Recently, a 73-year old woman was struck and killed in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Cedar Park, in what law enforcement called a slow-speed accident. No one else was injured, and no charges appear to be pending against the driver at this time. However, the woman’s family may decide to file wrongful death charges against them, if there is reason to believe that the driver’s actions were negligent.
You Must Act Fast
Not every sudden death in Texas can be classified as wrongful, or even every fatality that happens in an automobile accident. Wrongful death is defined in Texas as a death that occurs due to the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default” of another person. In other words, a person has to have acted wrongly or with not even the barest level of care toward other people in order to be found liable for wrongful death. This is not an easy standard to meet, but it is very possible to do so.
Very often, it is difficult for a family to be able to process their loss. While this is, of course, understandable, it is important to also be aware that there is a specific window of time in which you are able to bring a wrongful death suit – in Texas, the limit is usually two years after the deceased person’s passing. The law sets the limit at two years because any longer would mean witness memories start to disappear, and evidence may become lost or decayed.
Be advised that there are only a few specific family members who are permitted under Texas law to file a wrongful death suit – generally, parents and children (adoptive or blood-related, assuming the adoption process was complete at the time of the person’s death), and the surviving spouse of the decedent. Unfortunately, other relations like siblings, aunts, and uncles are barred from filing for wrongful death – the rationale, rightly or wrongly, is that it is very rare for someone who is less immediate family to have been tangibly injured enough to want to file for wrongful death.
There are several types of damages that a bereaved family can pursue, and while none of it will bring back their loved one, it can sometimes help keep a family in their home or otherwise pay off the sudden bills that inevitably appear upon a loved one’s passing. The family of the elderly person killed in Cedar Park would not only be able to try and seek compensation for funeral and medical expenses, but also for more personal losses such as loss of companionship, mental anguish, and loss of inheritance. Every case is different, but it can also bring closure to try and seek some justice for the deceased person.
Call a New Braunfels Wrongful Death Attorney
While as of this writing, the Cedar Park victim’s family has not announced any intention to file a wrongful death suit, your case may be different should you wind up in a similar situation. The dedicated New Braunfels wrongful death attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm are ready and willing to try and assist you in what is invariably a trying and emotional time for everyone involved. Call us today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.