by the deceased’s estate. Nonetheless, if a surviving spouse, child or parent of the decedent does not bring a wrongful death claim within 90 days of the date of death, the executor or personal representative of the deceased’s estate may do so, provide no family members expressly indicate that they do not want a lawsuit filed.
Note that a wrongful death lawsuit is not the same thing as a criminal prosecution related to a death. A criminal conviction can lead to incarceration and even capital punishment, and may involve restitution, whereas a wrongful death action seeks only damages—monetary compensation for any losses related the wrongful death.
What Are the Common Causes of Accidental or Wrongful Death in Arlington?
Almost any type of personal injury can be the cause of death. Accordingly, wrongful death lawsuits may be based on a wide range of events, such as:
- Motor vehicle accidents—Wrecks involving cars, trucks, motorcycles and mass transit vehicles
- Slips, trips and falls—Tumbles or spills on wet or slippery surfaces, broken stairs or sidewalks, defective or damaged carpet, or on linoleum or other flooring
- Construction site injuries, such as falls from heights, falling objects, work-related motor vehicle accidents, exposure to toxic substances, and the malfunction of or exposure to dangerous or defective tools, machinery
- Workplace accidents, including explosions, motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, and large equipment or machinery mishaps
- Dangerous or defective products, including appliances, motor vehicles or parts, toys, clothing, tools, sporting equipment and other products
Though wrongful death actions are most often based on findings of carelessness or negligence, surviving family members may also seek damages for wrongful deaths intentionally committed, including fatalities arising out of physical assault or criminal conduct.
Who Qualifies to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arlington?
Under Texas law, the surviving spouse, as well as any child or parent of the deceased, may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. As mentioned previously, the executor or personal representative of the deceased’s estate may also seek file a claim after a wrongful death, but only if the spouse, children and parents fail to file a complaint within three months of death.
What Is the Time Period to File a Wrongful Death Action in Texas?
According to the Texas statute of limitation, you must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death.
Does a Wrongful Death Claim Differ from a Survival Action?
Yes. In Texas, a wrongful death lawsuit is a different proceeding than a “survivor action.” Under the Texas Survival Statute, the heirs, legal representative or estate of a deceased person have legal standing to file a personal injury claim on behalf of the decedent, as if he or she were still alive. In a survival action, the plaintiffs may recover:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Any unreimbursed medical expenses incurred because of the accident, but before death
- Any property damage resulting from the accident
- Lost wages or income caused by the injuries before death
Can Survivors Seek Life Insurance Benefits after a Wrongful Death in Arlington?
Yes. That’s the basic purpose of a life insurance—the death benefits are typically available unless the deceased committed suicide or there was fraud in the application process.
What Losses Are Typically Covered in an Arlington Wrongful Death Claim?
In Texas, you can generally seek to recover the following losses as part of an accidental or wrongful death lawsuit:
- The loss of financial support that the decedent would have provided
- The costs of all funeral and burial expenses
- The loss of care, support, services, advice and counsel that the decedent would have provided
- Compensation for any mental pain, anguish or other suffering of surviving family members
- Any lost inheritance, including amounts the decedent would likely have saved, had he or she survived
- Compensation for the loss of love, comfort, companionship, consortium and society of the decedent
Trust Our Skilled Wrongful Death Attorneys | Contact Us for a Free Consultation
At the law offices of Bailey and Galyen, with offices throughout Texas, we are dedicated to ensuring your total satisfaction with our services. You can call us at 1-844-402-2992 anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Appointments can also be scheduled online. We are happy to meet with you evenings or weekends, if necessary, and can travel for an appointment, upon request.
We handle all wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency basis. We will only charge attorney fees if we recover compensation for the death of your loved one.