If a family member dies in a car accident in Texas, your family has the right to explore your legal options, which may include filing a wrongful death claim and pursuing damages from the at-fault party. You can hire a wrongful death lawyer to take on your case and represent your family. Your attorney can fight for a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company or take your case to trial if necessary.
What Is a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death case after a car accident seeks compensation for the survivors of the deceased—specifically, their immediate family, such as a spouse and children, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004. Since compensation goes to the survivors, wrongful death damages are different from a personal injury case.
Your lawyer must prove that someone else (such as another driver) is at fault for the car accident for your wrongful death claim to be successful. In most cases, recoverable damages include both economic and non-economic losses. In some cases, they may also include punitive damages.
Your wrongful death lawyer from Loncar Lyon Jenkins will focus on how the car accident affected your family. Their goal is to help your family recover fair compensation based on your losses and the damages your loved one suffered before their death.
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How to Proceed with a Wrongful Death Claim
The death of a loved one can take a heavy toll on your family, and protecting your financial situation is essential. Therefore, it is important to make sound legal decisions when filing a wrongful death claim after a car accident.
Seek a Legal Consultation
Your family will be focusing on funeral preparations and other aspects of your loved one’s death. Therefore, you may want to hire an attorney to provide the legal support you need to file a wrongful death claim. Your attorney can investigate the case, explore your options, and file your claim.
Build Your Case
Our legal team at Loncar Lyon Jenkins will investigate the car accident to establish fault and liability. We will gather evidence that supports your claim and calculate the total of your damages. Your attorney will work behind the scenes, so you can focus on grieving with your family.
File a Notice of Claim
Our law firm will file a notice of a wrongful death claim to the at-fault party’s insurance company. The claim will outline the details of the accident, who is at fault, and how much your case is worth. The insurance company will review your claim and assess your damages.
Negotiate a Settlement
The insurance company will either reject your claim or negotiate a settlement based on the facts of the case. Your legal team will work directly with the insurer to fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.
File a Lawsuit
If the insurance company rejects your claim or offers a settlement that does not reflect your damages, your family may have the option to file a lawsuit. If so, your attorney can prepare your case and represent you in court.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
How much your case is worth depends on factors such as the nature of the accident, who was involved, and your total losses. Common damages in a wrongful death claim include:
- Burial costs
- Funeral expenses
- Lost household income
- Pre-death medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
Economic damages are financial losses that you can calculate. For instance, you can know exactly how much you spend on burial and funeral expenses. Since your lawyer can calculate these damages, you can typically develop an exact figure to put on your claim.
A car accident can alter your life in several ways that you can’t put a price tag on. Emotional suffering and loss of consortium are two examples. While you can’t put a dollar sign on these damages, your lawyer can assign a suggested amount representing your non-economic losses.
If you file a lawsuit and decide to take your case to court, the judge or jury may award you punitive damages. These damages punish the at-fault party or make a public example out of the case. Punitive damages are solely determined by the court and are not part of your initial claim.
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The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in Texas
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Texas is two years. This means you generally only have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a claim against the at-fault party. Therefore, you should not delay finding a wrongful death attorney and moving forward with your case.
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Let Our Law Firm Represent Your Family During this Hard Time
If your loved one died in a car accident and someone else is to blame, now is the time to take action. Loncar Lyon Jenkins can seek justice on your family’s behalf, giving you time to grieve. Call (877) 239-4878 today and get a free case review from a wrongful death lawyer in Dallas, Texas.
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