Grand Prairie Wrongful Death Lawyer

Attorney Doug Goyen Grand Prairie Wrongful Death Attorney Doug Goyen has been a Grand Prairie wrongful death lawyer since 1997. We are a strong, competent, and aggressive legal team. Wrongful death can arise in a variety of negligence situations where you need a lawyer, including auto accidents, 18-wheeler accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other negligence cases. In certain personal injury lawsuits, the victim dies as a result of someone else’s negligence.

A personal injury lawyer handles wrongful death lawsuits. Attorney Goyen has extensive expertise managing wrongful death and personal injury cases, as well as collecting compensation for the deceased’s family, estate, and beneficiaries. You’ll need a lawyer who has experience with significant personal injury, catastrophic injury, and wrongful death cases. Contact us by phone at (972) 599 4100 or via our website’s contact form.

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WRONGFUL DEATH CAUSED BY DIFFERENT TYPES OF ACCIDENTS

There are numerous different forms of accidents that, in the worst-case scenario, could result in a wrongful death. The following are some of the most prevalent sorts of accidents that have resulted in fatalities:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Accidents involving trucks
  • Accidents involving motorcycles
  • Accidents involving pedestrians
  • Accidents involving bicycles

These are only a few examples of the various types of accidents that have resulted in death. Not all wrongful death claims are the result of an accident. In reality, if someone purposefully damages another person and causes their death, they can be sued in civil court.

This is distinct from any criminal accusations they may face as a result of their carelessness. The prosecuting attorney is in charge of pressing charges and pursuing conviction in criminal cases. In civil court, wrongful death cases must be brought by the relevant party with the assistance of a civil litigator.

Another significant distinction between civil and criminal cases is what occurs after the case is resolved. If convicted in criminal court, the defendant will most certainly face fines, fees, probation, jail time, or prison term. They will be required to pay reparations to the decedent’s surviving relatives if they are found guilty in civil court.

The burden of proof in civil claims versus criminal charges is likewise significantly different. In criminal trials, the prosecuting attorney must show that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the allegations. In civil court, however, your Grand Prairie wrongful death lawyer must merely show that the defendant is responsible for your loved one’s death by a preponderance of the evidence.

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WRONGFUL DEATH LAWS IN TEXAS

Grand Praire Wrongful Death When it comes to filing a wrongful death case in Grand Prairie, it’s easy to feel afraid and overwhelmed. However, the more you understand about the procedure, the more confident you will be in proceeding with your claim. There are a few of laws you should be aware of when it comes to Grand Prairie wrongful death claims: the statute of limitations and who has the jurisdiction to submit the claim.

In the state of Texas, you have two years from the date of the decedent’s death to file a wrongful death claim. If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out, your wrongful death claim will almost certainly be dismissed.

You should also double-check that you have the legal authority to pursue the claim, as only certain family members are allowed to do so. The deceased’s surviving spouse and dependent children will be given priority in filing the lawsuit. If there is no surviving spouse or children, the responsibility goes to the decedent’s remaining parents. If none of the aforementioned apply, the wrongful death claim might be filed by the personal representative.

These are some of the most essential Texas wrongful death laws you should be aware of, but we haven’t covered all. After you’ve met with a competent attorney to explore the specifics of your case, you may learn more about what to expect from your Grand Prairie wrongful death lawsuit.

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WRONGFUL DEATH CASES IN TEXAS

There are two types of measures that can be done when someone is killed as a result of negligence. The Texas Wrongful Death Act governs the first form of claim. The Texas Survival Statute governs the second type.

TEXAS WRONGFUL DEATH ACT

The Texas Wrongful Death Act requires the following things to be proven:

The plaintiff must be a Wrongful Death Act statutory beneficiary;
  1. The defendant may be an individual or a business;
  2. The decedent’s death must have been caused by the defendant’s improper act;
  3. If the decedent had lived, they would have been able to sue for the injury; and
  4. The plaintiff (a family member as defined by the Act) has been injured. CPRC sections 71.001-71.004, 71.005 in Texas.

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IN TEXAS, A WRONGFUL DEATH OF AN UNBORN CHILD OR FETUS

The Texas Legislature revised the Wrongful Death Act in 2003, allowing for compensation for damages caused by an injury to a person who was born dead. Section 71.003 of the Texas CPRC (a).

