While death is inevitable, death due to unnatural causes or negligence can be very difficult for surviving family members to accept. In Dallas, Texas, readers may be interested to know about wrongful death lawsuits, which often arise from fatal accidents caused by negligence. Wrongful death cases may also arise from murder. In both cases, the family of the deceased may receive awards and damages if the defendant is found liable.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed if the following elements are present. The death of a person must be due to someone else's negligent actions or intention to cause harm. In addition, the surviving family members of the deceased must suffer from financial losses due to the sudden loss of their loved one. Wrongful death lawsuits often arise from death during a supervised activity, criminal behavior, workplace accident, airplane or motor vehicle accident and medical malpractice. Filing the lawsuit requires the plaintiff to prove the defendant's negligence. The plaintiff should note that in criminal cases the accused person can still be held liable via civil lawsuit even though the accused was not convicted of the crime.
Courts have discretion in determining damages in wrongful death lawsuit. Often, a plaintiff may receive damages for incurred losses, including medical and funeral expenses, loss of expected inheritance and loss of support. Pecuniary damages are often presumed to be fair and just for the plaintiff or the surviving family members of the deceased.
Here in Texas, local residents should determine the state's statute of limitations before filing a wrongful death claim. Readers may seek sound legal advice to determine if they have the right to file the claim.
Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful death overview," Accessed on Aug. 6, 2014