Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death for Americans. Since driving a car is one of the most dangerous things most people will ever do in their lifetime, this is not surprising. Still, a car accident always takes loved ones too soon, and is usually preventable. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you might be entitled to substantial compensation for your loss.
The Dallas car accident attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm may be able to help you seek compensation for your loss. While money cannot replace a lost loved one, it can help you move on. Whether you were in the car when the accident happened or learned about it later, you might be entitled to compensation for their loss.
Texas Car Accident Wrongful Death
When a loved one dies in an accident like a car crash, the surviving family might be entitled to file a lawsuit over their death. Texas law allows the surviving children, spouses, or parents of someone who died in a car accident to bring a lawsuit for their death. This lawsuit must be filed within two years of the person’s death, or else you might lose the opportunity.
When a loved one dies, you may be compensated for any financial losses associated with their death. This includes the cost of funeral and burial expenses. It also includes more complicated losses. For instance, if the loved one was the primary provider for your family, you may be unable to continue on without their income. Because of this, the law allows you to claim your loved one’s lost wages as damages. You may also be entitled to things like:
- Lost benefits,
- Lost inheritances that would have increased had the deceased lived longer,
- Lost financial support, and
- Lost investments.
There are other damages that you might be entitled to in your own right as the survivor. With the loss of a parent or a spouse, you will be missing out on a lot of counsel, companionship, and comfort. You may be able to recover compensation for all of these losses. Specifically with a spouse, your lost affection and society might be compensable. You may also be entitled to damages for the deceased’s pain and suffering before death. Especially if the deceased lingered for a while or suffered an especially painful death, you could be entitled to compensation. Even things like grief counseling can be compensated.
Many of these losses are not something that you can easily put a price tag on. Texas law does not put any legal caps or limits on these damages, meaning you might be entitled to whatever damages a jury sees fit to award you.
Additional Car Accident Death Damages
If you were involved in the car accident that caused your loved one’s death, you might be entitled to further damages. As a victim yourself, you might be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for your own injuries. This can entitle you to compensation for medical expenses if you faced injury. If you had to miss work because of your injuries, you might also be entitled to your own lost wages. Finally, taking your car accident case to court could entitled you to compensation for your own pain and suffering.
If you personally witnessed your loved one’s death, you might be able to file a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. This can entitle you to compensation for the shock and emotional anguish of witnessing the death of a loved one. In order to succeed in this kind of claim, you need to prove all of the following:
- You personally witnessed the accident from very nearby, or were involved in the accident yourself;
- You witnessed the death of a loved one; and
- The loved one was a close family member (such as a sibling, parent, or child).
If you learned about the loved one’s death later, or arrived at the scene of the accident after the fact, this would not qualify. However, if you were in the car when the accident killed your loved one, you might be able to recover damages for that emotional shock.
Talk to an attorney if you lost a loved one to a car accident. Your options for recovery may be limited by your relationship with the deceased, legal time limits, or your rights under auto insurance policies. Always talk to an attorney before accepting any settlements from the other driver or insurance companies.
Dallas Car Accident Attorneys
The Dallas, Texas car accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm may be able to take your case. The loss of a loved one is a tragedy, but our attorneys may be able to help you receive compensation that can keep your family going after a loss. Call (817) 719-8082 today for a free consultation with our attorneys.