The decedent can be a living or deceased person. Section 71.003 of the Texas CPRC (a). If the person is born dead, the plaintiff must show that the mother was pregnant at the time of the person’s death through medical evidence or other means. Section 71.0055 of the Texas CPRC.

Exceptions: You can’t sue these people or companies for wrongful death because of the death of an unborn child.

  1. The unborn child’s mother. Section 71.003(c) of the Texas CPRC (1).
  2. A licensed physician or other health-care provider. If the unborn child’s death is the intended result of a legal medical procedure performed with the required consent by the physician or health-care provider. Section 71.003(c) of the Texas CPRC (2).
  3. A person who legitimately dispenses or administers a substance if the death of the unborn child is caused by the dispensing or administration of the substance. Section 71.003(c) of the Texas CPRC (3).
  4. A Texas-licensed physician or other health-care provider if the unborn child’s death is caused by, is associated with, arises from, or is related to a valid medical or health-care practice or procedure of the physician or health-care provider. Section 71.003(c) of the Texas CPRC (4).

Contact the Law Office of Doug Goyen to consult with a Grand Prairie wrongful death lawyer regarding your case. We can start working on your case today.

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WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES RECOVERABLE

Plaintiffs can recover the real losses incurred in a wrongful-death case. Willow brook Plaza L.P. v. Mayer, 278 S.W.3d 901, 909 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, no pet.). In a wrongful-death action, there are four categories of damages that can be recovered:

  1. Financial losses (these are financial losses suffered by those covered by the Act).
  2. Damages caused by mental suffering.
  3. A lack of companionship and social interaction, as well as
  4. Inheritance loss. Moore v. Lillebo, 722 S.W.2d 683, 687; Moore v. Lillebo, 722 S.W.2d 683, 687; Moore v. Lille (Tex.1986). Recoverable monetary damages include the loss of the decedent’s earning ability, advice, counsel, services, care, maintenance, and support, as well as reasonable contributions of monetary worth. 258 S.W.3d 158, 172-73 (Tex.App.-Amarillo 2007); John Deere Co. v. May, 773 S.W.2d 369, 379 (Tex.App.-Amarillo 2007). (Tex.App.-Waco 1989, writ denied).
TYPES OF LOSSES IN WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIMS

1) Loss of guidance and advise. Plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for loss of advice and counsel, which includes the financial worth of expert suggestions and personal counseling that the decedent may have provided to the plaintiff if the decedent had lived. Borak v. Bridge, 524 S.W.2d 773, 776 (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi 1975, writ ref’d n.r.e.). Borak v. Bridge, 524 S.W.2d 773, 776 (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi 1975, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

2) Services lost. A jury is granted broad latitude in determining the value of lost services. 526 S.W.2d 228, 235-36 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1975, writ ref’d n.r.e.) (C.E. Duke’s Wrecker Serv. v. Oakley).

  1. Services for spouses. The loss of a spouse’s services, including housekeeping and domestic services, can be compensated. Dougherty v. Gifford, 826 S.W.2d 668, 681 (Tex.App.-Texarkana 1992, no writ) (wife might be compensated for husband’s loss of services).
  2. Parental services. Allows a child to make up for the loss of a parent’s services. This covers the importance of nurturing, caring, teaching, and direction. Cheatham v. Samco Props., Inc., 977 S.W.2d 469, 480 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1998, pet. denied). Evidence about the parent’s habits and qualities can be used to determine the worth of their services. 773 S.W.2d at 380 (John Deer).
  3. Services for children. Parents are entitled to recover the value of any contributions that the deceased child would have made from the time of death until the child turned 18 (less the cost of the child’s care, support, education, and maintenance), and then any contributions that the child could reasonably have been expected to make once they reached the age of majority and thereafter. 188 S.W.2d 731, 732 (Tex.App.-Beaumont 1945, writ ref’d). Jasper Cty. Lumber Co. v. McMillan, 188 S.W.2d 731, 732 (Tex.App.-Beaumont 1945, writ ref’d).

