Who Is Eligible For Compensation In A Wrongful Death Car Accident Settlement?
A wrongful death car accident may occur as the result of another driver’s negligent or deliberately dangerous behavior. If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death car accident in Dallas, then you are within your rights to sue the party legally responsible for damages.
Parties To A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When filing a wrongful death suit, it is important to establish who you want to sue, as there may be people responsible for the accident in addition to or who were not the driver. For example, maybe a tire on the driver’s car was installed incorrectly, which blew out and caused the driver to lose control. Or maybe the driver was intoxicated as the result of being illegally given alcohol or drugs.
Additional parties to consider adding to a wrongful death lawsuit may include:
- The driver, or the driver’s employer if the accident happened in a company car
- The manufacturer, distributor and/or installer of the part that was improperly manufactured or installed
- The person or owner of the establishment that gave the driver drugs or alcohol
- The doctor who may have missed or improperly diagnosed a condition that impaired the driver’s driving
Most of the time, a wrongful death car accident could have been prevented. In other words, someone is usually at fault and needs to pay. Here, at Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, , we’ll evaluate your case for FREE to help you determine what your next steps should be.
Parties Able To Sue For Wrongful Death
Survivors of the victim are able to file wrongful death lawsuits against the responsible parties. However, this is limited to immediate family members, such as the victim’s spouse or children (biological or adoptive), or anyone else who can claim they were financially dependent on the victim. If the victim was a minor, then his or her parents can file.
Distant family members are typically not permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Distant family members include:
- Aunts and uncles
However, some states allow guardians to file suit if they were raising the minor victim at the time of the accident. In the state of Texas, executors and representatives of the victim’s estate may also be permitted to file suit. In some cases, a person who has suffered financially as the result of the victim’s death may also be permitted to file suit, regardless of the relationship that person had with the victim.
The survivors have the burden of proof in showing that the defendant(s) acted in a way that was negligent or deliberately harmful. A wrongful death case is similar to a personal injury case in that the survivors must be able to prove that:
- They have been negatively affected by the incident; and
- They will suffer in the future as a result of the actions of the defendant(s).
Compensation Awarded In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The types of compensation awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit are monies awarded for expenses you would not have had to incur if your loved one had not been a victim of the crash. Such expenses include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses, including burial costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of benefits coverage
You can also be awarded for damages that are not financial in nature, such as the loss of companionship and pain and suffering. However, it is important to note that in the state of Texas, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years. So, if you are considering filing suit, you need to file as soon as possible to give your claim the best chance of success.
It may feel like suing someone for money at a time like this is a way to exploit the situation for your own personal gain, but it’s not. You are entitled to recover the financial losses incurred as the result of another person’s actions.
Why should you live in debt, paying off bills you wouldn’t have incurred if other people had just been more careful? Texas law is on your side here. You should not have to deal with financial hardships at a time when you’re already grieving the untimely and sudden loss of a loved one.
Considering Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? We Can Help!
Our Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, have ample experience helping clients win wrongful death suits like the one you’re considering filing right now. With us, you pay absolutely nothing unless we win your case. If you go it alone, you risk signing documents without fully understanding what they mean, which can lead to you agreeing to a lesser settlement. Let us help you get what you deserve.
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