Losing a loved one is devastating. Your loss can be especially difficult if your family member’s fatal injury resulted from a preventable accident. If another party’s negligent or reckless actions cut your loved one’s life short, a Tyler wrongful death lawyer can help you hold that party financially accountable.
The legal team at Domingo Garcia has served injury clients for more than 35 years. We understand that no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one. However, monetary awards can give you a sense of justice and ensure you have the resources to pay for expenses associated with your family member’s fatal accident.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Will Fight for Your Loved One
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 71, which outlines the state’s wrongful death civil statutes, family members of a deceased party can take legal action for a death caused by another person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.”
If your loved one died from an injury that they could have sought personal injury compensation for had they lived, you may qualify for awards for their wrongful death. Our firm focuses on helping clients recover the compensation they deserve. This includes fighting for families who have lost a loved one due to a fatal injury. Our team will:
- Collect evidence
- Build a case that proves negligence led to your family member’s death
- Identify the compensation owed to you and your loved ones
- Communicate with insurance agents and opposing attorneys
- Manage all case deadlines, documents, and “red tape”
- Tirelessly work for the most advantageous settlement or verdict possible
Your family deserves justice if your loved one died because of someone else’s negligent or wrongful behavior. Let our wrongful death lawyers in Tyler handle your case so you can focus on grieving and getting your lives back on track.
Injuries Are the Leading Cause of Death in Texas
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), since 2000, injuries have been the leading cause of death in Texas residents ages 1 to 44. In addition, the DSHS reports that 44 people die every day statewide from violence and injuries, many of which are preventable.
The National Safety Council (NSC) states that motor vehicle accidents, falls, and choking (including drownings and suffocation due to fire or smoke) are among the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States and Texas. Our personal injury attorneys serving Tyler, Texas can assist with wrongful death actions arising from:
Car Accidents or Truck Accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 14 people suffered fatal motor vehicle crash injuries in Tyler in 2021. Statewide, a person dies about every two hours in a collision. Car accidents can result from another driver’s negligent actions or vehicle or roadway issues. We can help seek compensation for fatal accident injuries involving:
- Failure to obey traffic signals and road signs
- Drunk driving
- Improper passing or improper lane changes
- Reckless, aggressive, or distracted driving
- Broken stop lights and obstructed road signs
- Faulty brakes or tires
- Engine problems
- Potholes, lack of lighting, or other road maintenance issues
Motorcycle accidents. TxDOT reports that in 2021 nearly 9,000 motorcycle riders died from vehicle accident injuries in Texas. The journal Accident Analysis and Prevention states that the most common cause of motorcycle accident fatalities is traumatic brain injury (TBI). Motorcyclists are also at risk for severe chest and abdominal injuries (including internal bleeding and organ damage) and spinal cord injuries (SCIs).
Commercial motor vehicle accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a large truck can weigh up to 30 times more than a passenger vehicle. Because of the difference in size and weight, the smaller vehicle’s occupants are much more likely to sustain a fatal injury when trucks and cars collide. In Texas in 2021, TxDOT reports that 14 fatal commercial motor vehicle accidents occurred in Smith County. We can help you take action against a truck driver, their employer, or another liable party if your loved one’s wrongful death happened in an accident involving:
- Construction vehicles
- Garbage trucks
- Cargo vans
- 18 wheelers
Bicycle and pedestrian accidents. In 2021, more than 900 bicyclists and pedestrians died from motor vehicle crash injuries in Texas, according to TxDOT. Texas Transportation Code § 551.101 affords bicyclists the same rights and duties under the law as motor vehicle operators. Texas Transportation Code Chapter 552 outlines pedestrian laws, including when pedestrians have the right-of-way. Though cars must share the roadway with pedestrians and bicyclists, Tyler roadways can be dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.
Slip and falls. Even slip and fall incidents that occur on the same level can be deadly, especially for older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)reports that fall deaths in American adults 65 and older have increased steadily since 2007 and are on pace to amount to 7 fatalities per hour by 2030. In addition, the CDC reports that falls cause more than 95 percent of hip fractures, an injury associated with a significant increase in mortality, according to Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation. Falls are also the most common cause of TBIs.
Work injuries. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) reports that 469 fatal occupational injuries occurred in Texas in 2020. Industries with a high rate of fatal workplace accidents include transportation and warehousing, mining and natural resources, manufacturing, and professional businesses and services. Some of the most common causes of deadly injury include transportation incidents, falls, trips, slips, contact with objects and equipment, and exposure to harmful substances and environments.
Construction accidents. According to the TDI, the construction industry has the highest rate of fatal accidents across all industries in Texas. In 2020, there were 127 construction accident deaths, accounting for 27 percent of work-related fatalities statewide. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) identifies the following top four causes of fatal construction injuries:
- Struck by/against accidents
- Caught in/between accidents
Oilfield and oil rig accidents. The TDI reports that 24 workers died from mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction accidents in 2020. Our Tyler attorneys can assist with your loved one’s wrongful death from exposure to chemicals or hazardous substances, explosions, falls, or lack of safety protections.
