Losing a loved one in a car accident is naturally a traumatizing experience for surviving family members. The unanticipated financial consequences, like medical expenses, end-of-life costs and lost income, could exacerbate the trauma, not forgetting the emotional damages. However, the civil justice system of Texas allows surviving family members to pursue claims for damage recovery.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by the reckless, deliberate or negligent behavior of another person, you might have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit in pursuit of monetary compensation to cover damages. This is a complicated field of the law, and you will likely have questions about eligibility and how to go about filing such a claim.
What constitutes grounds?
To show that you have a legally supportable reason for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to do the following before you can file a civil lawsuit:
- You must prove that the negligence or intentional actions of another party caused your loved one’s death.
- You must show that the death directly affected you and any other surviving loved ones, financially and emotionally.
- You must prove that your deceased loved one did not cause his or her own death.
The losses must be measurable because the civil court action will determine the monetary amount of compensation to you and the other surviving family members after the loved one’s death.
Can anyone file a wrongful death lawsuit?
In Texas, surviving spouses and children of the deceased loved one can file wrongful death lawsuits. State laws will determine whether grandparents, siblings and other extended family members can file such claims. You must file the lawsuit on behalf of your deceased loved ones, and for that reason, you must open a probate estate. The court might appoint a guardian to protect the interests of any minor children who are involved.
Damages you could claim
You must document your claims for adjudication by the court after establishing that the negligence of another party caused your loved one’s death. The following damages typically form a part of the documented claims:
- If your loved one received medical treatment before dying, you could claim those costs.
- You can include the expenses related to end-of-life arrangements.
- You can also claim compensation for emotional damages like the pain and suffering surviving family members suffered as a result of the wrongful death.
- You might also be able to include loss of companionship and other emotional damages.
Do you need help?
Navigating a wrongful death lawsuit might be a daunting prospect, but you need not tackle it without legal counsel. A Texas attorney who has experience in dealing with personal injury and wrongful death claims can provide invaluable support and guidance along every step of the way throughout ensuing legal proceedings.