3) The cost of psychological therapy. It is permissible to seek financial (or pecuniary) compensation for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in treating the plaintiff’s emotional trauma. Cox v. City of Grand Prairie, 793 S.W.2d 701, 734 (Tex.App.-Grand Prairie 1990, no writ).

4) Funeral expenses — these are debts owed by the decedent’s estate. Wrongful death claims are normally not recoverable under the Wrongful Death Act, but they are under the Survival Statute. 369 S.W.2d 33, 34-35 in Landers v. B.F. Goodrich Co. (Tex.1963). However, if the statutory beneficiaries paid for the funeral expenses themselves, they may be able to collect them under the Wrongful Death Act. 369 S.W.2d at 34-35. Landers, 369 S.W.2d at 34-35. If the plaintiff is entitled to compensation under the Wrongful Death Act, he or she must show that the amount was reasonable. 305 S.W.3d 594, 645 (Wackenhut Corr. Corp. v. de la Rosa) (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi 2009, no pet.).

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STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR A WRONGFUL DEATH ACT CASE V. SURVIVAL STATUTE

The statute of limitations under the Texas Wrongful Death Act is two years from the date the case accrued (typically this is the date of death with regards to the Wrongful Death Act). The case must either be settled, or a lawsuit filed before two years or you forever lose any rights to pursue a claim.

Compare this to the Texas Survival Statute – the statute of limitations for the Texas Survival Statute is two years from the date of the occurrence that caused the injury that lead to the death of the decedent. This is often a different date than wnen the decedent actually dies. An injury may occur, and the decedent may have lived for days, weeks, or even months or longer before they succomb to the injury. This type situation creates two different statutes of limitations for the different causes of action available to due to the wrongful act that caused the death.

TEXAS SURVIVAL STATUTE – SURVIVAL CAUSE OF ACTION

The Texas Survival Statute allows a Survival cause of action that recovers damages for the injuries suffered by the decedent (the cause of action they would have had if they had survived their injury). Plaintiffs would be the personal representative of the estate or heirs. The defendant would be the person or entity that caused the injury listed in CPRC section 71.021(a).

The following elements can be used to demonstrate a survival cause of action:

  1. Plaintiff is the executor of the decedent’s estate;
  2. Prior to their death, the decedent had a cause of action for personal injury to their health, reputation, or person;
  3. If the decedent had lived, they could have brought an action for injury.
  4. The decedent was injured as a result of the defendant’s wrongful act.
  5. Texas CPRC section 71.021, Mayer v. Willowbrook Plaza L.P., 278 S.W.3d 901, 909 (Tex.App.– Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, no pet).
TEXAS SURVIVAL STATUTE DAMAGES ALLOWED

The following damages are allowed in a Texas Survival Act cause of action. A Grand Prairie wrongful death lawyer can determine what damages fit these categories in your case:

  1. Pain and suffering and Mental Anguish. Damages for pain and mental anguish are recoverable in a survival action to the extent that the decedent had some awareness of impending death.
  2. Medical Expenses. Reasonable medical expenses are recoverable in a survival action.
  3. Funeral Expenses. Funeral and burial expenses are recoverable in a survival cause of action.
  4. Exemplary Damages. Exemplary damages can be recovered is a survival action when appropriate.
  5. Interest, Court Costs, Attorneys Fees. Prejudgment and postjudgment interest can be recovered, Court costs can be recovered. Attorneys fees may be recovered if it falls under the DTPA – but generally most personal injury cases do not allow recovery of attorneys fees in Texas.
  6. Damages are distributed among estate (heirs). Damages in a survival case belong to the estate and are distributed to those who would have received them if the decedent had obtained them immediately before death. The proceeds are distributed to the heirs according to the decedent’s will, or according to the laws of descent and distribution if they died intestate.
  7. Damages are subject to debts under the Survival Statute. Damages in a survival action are subject to the decedent’s debts (unlike damages in a wrongful-death action, which are not).

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TYPES OF CASES WE HANDLE
Car Accidents
Car Accidents

We deal with the insurance company and protect your rights while you focus on what you need to do to get better and take care of yourself and those around you.

Truck Accidents
Truck Accidents

Large commercial trucks do serious damage and cause serious injuries. We will fight for you to get you the compensation you deserve and protect your rights while you recover.

