The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, P.C.
Wrongful Death Caused by Car and Truck Accidents
If a family member’s death was caused by the negligence of another, you and your other family members may be entitled to monetary damage compensation for lost financial support, emotional support as well as for other damages. Our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane provide compassionate legal representation that is focused on making the responsible parties and their representatives legally accountable for the actions leading to the death of your loved one.
We offer a free no-obligation consultation to enable you to discuss all the details of your wrongful death claim with our Dallas and North Texas lawyers. It is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to make sure you understand all of your rights. We have decades of legal experience in handling all kinds of personal injury and death cases and we have the resources to professionally and thoroughly prepare and present your claims. Keep in mind that generally speaking, you must properly assert a wrongful death claim occurring in Texas, within two years from the date of death
Wrongful Death Claims in Texas
Losing a loved one is always painful. Losing a loved one due to unnecessary careless or reckless actions of another person makes it even more painful. A wrongful death claim is asserted when someone’s negligent actions wrongfully caused injuries that resulted in the death of a loved one. In every state in the US, a representative or the heirs of a person lost to wrongful death may file a claim or lawsuit seeking financial (monetary) damages.
Financial (Monetary) Damages for Wrongful Death
Most claims for money damages for wrongful death are never actually heard by a court or tried to a jury; normally an-out-of-court settlement is made between the survivors and the parties responsible for the person who caused the death such as an insurance company. However, the damages normally obtained through a trial for wrongful death are the same damages sought in an out-of-court settlement, so what courts award and how they determine the amount of money that is appropriate for wrongful death trial is relevant and considered in a wrongful death claim.
How Courts Determine Compensation for Wrongful Death
Courts must determine the proper compensation for the financial loss that the death has caused. While in some cases the death of a loved one may result in criminal charges being made against the person causing the death of another, money damages are the only remedy that civil courts can impose. When a civil court (as opposed to a criminal court) measures loss, the first thing most of them turn to is financial data such as;
- the amount of money earned by the deceased person;
- the amount of money likely to have been earned by the person in the future;
- the amount of money spent versus the amount of money saved; and
- the level of financial resources spent by the deceased on the survivors;
The court will also take into consideration funeral expenses and medical expenses.
A wrongful death claim or lawsuit normally seeks to compensate surviving family members; it does not normally seek to punish the responsible party unless something more than negligence is present, such as recklessness or intentional conduct.
Aspects in Determining Economic Loss
Courts look at a number of factors in determining the amount of financial loss the surviving family members should recover in a wrongful death lawsuit. Most of the considerations take into account characteristics of the person who has passed away such as current and future earnings potential, educational background, health and life expectancy and assets. These are taken into consideration when determining the loss of financial contributions made by the deceased to the surviving family members.
Compensation for contributions of other activities can also be considered such as child care and housekeeping services rendered, as well as assistance with family member’s medical or daily living needs
Attorneys for the claimants often use expert testimony to establish these amounts.
Factors in Determining Emotional Loss
Other aspects of what the deceased contributed to the surviving family member are also determined by the court such as parental guidance, companionship and affection.
In making these kinds of assessments, courts look to evidence of the strength of the relationship between the claimants and the deceased.
Statute of Limitations in Texas for Wrongful Death
Each state has a statute of limitations about how long a claimant or plaintiff has to file a wrongful death claim. After that time has elapsed, it is too late to take legal action. It is therefore important to speak with an attorney about your rights and options soon.
In Texas, a cause of action for wrongful death generally begins on the date of death and a lawsuit must generally be filed within two years of that date. Some exceptions may apply so it is best to speak with an attorney who focuses their practice on personal injury and wrongful death claims such as one of our lawyers.
The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, a car and truck accident personal injury and wrongful death law firm focuses its legal work on helping protect victims of injury accidents. If you would like to speak to one of our lawyers to answer any of your questions for free and for no obligation, please contact us by calling or by completing our case evaluation form found on this website. We look forward to helping you in any way we can.