Premises liability. Texas property owners have a legal obligation to ensure their premises are reasonably safe. Therefore, if your loved one’s fatal injury resulted from a business or property owner’s negligence, you may have grounds for a premises liability case. Types of accidents under this umbrella include slip and falls, dog attack injuries, burn injuries, swimming pool accidents (drownings), and violence caused by negligent security.
Product liability. If a defective product contributed to your loved one’s fatal injury, we can help you take action against the product’s manufacturer. Product liability claims may involve:
- Defective vehicles or auto parts
- Defective safety equipment (such as guardrails and toe-boards)
- Defective machinery and heavy equipment
- Defective scaffolding
Wrongful Death Compensation in Texas
You have enough on your plate while you are coping with the loss of your family member. You do not need to suffer further stress because of medical bills and other damages. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 41, our Tyler wrongful death lawyers can help you pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses. Medical intervention may not have saved your loved one’s life. However, that does not mean medical bills connected to their fatal accident disappear. It is unfair that you or your family shoulder this financial burden if someone else’s actions led to your loved one’s death. We can help you recover medical costs associated with your family member’s fatal injury, including ambulance fees, emergency department bills, doctor and hospital bills, surgeries, medical procedures, prescription drugs, in-home health care, and hospice.
- Funeral and burial costs. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the average cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial was nearly $8,000 in 2021. Our wrongful death attorneys can help you recover the costs of your loved one’s final arrangements, including services, casket, cremation, embalming, urn, burial plot, and more.
- Lost income. You may qualify for compensation for your loved one’s lost earning capacity, including lost wages and benefits and the value of inheritance they would have saved had they lived.
- Property damages. We can recover the cost of repairing or replacing property that sustained damage during your loved one’s accident, including the cost of vehicles, tools, equipment, electronics, and jewelry.
- Noneconomic losses. Also known as pain and suffering damages, noneconomic awards offer compensation for intangible losses. Our wrongful death lawyers in Tyler can help you seek monetary damages for losing your loved one’s care, companionship, comfort, guidance, society, and love. Surviving family members may also receive compensation for their emotional pain and mental anguish.
- Punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is not to reward injury victims for their losses but to punish the wrongful party for their actions Accordingly, the court may award punitive damages only in cases involving fraud, gross negligence, or malice.
Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Will Identify and Pursue Damages for Your Case
Every wrongful death case is different, and it is impossible to estimate the value of your unique claim without speaking to you during a consultation. However, factors that may influence the value of your case include:
- The cost of your loved one’s medical bills
- You loved one’s age at their time of death
- Your loved one’s wages/financial contributions at their time of death
- The value of accident-related property damages
- The extent of surviving family members’ pain and suffering
The lawyers and staff at Domingo Garcia know that the time following a loved one’s death can be overwhelming. Therefore, you may need assistance recognizing and calculating the damages owed to you and your family. Our Tyler wrongful death lawyers can use bills, receipts, and expense records to determine your out-of-pocket losses.
We can also hire case experts, including vocational specialists, economists, and mental health professionals who can help us evaluate your damages and pain and suffering. We will treat you with professionalism, respect, and compassion throughout the process as we work toward an advantageous case resolution.
Domingo Garcia Has Helped Grieving Families Recover Millions of Dollars
We are passionate about helping families seek justice for their loved ones. Our wrongful death case results include:
- A $3 million settlement for the family of a worker killed in a crane boom collapse
- A $2.75 million settlement for the family of a roadside worker who suffered fatal injuries in a commercial motor vehicle accident
- A $1.25 million settlement for a worker who sustained a fatal accident caused by a lack of fall protection
- A $1 million settlement for the family of a worker who died because of a gas tank explosion
- $ 4,000,000 for the parents of a young worker killed when pinned under a defective door
- $8,500,000 for the family of a man killed while changing a tire by a sleepy 18 wheeler driver
Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Tyler, Texas?
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004, a deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, or parents can pursue a wrongful death action. One or more family members may file suit on behalf of all qualifying survivors.
If no eligible family member files a suit within three months of the death, the deceased’s executor can pursue a case on behalf of the estate and its beneficiaries. However, they can only pursue a case if no qualifying survivors object to the action.
Whoever takes action must file the case before the statute of limitations expires. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 allows up to two years from the time of the accident that caused your loved one’s fatal injury to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The court will likely dismiss your case if you do not meet this deadline. An expired statute can also result in a reduced or denied insurance settlement.
What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Lawsuit and a Criminal Case?
As mentioned, a wrongful death lawsuit is a type of civil action taken by the deceased person’s family to recover monetary compensation. The state of Texas can take criminal action for cases involving manslaughter or homicide. Additionally, criminal cases do not include monetary damages. Instead, if found guilty, the liable party may face jail or prison time, probation, fines, and other punishments.