DWI Accidents
DWI Accidents

Drunk drivers cause serious injuries and death every year. We fight their insurance companies to get you compensated for the damage and injury they have caused you.

Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians struck by vehicles can suffer serious injuries. We represent people injured in by negligent drivers and help our clients get compensation for their injury.

Car Accidents
Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists are at risk of serious injury if they are hit by a vehicle. We represent bicyclists who have been hit by careless drivers.

Truck Accidents
Dram Shop Cases

When bars or restaurants continue to over-serve drunk people, and those people cause accidents that result in injuries, we assist clients in obtaining compensation for their injuries.

DWI Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents

We fight for the rights of motorcyclists who have been hurt by careless drivers. We are fighting for full compensation from the insurance company.

Wrongful Death Accidents
Wrongful Death Accidents

When someone dies as a result of negligence from a motor vehicle accident, the family and estate have a claim against the negligent parties. We represent families and estates in obtaining restitution for their losses


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FREE CASE REVIEW

If you or someone you know needs assistance of a Grand Prairie wrongful death lawyer call (972) 599 4100 for a free consultation and a free strategy session regarding your case. The strategy session includes a summary of your case, identification of the legal issues involved with your case, and identifying those legal issues that will help maximize your recovery in your case. We will email a copy of this strategy session to you for you to keep. Call us today. There is no fee unless you win.

THERE IS NO FEE IF WE DO NOT WIN

You owe us nothing if we are unable to recover. We charge a contingency fee structured to take a percentage of what we recover. As a performance-based contract, the better we do for you, the better we do for ourselves. This aligns our interests in the case with our client’s interests.

Contact our office for a free consultation with a Grand Prairie wrongful death lawyer regarding your wrongful death case. If it was caused by negligence or wrongdoing, the beneficiaries and the estate need to be compensated and paid for their loss.

DIRECTIONS TO OUR OFFICE

Law Office of Doug Goyen
15851 Dallas Pkwy #605
Addison, Texas 75001
(972) 599 4100 phone
(972) 398 2629 fax

Directions to our office: We are on the southbound side of the service road to the Tollway. Stay on the Dallas North Tollway until you come to the Keller Springs exit. Take the Keller Spring exit. Stay on the service road on the southbound side and go just past Keller Springs. Our office is the 2nd building south of Keller Springs, located on the service road to the North Dallas Tollway in the Madison Business Center on the 6th floor.

By Doug Goyen, douggoyen@goyenlaw.com

Call For A Free Case Review (972) 599 4100

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Client Reviews
★★★★★
You want a great lawyer who keeps you informed on whats going on speaks with you personally and gets the job done call Doug Goyen. He is excellent & very professional you wont go wrong choosing him!! Thanks again for all your help Mr. Goyen! Socorro V.
★★★★★
Very efficient staff. I am VERY pleased with this firm. Gina W.
★★★★★
Very professional job handling my accident claim. I had some ER bills, and some visits to my ortho after (and various other bills that kept coming in). I was afraid I was going to get stuck owing money, but Doug Goyen took care of the case and had everything paid, including compensating me for the injury. Great lawyer IMO. I felt like my case was taken care of very well. Thx!! Bernard M.
★★★★★
Doug is a great attorney. He took care of my auto accident claim promptly, and answered any questions I had. I also had one of my hospital bills go into collections for non-payment. I was able to contact Doug a year after the accident, and received a copy of the check the hospital claimed they didn’t receive. I highly recommend this guy. David J.
★★★★★
The Law Office of Doug Goyen helped me recovery every bit I was owed on my claim. Very happy I used them. They knew what they were doing, and kept me informed. I felt taken care of the whole way. You wont go wrong using them. Arthur H.
★★★★★
Mr. Goyen helped me take on my own insurance company, the great and mighty Allstate. My prior firm basically dumped me, with a permanent injury because the case didn’t meet their financial guidelines for a settlement. I was a bicycle rider hit by a car driver at an intersection, and Allstate was the company on BOTH SIDES OF THE CLAIM. My own insurance company tried to throw me under the bus to limit their payout! Without Mr. Goyen’s help, I would have been left with NOTHING! I had thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills, unable to receive treatment to correct the issue. He was unafraid and helped me get the best settlement I could … I am tremendously thankful! Pamala M.