Losing a loved one is painful and difficult in any situation, even if the passing is expected as part of an illness. But when the loss is due to someone else’s negligent actions, remaining family members face the added burden of seeking justice for a life cut short. Understanding how to take legal action against the person responsible requires an experienced Dallas wrongful death attorney.
While many people associate a wrongful death with sudden events such as car accidents or workplace injuries, these fatalities can occur in more mundane settings like slipping and falling in a grocery store. Regardless of your circumstances, Julie Wolf and her team at Wolf Law PLLC are here for you. As a wrongful death lawyer in Dallas, she has helped hundreds of clients with a variety of personal injury claims.
You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer with Experience
Wrongful death claims are a type of personal injury lawsuit. They are meant to recover compensation from anyone who contributed to the death of your loved one. The damages you seek should cover not only any medical and funeral expenses but also the emotional and financial effects your family will face going forward. You and your family need legal counsel that is compassionate and experienced to aid you in pursuing your claim.
Determining which party or parties can be held responsible for your loss can be challenging, making wrongful death claims more complex than they seem at first. A qualified lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the situation to clear up any confusion regarding what happened and who was involved. While you are grieving and making arrangements, your attorney and their team will be gathering evidence and building the best case possible to help you recover maximum compensation.
Having unanswered questions about the death can add to your sense of loss and devastation. When the loved one was the family breadwinner, you will likely wonder how your family will pay bills and stay in your home. Seeking reimbursement for the expenses from the at fault party or parties can take some of the uncertainty out of a future without the deceased. Julie Wolf is ready to help you make a full accounting of your losses and file your wrongful death claim.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful deaths result from a number of situations, such as from defective products, animal attacks, vehicle collisions, or accidents on the job. Each case is completely unique, but certain factors are the same in every legal action. Your wrongful death lawyer will be able to call upon their experience from successfully handling previous claims to create an appropriate and personalized plan for your situation.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove that the individual and/or entity who caused or contributed to the death meets four specific factors. This forms a large part of your burden of proof to convince a court that the defendant carries the blame. These factors are:
- The defendant acted negligently: To bring a wrongful death lawsuit, you must show that the person or company responsible acted recklessly or carelessly. This can include both action and failure to act.
- The defendant had a duty of care and breached that duty: You must show that the responsible party had a duty of care, such as providing adequate lighting on a steep staircase, to keep people safe from harm. You must also prove they breached that duty.
- Injuries and loss occurred due to negligence: Proving causation means showing a direct line of evidence between the defendant’s negligent actions and the death of your loved one.
- Your family incurred damages as a result: You must present proof of both economic and non-economic damages stemming from the defendant’s negligence in order to be able to recover financially for those losses.
Economic damages can include medical costs, funeral expenses, and lost financial support. Non-economic damages address the emotional and psychological losses your family will face, such as grief, loss of companionship, loss of education and guidance for children, and pain and suffering.
The Texas statute of limitations provides a two-year window for filing a wrongful death claim, starting from the date of death. It is crucial that you speak with and hire a wrongful death lawyer quickly to avoid missing the opportunity to recover financial compensation for your damages.
Key Evidence in a Dallas Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In addition to proving negligence, breach of duty, causation, and damages, your lawyer must introduce other key evidence as part of presenting a strong case to the court. You must prove your case by a preponderance of evidence by describing what happened, who is at fault, and what losses you have suffered as a result. You can use many types of evidence, such as:
- Death certificate: In addition to certifying the victim has passed, this official document will note the cause of death, such as a slip-and-fall, as determined by a coroner.
- Autopsy reports: In deaths where ingestion of a harmful substance is suspected, requesting a full autopsy may provide proof of medication errors, toxic exposure, or poisoning.
- Police reports: Any death that involves a police response will have a police report detailing the circumstances of the fatality.
- Medical records: Hospital and other medical treatment records help prove the damages your loved one sustained before their passing. This treatment be taken into account as part of your wrongful death case.
- Proof of a duty of care relationship: Evidence showing a legal relationship requiring a duty of care between the defendant and the victim is necessary for the breach of duty portion of proving negligence.
- Financial records: Bank statements, tax returns, and other papers showing the prior earnings of the deceased help prove up your loss of financial support when a breadwinner dies and/or the valuation of household services to support your claims for damages.
- Family documents: Marriage certificates, birth certificates, adoption papers, and the like show the extent of family members who are negatively affected by the death. This is valuable for claiming loss of guidance for children, loss of companionship for a partner, as well as justifying funeral expenses.
- Expert testimony: Your wrongful death lawyer will engage experts, such as medical professionals, economists, and accident investigators, to add further weight to your claim of negligence and to help prove up liability and your losses.
Hire Julie Wolf as Your Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer
When your family loses someone important to you, your whole world is turned upside down. Grief and confusion can cloud your thoughts, and you may wonder how to seek justice from the responsible parties who took your loved one from you. Julie Wolf has helped hundreds of wronged individuals get the financial compensation they deserve from the at fault parties.
Julie is skilled in negotiating settlements and litigating cases, achieving successful results for her clients inside and outside the courtroom. She focuses on serving the greater Dallas area as a wrongful death lawyer and also handles other personal injury claims. Call Wolf Law PLLC at (972) 338-4477 today to schedule a free consultation.