From minor to catastrophic crashes, car accidents are not uncommon on Texas roads. If a car accident results in injuries, the victim might sue as a result of the harm they’ve suffered. If the victim succumbs to their injuries, however, their family may sue for wrongful death.
Basically, death is deemed wrongful when it is attributable to another person or entity’s negligent, reckless or unlawful actions. But while a loved one’s wrongful death can impact everyone at varying levels, Texas laws specify exactly who can file a claim. These include the decedent’s spouse, children, parents or estate representative.
When can a car accident lead to wrongful death?
Not every fatality that results from a car crash justifies a wrongful death claim. To sue for wrongful death, you’ll have to link the accident to the defendant’s negligent actions. But this is not all. You must also prove that you sustained damages following your loved one’s wrongful death. These may include loss of medical, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
These common negligent or reckless actions that can lead to a fatal crash and, thus, a wrongful death claim:
- The defendant caused an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance
- The defendant violated simple traffic rules like stopping at the red light
- The defendant was distracted by a cell phone or other device while driving
- The defendant failed to yield
Most of these actions amount to criminal offenses too. Thus, besides the civil action, the responsible party may also face criminal charges.
Pursuing justice on behalf of the defendant
Certainly, no amount of financial restitution can bring back your loved one. However, learning more about Texas’ negligence laws can help you pursue justice following a loved one’s untimely yet preventable death, which can help to ensure that the financial losses caused by your loved one’s death don’t unjustly fall on your shoulders.