Fatal Car Accident Lawyer In Dallas, TX
There were 3,639 motor vehicle deaths in Texas in 2018, according to information gathered by the Texas Department of Transportation. While this number marks a slight decrease from the previous year, it is still quite high and represents more than 3,500 families that have been devastated by the loss of a loved one.
No one can undo the past, but justice demands that a family be compensated for car accident fatalities. At Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, we employ attorneys with significant experience in the area of car crash deaths. We can help clients fight for the compensation they need during this difficult time, and help families understand and navigate an often-complex legal system.
The Wrongful Death Process
When a person is fatally injured in a car wreck, they cannot work to pursue justice for themselves. Instead, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim in Dallas to hold the at-fault driver accountable for the loss of a loved one. However, there are certain rules in place that dictate who can bring a claim and when.
Understanding Whether I Am an Eligible Family Member
Not every family member is legally able to bring a wrongful death claim to court. For example, the siblings of the deceased person cannot file a wrongful death action after their brother or sister was fatally injured in a car accident. To file a claim in the state of Texas, you must be one of the following relations of the person who died:
The Executor’s Role
In some cases, the family members may decline to file a wrongful death claim. If they do not file such a claim within three months of a person’s death, the executor of the deceased person’s estate can decide to file a claim even if that executor is not an eligible family member. However, the executor cannot file a claim if all eligible family members forbid it. These regulations, found in Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §71.004, can be confusing to laypeople, especially so in times of severe grief. Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, can help to alleviate this confusion and ease the stress under which a grieving family often suffers.
My Compensation After a Fatal Car Accident
There are a wide variety of harms or damages for which surviving family members may receive compensation after their loved one is killed in a vehicle crash. Compensation is generally split into two categories, but it should be noted that fault plays a significant role in the amount of compensation available to the family.
You can sue for damages directly related to the financial harms that you and your family suffer as a result of your loved one’s fatal accident. This category usually includes everything that has a specific price tag, such as funeral costs, property damage, and repair services, medical bills related to the injury, and even the projected amount of income that your loved one would have earned had they survived.
Other harms you suffer do not have a clear monetary value. These are called non-economic damages and include your loved one’s pain and suffering before their death, loss of consortium with a now-deceased spouse, any personality changes or mental health issues you loved one developed as a result of their accident, and similar harms.
How Fault Can Affect My Family’s Compensation
When deciding on an amount of compensation, Texas uses a system called proportionate responsibility that takes into account the percentages of fault attributed to each individual involved in the accident. This is true for wrongful death claims as well as personal injury cases.
Essentially, the system means that your total compensation may be reduced by the same percentage as the percentage of blame your loved one is attributed to their crash. Also, if your loved one was more than 50% responsible for the accident, you may be unable to pursue compensation from the other party.
For example, let us say that your loved one is found to be 25% responsible for their fatal car accident and your damages total to $100,000. In this case, you would be able to receive a total of $75,000 from the other party rather than the full amount, as the compensation would be reduced by 25% as well.
I Can Talk to a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer in Dallas Today
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in a car crash, it is important to get in touch with a fatal car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner they are on the case, the sooner they can begin to amass evidence of your damages and the suffering that your loved one endured before their tragic death.
At Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, , we collect no fee unless we win you the compensation you need, and we provide all of our prospective clients with a FREE consultation to better understand your claim.