Plano Wrongful Death Lawyer

Attorney Doug Goyen Since 1997, Plano wrongful death lawyer Doug Goyen has been representing people. Our customers benefit from our powerful, skilled, and aggressive representation. Car accidents, 18-wheeler accidents, DWI accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and motorcycle accidents can all result in wrongful death. In many cases, the victim is killed as a result of someone else's negligence.

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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. We can begin working on your case right away when you call us at (972) 599 4100.


There are two types of actions that can be done when someone is killed as a result of negligence. The first form of claim is based on the Texas Wrongful Death Act, which primarily covers the loss of family and estate as a result of the death. The Texas Survival Statute, which largely covers the losses the deceased could have made if they had survived, is the second type of case.

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

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

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Coffin In Texas, wrongful death causes of action have been added by statute, and they cover damages to the decedent's family. The decedent's surviving spouse, parent, or child would be the plaintiffs. A wrongful death case cannot be brought by family members or others who are not specifically named in the code.

Only those who are named in the Act are eligible to register a claim. People who are not named in the Texas Wrongful Death Act are not eligible to file a lawsuit. Family members or persons who are not specifically listed in the code may not bring a wrongful death claim. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann 71.004(a).

  • Statutory beneficiaries include children who have been legally adopted.
  • On the other hand, children of an equitable adoption (one that is not legally completed) do not have the right to recover.
  • Statutory beneficiaries are adult children.
  • Legal adoptive parents are among the beneficiaries. However, because formal adoption is required, stepparents may not be allowed to sue for the death of a stepchild unless a legal adoption has occurred.
  • Statutory beneficiaries may include illegitimate children who establish paternity by clear and persuasive proof.
  • Children born after a parent's death have the right to sue for wrongful death.
  • Stepchildren are not permitted to sue for the death of a stepparent (unless legally adopted).

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The Texas Legislature revised the Wrongful Death Act in 2003, providing for damages for injuries to people who are born dead. The decedent can be a living or deceased person. 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. Tex. CPRC section 71.003(a). Tex. CPRC section 71.0055.


Plaintiffs can recover the actual losses incurred in a wrongful death case. In a wrongful-death action, there are four categories of damages that can be recovered:

I. Pecuniary losses of the decedent's earning ability, advice, counsel, services, care, maintenance, support, and reasonable contributions of a pecuniary worth are all recoverable losses.

1) Loss of advice and counsel. Plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for loss of advice and counsel, which includes the financial worth of professional recommendations and personal guidance that the decedent may have provided to the plaintiff if the decedent had lived.

2) Loss of services. A jury is granted broad latitude in determining the value of lost services.

  1. Spouses services. The loss of a spouse's services, including housekeeping and domestic services, can be compensated.
  2. Parent’s services. Allows a child to be compensated for the loss of a parent's services. This covers the importance of nurturing, caring, teaching, and direction.
  3. Child’s services. 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.

3) Expenses for psychological treatment. It is permissible to seek financial (or pecuniary) damages for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred to treat the plaintiff's emotional trauma.

4) Funeral expenses. If the statutory beneficiaries paid for the funeral expenses themselves, they may be able to collect them under the Wrongful Death Act. If the plaintiff is entitled to compensation under the Wrongful Death Act, he or she must show that the amount was reasonable.

II. Mental Anguish. Family members' mental and emotional anguish. In wrongful-death lawsuits, a plaintiff may be able to obtain damages for mental anguish. Wrongful death cases are the type of situation in which mental pain is expected. In wrongful-death claims, mental anguish refers to the emotional pain, misery, and suffering that a plaintiff would likely face if a family member died.

When awarding damages for mental anguish, a jury should consider the following elements.

  1. the plaintiff's relationship with the decedent,
  2. the plaintiff's and decedent's living arrangements,
  3. the decedent's prolonged separations from the plaintiff,
  4. the harmony of their family relations, and
  5. their common interests and activities.

III. Loss of companionship and society. For family members, loss of consortium refers to the loss of companionship, support, and marital relationship. The positive benefits resulting from the affection, comfort, companionship, and society the plaintiff would have had if the decedent had lived are characterized as companionship and society. In assessing the amount of damages to be awarded for this element, the jury must consider the following factors.

