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No one should have to endure losing a family member in a car accident. Yet every year, thousands of families grieve loved ones killed on Texas roads. Many are left not only emotionally devastated, but facing financial stress as well, especially if the deceased provided income or incurred substantial medical debt.
If someone else’s negligent or reckless actions led to your loved one’s death, Texas law may allow you to hold that party accountable through a civil action called a wrongful death lawsuit. Though it is hard to quantify such a loss, the goal is not to put a price tag on a family member but to receive a recovery that will offset the financial losses related to their passing. Additionally, resolving a wrongful death case can help bring some closure to a tragedy for everyone involved.
In Texas, wrongful death claims may only be filed by a surviving spouse, children, or the parents of the deceased. Siblings and grandparents are unable to file wrongful death cases because of limitations in the wrongful death statute.
A wrongful death claimant can seek to recover monetary damages designed to compensate for harms such as:
Examples of situations that could give rise to a wrongful death claim following a car accident include:
The driver might not be the only party that may be held accountable in a wrongful death car accident lawsuit. In certain circumstances, a claim may be filed against other parties including:
The amount of financial recovery you and your family should expect to receive for your harms and losses will depend on a number of factors. Because every relationship is different, every wrongful death case is unique. Many of the losses that follow a wrongful death are intangible in nature, and impossible to calculate. So, in proceeding through the wrongful death claim process, you can expect the following circumstances to influence what your settlement or financial recovery might be:
Wrongful death lawsuits are one of the longest types of personal injury cases. Most take at least a year — and sometimes several years — to be fully resolved. This is because most wrongful death cases are complex, since there may be many categories of damages and losses to calculate. Additionally, most wrongful death cases involve high settlement values. Unfortunately, when there is a great deal of money involved, insurance providers and other liable parties will work harder to undervalue your family’s settlement. Some other factors that can extend the length of your case include the following:
If you believe another party’s negligence may have caused or contributed to your loved one’s death, you should consider contacting a wrongful death lawyer who can immediately begin reviewing the details of your case and educate you about your rights and options. While the days, weeks, and months following the loss of a loved one can be difficult to endure, waiting until things settle down to investigate the circumstances behind the incident could be a costly mistake. Evidence can be lost or destroyed, and important witnesses can become difficult or impossible to locate. Furthermore, the statute of limitations in Texas states that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the deceased’s death.
Consulting with a personal injury lawyer with the right experience with wrongful death cases can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case. By understanding your rights and options, you will be best situated to secure the best recovery for your financial and emotional losses. Your lawyer will also assist you in setting up an estate in your deceased family member’s name in compliance with Texas probate and estate law in the event that this has not already been done.
Our experienced lawyers at FVF understand that it can be overwhelming to face the administrative and legal aspects of losing a loved one. We are committed to easing your burden in a painful time by providing you with guidance, support, and a thorough understanding of your options. If you are considering pursuing a wrongful death claim, contact us to set up a free, no-pressure evaluation.
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