About Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The law firm of Bailey & Galyen provides legal representation for clients seeking damages in wrongful death suits. Wrongful death litigation usually arises from an accident that ultimately leads to the premature death of the victim. Some of these cases arise from motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, work place injuries, drunk driving accidents, medical malpractice, trucking accidents, rollovers, underrides, fires and explosions. In wrongful death cases, it is usually the family who has suffered the loss, or the decedent’s estate who bring the case forward. We understand that while money alone cannot relieve your pain and suffering or restore your loss, the law provides a remedy.
Losing a loved one is painful. Losing a loved one due to wrongful death can be even more difficult. If someone’s wrongful actions caused injuries that resulted in your loved one’s death, that is a wrongful death. At common law, there was no legal action that surviving family members could take. That changed, however, when governments began to make laws protecting survivors. Now, in every state in the US, the representative or heirs of a person lost to wrongful death may file a lawsuit for monetary damages. The laws, however, vary quite a bit from state to state, so consulting with an attorney is advisable.
The main method courts have for measuring loss in wrongful death lawsuits is pecuniary damages – that is, the court must determine the proper compensation for the financial loss that the death has caused. Though this may seem harsh or cold, money damages are the remedy that civil courts have at their disposal. Thus, when the courts measure loss, the first thing most of them turn to is quantifiable data:
- How much money did the deceased earn?
- How much money did the deceased save?
- How financially dependent were the survivors on the deceased?
The court will also take into consideration:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses
We offer quality legal services and representation to clients throughout Texas, including Arlington, Bedford, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Irving, Plano, Weatherford, Mesquite, Houston, Clear Lake, TX.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wrongful Death
Q: What is the difference between a civil case and a criminal case against someone who caused a death?
A: A criminal case can only be brought by the government. The prosecutor makes a case against the person accused of a crime, seeking prison time or another punishment. The prosecutor must meet a higher standard of proof than in a civil case. A civil case can be filed by anyone whose private rights or civil rights have allegedly been violated by another party. When a private party files a civil lawsuit for wrongful death, the party is seeking monetary damages, compensation for the loss suffered. A civil trial for wrongful death, therefore, is very different from a criminal trial for murder or manslaughter.
Q: What if an unborn child dies?
A: In many states, the baby must be born alive for its death to be the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit. This is not always the case, however. In some states, the fetus must have been viable (able to live outside the mother’s womb) even though it was not born; in other states, viability is not an issue. Because the law varies so much from state to state, it is wise to consult an attorney who knows the laws in your area.