On the night of August 14, a man was trying to cross I-37 N between Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Florida Street when he was struck by a 2012 Kia Optima. Afterward, he was then struck by more vehicles in quick succession and later pronounced dead at the scene. While law enforcement currently do not anticipate charges being filed in the man’s death, it is still possible that his family may choose to file wrongful death charges in civil court. If you have been unfortunate enough to lose a loved one in a traffic accident, this may be an option for you and your family to try and recover some of the expenses incurred.
Everyone passes away eventually, but if you lose a loved one suddenly, it can be devastating. Losing someone due to another person’s recklessness or negligence is something that no one should have to deal with. A wrongful death claim in Texas hinges around establishing that your loved one’s passing would not have occurred but for the negligence of the defendant, and that had they lived, they would have had cause to bring their own lawsuit against the defendant for the injuries they incurred.
For example, if one looks at the I-37 N accident, it can be argued that the man’s family could bring a wrongful death suit against the driver of the Optima because had the Optima not struck him, the man might have lived. Also, had the man survived being struck by the Optima, he would conceivably have been able to sue the driver for his injuries. This does not necessarily mean that the suit would automatically be successful – but the factors would all be present that would allow either the man or his family to sue.
Your Relationship Matters
One thing that is important to keep in mind is that your relationship to the deceased person will affect whether or not you are entitled to bring a wrongful death suit in Texas. Current law only allows spouses, parents, and children of the deceased to bring suit, so if you have some other type of relationship, you may not be eligible to file. Texas law does allow the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file a wrongful death suit if the surviving members of the family have not chosen to file within three months of the person’s passing. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations on wrongful death and other personal injury cases is two years from the date of the person’s passing.
If you are one of the family members who are able to file suit, you may be able to receive compensation that can ease the financial burden after your loved one’s passing. Obviously, no amount of monetary award can ease the grief of losing someone you love, but at the same time, things like funeral expenses and medical bills can put a serious dent in your family’s finances. You may also be able to recover non-economic damages like lost wages, loss of inheritance, pain and suffering, and surviving family members’ mental health care expenses.
Call a New Braunfels Wrongful Death Attorney
While it remains to be seen as to whether the family of the man on I-37 will elect to file suit, you should know that if you have lost a loved one in a similar accident, you have the option to do so. The skilled New Braunfels wrongful death lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm have years of experience in these cases and we understand how difficult they can be for everyone involved. Contact our office today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.