What You Should Know About Wrongful Death Claims

August 17, 2020


Wrongful death claims are considered some of the most challenging and complex cases. These cases are tough to navigate for many reasons, from the emotional trauma that comes with unexpectedly losing a loved one to the insurance companies. If another person’s negligence or misaction directly caused the death of someone close to you, you may be wondering what your options are. Often, the grief that comes with losing a loved one too soon can be overwhelming. To make matters worse, you must jump into action to ensure justice is served, and you’re able to recover compensation.

At Shamieh Law, our attorneys understand that losing a family member or other loved one is never easy. If someone close to you lost their life in a fatal accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may have the right to take action and file a wrongful death claim. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases and will do everything we can to help you seek justice.

What Are Wrongful Death Claims?

A wrongful death claim will not bring your loved one back, but it does allow you to seek retribution and compensation for financial losses and emotional damages. The laws pertaining to wrongful death claims differ from state to state, which is just one of the many reasons why it can be beneficial to hire a lawyer who handles these types of cases in your state. In most cases, wrongful death happens because of the negligence of someone else. This can occur in many different scenarios and is often a result of that party’s carelessness, incompetence, or failure to act. One of the most common misconceptions about wrongful death claims is that the action that caused it must be intentional to pursue legal action. However, this is simply not true. Wrongful death lawsuits have nothing to do with criminal action – they are civil cases.

At Shamieh Law, our experienced attorneys have represented clients on numerous wrongful death claims throughout Texas. We understand the complex nature of these cases and will do everything we can to win your case. Before we go any further, let’s go over some of the important details surrounding Texas wrongful death claims.

Texas Wrongful Death Statute

In Texas, the wrongful death statute defines wrongful death as the following: “A wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” that leads to the death of another person. You must file these civil cases within two years of the accident or death. However, there are several exceptions to this law:

  • The plaintiff in the wrongful death lawsuit is a minor
  • It wasn’t known whether the defendants were negligent during that two-year period
  • The plaintiff was mentally or physically impaired during the two-year period, preventing the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit
  • Fraudulent action

It is also important to note that, in Texas, not everyone can file a wrongful death claim. To take action and seek compensation for wrongful death, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are a surviving spouse
  • You are a surviving child
  • You are the surviving legal or adoptive parents
  • You are the personal representative of the estate of the deceased person

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 169,936 unintentional injury deaths (wrongful death) [1] in 2017. Most wrongful death claims are for fatalities from car accidents, but there are many other incidents that may lead to wrongful death. The following are some of the most common causes of wrongful death claims in Texas:

  • Car accidents caused by speeding, reckless driving, texting while driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or any other negligent action
  • Medical malpractice
    • Birth injuries
    • Surgical errors
    • Wrong dosage
    • Wrong medication prescribed
    • Defective medical equipment
    • Wrong-site surgery
    • Misdiagnosis
    • Delayed diagnosis
    • Nursing home neglect or abuse
  • Workplace accidents
  • Defective products
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Train accidents
  • Criminal activity
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Abuse or neglect
  • Aviation accidents

Many different factors may contribute to a fatal accident. If you lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence or misconduct, please contact Shamieh Law to learn about your rights. We understand how difficult it is to move forward and take legal action, especially when you are grappling with the loss of life. Our wrongful death lawyers are here to help you and do everything we can to ensure that you recover compensation for your losses.

Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims

Once you’ve discussed your case with a lawyer and are on the path to seeking retribution for the loss of a loved one, you may have questions about compensation. Negligence is the most crucial element of these types of cases. Before you go any further, you must understand the role of negligence in Texas’ wrongful death claims. The plaintiff must prove the following elements for a wrongful death claim to be successful:

  • The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff (for example, all drivers have the legal responsibility to operate a vehicle safely and without distractions)
  • This legal duty was breached (for example, someone gets behind the wheel of the car while intoxicated and causes an accident)
  • The breach of duty caused an injury or death
  • Monetary damages occurred (this may include hospital bills, surgeries, loss of work, or loss of inheritance)

As you can see from the above, wrongful death claims can originate from a wide range of situations. This is just one of the reasons why it’s so important to talk with an experienced attorney if you believe your loved one is the victim of wrongful death. An experienced Dallas wrongful death attorney from Shamieh Law can help you understand your options and move forward with the claim process. The compensation you deserve will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case. If you have specific questions about compensation or what your next steps should be, please give Shamieh Law a call today and schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers.