Losing a loved one is an incredibly painful experience, and that pain is made even worse if you know that someone else is to blame for the death. Aside from the sense of injustice that you may feel, if the person that you lost was the family breadwinner, then the financial implications can be disastrous.
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Fortunately, if you live in Dallas or anywhere else in Texas, there are specific state laws that allow you to sue the person responsible for the death, in order to recover damages that will reduce your financial suffering. These laws apply no matter what type of wrongful death your loved one has suffered – whether it was a car crash, a workplace incident, or other accident. Even if there is a separate criminal prosecution going on, you are still entitled to bring a civil suit against the person or organization that is responsible for the death.
If you are unfortunate enough to be in this situation, the first thing to do is to find a good lawyer. When it comes to looking for a wrongful death lawyer Dallas is home to a number of firms, but make sure that you select one that comes recommended and has a good track record of winning cases. They will be able to advise you on the validity of your claim, and will usually take you on without any upfront fees provided that you have a good case.
The specific law that applies to wrongful death claims in Texas is the Texas Wrongful Death Act. Among other things, this law establishes who is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party that caused the death. Under this law, you can bring a lawsuit if the deceased person was your spouse, no matter whether your marriage was registered or common law. You can even bring a claim if you are separated or divorced, and this still
applies if you remarry after your spouse dies. You should note that Texas law does not allow same-sex partners to bring wrongful death actions. You can, however, bring an action if the person who was killed was your father or mother, either natural or adoptive. However, if you are adopted you cannot bring a wrongful death claim if one of your natural parents dies.
In order to bring a wrongful death claim, you will have to establish four basic facts. First, the person’s death must have been caused by the actions of another person or organization, either wholly or in part. Second, you will need to show that that person or organization was negligent, and that this negligence directly contributed to the death. Third, you will need to prove that you are eligible to bring the lawsuit, as discussed previously. Finally, you will need to demonstrate that you have suffered or will suffer monetary damages as a result of your loved one’s death.
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Under Texas law, you will be able to claim damages for direct financial losses resulting from the loss of your family member’s earning capacity, as well as for emotional pain and suffering. There are also specific provisions for loss of the love, comfort and companionship of the deceased person, as well as any loss of inheritance that you may suffer as a result of their death.