  1. the relationship between the plaintiff and the decedent,
  2. the living arrangements of the plaintiff and the decedent,
  3. extended separations of the decedent from the plaintiff,
  4. the harmony of their family relations, and
  5. their common interests and activities.

IV. Loss of Inheritance. The current value that the decedent would have added to the estate and left upon natural death to the statutory wrongful-death beneficiaries but for the improper act that caused the untimely death is characterized as loss of inheritance.

Exemplary Damages. If the facts in a case reveal willful acts or omissions or gross negligence, exemplary damages may be awarded.

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The Texas Wrongful Death Act allows a child to sue for the following categories of damages if their parent died as a result of negligence or a deliberate act.

Loss of Inheritance. The decedent's earnings, if any, in excess of what they would have used to sustain their family, would have been added to their estate and bequeathed to the legal beneficiary following their natural death, in all likelihood. As for inheritance damages, the claim for future earning potential passes to the recipients.

Parent-Child Relationship Termination. If the parent had survived, the child would have gained love, support, company, and society from them. “Society and companionship” might be used to describe this feature. The mental suffering of a child as a result of a parent's death. This type of damage has been proposed as grief and bereavement. Mental anguish is defined for the jury in a wrongful death action as "the emotional grief, misery, and suffering that the named plaintiff will, in all likelihood, face as a result of the death of a family member."

Financial Loss As a Result of the Parent’s Death. Care, maintenance, support, services, education, guidance, counsel, and reasonable monetary contributions that the child would have gotten from the parent if he or she had survived, excluding inheritance loss.

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The Texas Wrongful Death Act allows a surviving spouse to recover the following damages in the event of their spouse's death.

Loss of Inheritance. Loss of Inheritance is a term used to describe the loss of one's inheritance. This includes any earnings above and beyond what the decedent would have spent to sustain themselves and their families, as well as what would have been added to the decedent's estate and bequeathed to lawful beneficiaries at the decedent's natural death. As loss of inheritance damages, the claim for future earning potential vests in the beneficiaries.

Pecuniary/Financial Loss As a Result of the Spouse’s Death. If the other spouse had survived, the spouse would have received care, maintenance, support, services, guidance, counsel, and appropriate monetary contributions.

The Husband-Wife Relationship Termination. Since their spouse's death, the surviving spouse's love, affection, consolation, comfort, companionship, society, aid, and sexual interaction, which the surviving spouse would have gotten from the other spouse if they had lived. Loss of consortium is included in this category of damage. “Society and companionship” might be used to describe this feature.

Mental Anguish. The person suffered mental anguish as a result of the death of a spouse. Grief and bereavement can also be used to describe this type of loss.


Under the Texas Wrongful Death Act, a parent can claim the following forms of damages for the death of a child.

The Parents’ Mental Anguish as a Result of the Minor Child’s Death. Grief and bereavement also describe this form of damages. The emotional agony, misery, and suffering that the named plaintiff would in all likely face as a result of the death of a family member in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Financial/Pecuniary Loss As a Result of the Child’s Death. This includes the minor's earnings prior to the age of eighteen, as well as the reasonable cash value of such services rendered for the parents prior to the age of eighteen, less the cost of raising the child; plus the reasonable cash value of future contributions, services, advice, and counsel rendered to his parents after the age of eighteen, less the cost of raising the child.

Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship. If each parent had lived, the minor would have got the love, support, companionship, and society that each parent would have got if they had lived. This aspect could be labeled "social and camaraderie." The positive benefits gained from the named plaintiff's love, comfort, companionship, and society if the decedent lived are to be described as "the positive benefits derived from the named plaintiff's love, comfort, companionship, and society if the decedent lived."

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The Wrongful Death Act in Texas allows the parents of an adult child to collect the following damages.

Parents’ Mental Anguish as a Result of the Death of an Adult Child. Grief and bereavement are two terms that can be used to describe this type of loss.

Financial/Pecuniary Loss As a Result of the Death of an Adult Child. If the adult child had lived, the parents would have gotten care, maintenance, support, services, guidance, counsel, and appropriate monetary contributions.

Parent-Child Relationship Termination. If each parent had lived, their adult child would have given them love, comfort, friendship, and society. This can be labeled "social and companionship."


