When you suffered the sudden, unexpected loss of a beloved family member in a fatal Texas car accident, you may have felt various emotions. The grieving process for sudden death loss is unique for every person. Knowing that your loved one’s death was preventable, had it not been for another person’s negligent or reckless behavior, can 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 Houston 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.
How to Prove Wrongful Death in Texas
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 the wrongful death statute of limitation Texas or identification as an immediate family member
If the accident victim initially survives the incident, but later succumbs to their injuries, a personal representative of their estate may be able to bring a survival action instead of wrongful death claim.
Wrongful Death Damages
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.
Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
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. 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 court often awards compensation 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.