Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things that anyone can go through. When a loved one dies suddenly and unexpectedly due to a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it can be devastating. In Texas, when a person dies in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim is a type of civil lawsuit that allows the family members of a person who has died due to someone else’s negligence to seek compensation for their loss. In Texas, there are specific laws that govern wrongful death claims, and it is important to understand them before pursuing a claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
In Texas, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person may file a wrongful death claim. If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, then the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate may file a claim. If the deceased person has no surviving family members or an estate, then no wrongful death claim can be filed.
What Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
If you file a wrongful death claim in Texas, you may be able to recover damages for the following:
- Economic damages: This includes compensation for the financial losses that result from the death of your loved one, such as loss of income, medical expenses, and funeral expenses.
- Non-economic damages: This includes compensation for the non-financial losses that result from the death of your loved one, such as loss of companionship, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages if the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
In Texas, you have two years from the date of the deceased person’s death to file a wrongful death claim. If you do not file a claim within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek compensation.
What Do You Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
To win a wrongful death claim in Texas, you need to prove the following elements:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person.
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the death of the deceased person.
- The surviving family members suffered damages as a result of the death.
It is important to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can help you gather evidence and build a strong case.
Additionally, it is important to note that Texas operates under a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if the deceased person was found to be partially at fault for the accident, the amount of compensation that the surviving family members can recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the deceased person.
For example, if the deceased person was found to be 20% at fault for the accident and the total damages awarded were $100,000, the surviving family members would only be able to recover $80,000.
It is also important to keep in mind that insurance companies will often try to offer a settlement that is lower than what the family members deserve. This is why it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney who can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and fight for fair compensation.
Filing a wrongful death claim in Texas can be a complex process, but it is a necessary step for seeking justice and compensation for the loss of a loved one. It is important to understand your legal rights and work with an attorney who has experience handling wrongful death claims in Texas. By taking these steps, you can hold the responsible parties accountable and seek the closure and compensation that you deserve.
Chavez Law Firm is experienced in handling wrongful death claims for car accidents in Texas. Our firm understands the emotional toll that the loss of a loved one can take on a family, and we are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to help our clients seek justice and compensation.
Our team of skilled attorneys has a deep understanding of the legal and financial aspects of wrongful death claims, and we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the full and fair compensation they deserve. We can help you:
- Investigate the accident: Our attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to gather evidence and determine who was at fault.
- Build a strong case: We will work closely with you to build a strong case that demonstrates the defendant’s negligence and the damages suffered by the surviving family members.
- Negotiate with insurance companies: We have experience negotiating with insurance companies and can work to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court: If necessary, we are prepared to represent you in court and fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve.
At Chavez Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients navigate the legal process with compassion and understanding. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you with your wrongful death claim in Texas.