Our law office assists in the recovery of each aspect of harm due by the defendant in wrongful death cases. Your claim covers lost wages, support, and companionship, as well as burial costs. The defendant must pay for each element of damage produced by the defendant who caused the wrongful death. We fight for our clients in wrongful death lawsuits to ensure they receive full compensation for any losses deserved.

You've already got a lot on your mind. Dealing with a callous insurance provider is the last thing on your mind right now. We will bring those responsible for the tragic death accountable and ensure that they pay the appropriate compensation.

It's difficult to deal with the loss of a loved one. It's considerably more difficult if the fatality occurred as a result of someone else's carelessness. We'll help you collect money from the negligent or wrongful parties that caused your loved one's death. This may help you put the pieces of your life back together again. We will investigate the death of your loved one. Experts and anyone with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the death will be consulted, as well as any reports, medical records, and other records. The witnesses will be questioned. We'll hire professionals to examine the financial effects of your death.

The untimely and unexpected death of a loved one due to negligence is tough - not only emotionally, but financially as well. Nobody wants to think about the financial implications of a loss, but you don't have a choice once the bills start stacking up. Most people don't think about filing a lawsuit until it's too late. The possibility of suing for monetary recompense for their losses deters many people. People are eventually forced to confront the painful reality of the financial ramifications of their loved one's death when the bills mount up.

You may have been obligated to pursue the person or entity responsible for your loved one's death if he or she was a source of income for your family. You must demand that the wrongdoer's company or insurance company pay for the loss they created in order to pay your bills for yourself, your family, and your children.

If you need a personal injury lawyer for your wrongful death case, contact us immediately for a free consultation with an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer. Contact the Law Office of Doug Goyen by calling (972) 599 4100 or filling out our online contact form.

Call For A Free Case Review (972) 599 4100


The Texas Survival Statute enables for a Survival cause of action to be brought to seek damages for the decedent's injuries (the cause of action they would have had if they had survived their injury). Plaintiffs would be the estate's personal representatives or heirs. The person or entity that caused the injury described in CPRC section 71.021(a) would be the defendant. To demonstrate a survival reason of action, employ the following elements:

  1. The executor of the decedent's estate is the plaintiff;
  2. The decedent had a cause of action for personal injury to their health, reputation, or person prior to their death;
  3. If the decedent had lived, they may have filed a personal injury lawsuit.
  4. The defendant's improper act resulted in the decedent's injury.

In a Texas Survival Act case, the following damages are allowed:

  1. Pain and suffering, as well as mental anguish, are among the first things that come to mind. In a survival case, damages for grief and mental anguish are recoverable to the extent that the decedent was aware of his or her impending death.
  2. Expenses for medical treatment. In a survival action, reasonable medical expenditures are recoverable.
  3. Expenses for the funeral. In a survival cause of action, funeral and burial expenses are recoverable.
  4. Damages that are exceptional. When appropriate, exemplary damages might be recovered as a survival action.
  5. Interest, Court Fees, and Attorneys' Fees, Court expenses, as well as prejudgment and post-judgment interest, might be recovered. Attorneys fees may be recoverable if the case comes under the DTPA, but in most personal injury lawsuits in Texas, attorneys' costs are not recoverable.
  6. Damages are split among the estates (heirs). Damages in a survival case belong to the estate and are dispersed to individuals who would have gotten them if the decedent had gotten them right before his or her death. If the decedent dies intestate, the proceeds are dispersed to the heirs pursuant to the decedent's will or the laws of descent and distribution.
  7. Damages are subject to the Survival Statute's debts. Damages in a survival action are limited by the debts owed by the deceased (unlike damages in a wrongful-death action, which are not).

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The Texas Wrongful Death Act has a two-year statute of limitations from the date the action was filed (typically this is the date of death with regards to the Wrongful Death Act). If the case isn't settled or a lawsuit isn't filed within two years, you'll lose your right to submit a claim forever.

Compare this to the Texas Survival Statute, which has a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the occurrence that produced the damage that resulted in the decedent's death. This is frequently different from the date on which the decedent passes away. An accident could occur, and the victim could have lived for days, weeks, months, or even years before succumbing to the injuries. Due to the improper act that caused the death, this type of case establishes two separate statutes of limitations for the various causes of action available.


If you or someone you know needs assistance in a wrongful death case 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.


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 Dallas 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.


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,

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.