The standard of proof is also different for civil cases than criminal cases. In a civil action, you must prove the liable party is responsible for your damages based on a “preponderance of evidence,” meaning the claim is more likely true than not, according to the Legal Information Institute. With a criminal action, you must prove the liable party is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Our Attorneys Will Prove Negligence Caused Your Loved One’s Death
Any civil action built on negligence must establish four essential elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Since motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of accidental death, let’s use the example of a fatal crash caused by a motorist who traveled into the wrong lane while texting and driving:
- Duty of care. All drivers in Texas have a legal duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws outlined in Texas Transportation Code Chapter 545.
- Breach of duty. Specific to our example, Texas Transportation Code § 545.425 forbids using a handheld communication device to send or receive electronic messages while operating a motor vehicle.
- Causation. Because the driver was texting, they became distracted and drifted into the wrong lane of traffic, resulting in a head-on collision. In turn, that collision resulted in injuries that led to your loved one’s death.
- Damages. Your loved one’s fatal injury led to medical bills, lost wages, and other financial and noneconomic losses.
Who Is Responsible for My Loved One’s Wrongful Death?
The party liable for your loved one’s death will depend on the type of accident that caused their fatal injury. Potentially liable parties may include:
- A private motorist
- A commercial vehicle driver
- A driver’s employer
- A trucking company
- The owner or loader of a truck’s cargo
- A vehicle or auto parts manufacturer
- A government or private roadway owner
- A residential or commercial property owner
- The makers of a defective product
- A nonsubscriber employer
- A subcontractor
- A general contractor
- A property manager
- A boss or supervisor
- A negligent coworker
- A designer or architect
- A job site equipment supplier/entity in charge of equipment maintenance
Let Domingo Garcia Seek Justice for You and Your Loved One
Our Tyler wrongful death lawyers can stand by your side. We will take care of your legal issues while you focus on your family and healing from the loss of your loved one. Our firm will:
- Put our legal knowledge to work for you. A lot of leg work and legal knowledge goes into preparing a robust wrongful death case. Our team will investigate your loved one’s fatal accident, pinpoint liability, and gather proof to support your claims. Evidence will vary depending on case type but may include police reports, workplace incident reports, eyewitness accounts, physical data, photographs, surveillance videos, expert testimony, and more. Finally, our team will apply our experience with personal injury and wrongful death cases to construct a solid argument based on state and federal law.
- Be your voice. Our legal team will be a powerful voice for you and your family. We will handle case-related phone calls, emails, and meetings. This saves you time and effort and protects you from accidentally saying or doing something the insurance company or opposing lawyers could use against you. In addition, we will constantly advocate for your best interests during insurance and pretrial negotiations and strive to achieve the maximum compensation possible.
- Support you as you put your life back together. We are here for you through every step of your case. You can reach out at any time with questions, concerns, or information you think your lawyer should know. If we cannot speak with you immediately, we will return your calls or emails as soon as possible. We will also provide frequent updates and offer free consultations until we resolve your case. Furthermore, we can work with your loved one’s insurance provider to get their medical bills covered until we secure compensation.
- Take your case to trial if necessary. If possible, our attorneys may seek compensation through an insurance settlement. However, if a claim is not an option or we cannot secure fair awards, we will not back down from moving forward with a wrongful death lawsuit. If necessary, we will pursue damages at trial.
- Charge you nothing out of pocket. Our Tyler wrongful death lawyers work on contingency, meaning we charge nothing upfront for our services. Instead, our fees come from an agreed-upon percentage of your settlement or verdict. If we do not win your case, you owe us nothing.
How You Can Help Your Family’s Wrongful Death Case
Mostly, we want you to focus on yourself and your family while we worry about your claim or lawsuit. However, some common client mistakes could negatively affect the outcome of your case:
- Do not discuss your case. Do not discuss your wrongful death case with anyone other than our attorneys. This includes not posting about the case on social media.
- Do not give a recorded statement. Do not give the insurance company or opposing counsel a recorded statement without consulting our lawyers. If an opposing party reaches out to you, do not discuss details regarding your loved one’s accident or fatal injury. Instead, have them contact our firm.
- Do not sign any documents. Our office will obtain any forms necessary for your case. Do not sign anything without first consulting us, and do not accept a settlement agreement without speaking with our lawyers.
- Do not fail to keep your lawyer informed. If you remember any details or have new information you believe may be relevant to your case, do not hesitate to share them with our team. Additionally, if you move, change phone numbers, or change employment, make sure you update your contact information, so we know how to reach you.
Contact Domingo Garcia to Start Your Wrongful Death Case Today
Let us help you fight for your loved one and secure the financial awards your family deserves. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation and learn more about how our Tyler wrongful death lawyers can serve you.