Fatal car accidents leave a wake of devastation behind them. Family members dealing with the aftermath of a deadly car accident have a heavy burden to bear. When someone else is responsible for their pain and suffering, handling the news of an accident can become even more difficult.
The reality is that there are thousands of fatal car accidents in the US every year. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the number of traffic fatalities increased 3.7% between 2013 and 2014. During 2014, someone was killed in a vehicle accident every 2.5 hours. Every day during that year was marked by someone’s passing on Texas roadways.
Because driving is a necessity in our busy life, make sure to take extra care on the highways. If you or someone you love died in a car accident on Texas roadways, you may have many unanswered questions and feelings of resentment towards the individual(s) responsible. Criminal cases against the liable party may bring the defendant to justice, but the results of those cases rarely satisfy the needs of the deceased person’s family. In these cases, a wrongful death suit can be a financially helpful way to deal with the aftermath of a fatal accident and hold the accountable party responsible for his or her actions.
Wrongful Death Suits in Car Accidents
Sometimes death in a motor vehicle accident is instantaneous. Other times, a victim will spend days, weeks, or months in a hospital fighting for breath after devastating injuries. When a victim eventually succumbs to his or her injuries, families must handle their grief and the affairs of their loved one. If a driver’s negligent behavior caused the accident, the immediate family of the deceased may choose to pursue a wrongful death case.
The survivors of the immediate family, including the spouse, children, or parents must file a claim within two years of the date of death in the state of Texas. An estate representative or executor may file a claim on the family’s behalf.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, family members may be eligible for compensation for the deceased person’s lost earning capacity and functional/supportive role in the family, their pain and suffering, lost companionship, and/or projected inheritance. In cases of gross negligence, Texas allows punitive damages to be awarded as a means of punishing the defendant.
Proving Negligence in Fatal Car Accidents
In a wrongful death suit, a family may need the assistance of an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney in the state of Texas. The attorneys at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert have more than 10 years of specialized experience handling claims in Dallas and surrounding areas.
In the course of a claim, the deceased person’s representatives will need to prove that negligence was the cause of the fatal accident. Distracted driving, failing to follow the rules of the road, mechanical failure, bus company negligence and driver impairment may all be considered negligent and accident-contributing variables. A skilled attorney can help you sift through the paperwork you may face after an accident and pursue action against the responsible party.
Insurance companies, in particular, can be difficult to negotiate in the face of a claim. They may be understanding about the accident circumstances, but they may be more interested in settling a claim quickly and with their interests in mind than helping you. The attorneys at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert can help you get through every aspect of this difficult time so that you can grieve properly and start moving forward with your life. Please contact us to learn more about our wrongful death services or for a free case consultation.