When a loved one dies in a motor vehicle accident, the family must adjust to life without that person. When the initial stages of shock and grief subside, they may find they struggle to survive financially, especially when the deceased individual supported children and others in the household.
Texas families can file a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a member in a fatal accident caused by another person.
Seeking legal remedy
Only specific people can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased person. This includes the individual’s surviving spouse, children or parents. If the person appointed an estate representative before death, that person can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate.
To receive damages, the plaintiff must prove that the person’s death directly resulted from a third party’s negligence, wrongful or careless action. For example, in the case of a fatal motor vehicle accident, the family could have a successful case if the other driver was distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision.
Understanding available damages
The family member filing a wrongful death lawsuit can ask the court for specific monetary and nonmonetary damages that include:
- Medical expenses associated with the deceased person’s fatal accident
- Final expenses, including burial and funeral costs
- Pain and suffering on behalf of the deceased
- Mental pain and suffering on behalf of the survivors
- Loss of financial support and companionship offered by the deceased
Even if the family has a valid claim, they must file within two years of the person’s death or risk dismissal by the court system.