When you suffered the sudden, unexpected loss of a beloved family member in a fatal Texas car accident, you may have felt like someone had knocked the ground out from underneath your feet. The grieving process for sudden death loss is unique for every person; however, many families find it helpful to attend community groups to share encouragement and support with others who have suffered similar experiences.
Knowing that your loved one's death was preventable, had it not been for another person's negligent or reckless behavior, can definitely exacerbate your grief and may also spark an intense desire to seek justice on behalf of your deceased family member. Texas law provides recourse for you to do so by filing a wrongful death claim in a civil court. Those who do must substantiate their claims by providing evidence that convinces the court that the designated defendant's negligent or reckless actions directly caused the death.
Key factors to help prove a wrongful death claim
If you request that the court hold another person legally accountable for your loved one's death, you must be able to prove certain things, including the following:
- That the person named as a defendant failed in a duty owed to your loved one at the time of his or her death
- That the breach of duty directly caused the fatality
- That you suffered damages because of the person's negligent or reckless behavior
- That you deserve compensatory or punitive restitution for damages
- That you have met the requirements for filing a wrongful death claim, such as statutes of limitation or identification as an immediate family member
Damages often include emotional pain and suffering, loss of potential wages that a decedent may have earned in the course of his or her lifetime, burial expenses, medical bills and other costs associated with a loved one's death.
Re-living events that led to your family member's death by describing the details of the accident in court would likely be one of the most difficult experiences of your life. In fact, many grieving family members do not feel up to the task, so they rely on experienced personal injury attorneys to speak for them during proceedings. The compensation the court often awards in such cases may be the only means some families have to cover burial expenses or other costs associated with the tragic loss of their loved ones.