On August 10, an 80-year-old woman was driving through the intersection of Bradbury Lane and Dessau Road when she was struck by a Nissan Armada traveling through the same intersection. It took law enforcement roughly two weeks to identify the deceased woman, but eventually, they were successful. The crash marked Austin’s 58th traffic fatality in 2020, which is a notable rise from the previous year. There does not appear to be any indication that the deceased woman’s family intends to file suit against the other driver, but if they did, they might conceivably be able to file a claim for wrongful death under Texas law.
File Your Suit ASAP
When someone dies in a traffic accident, it can sometimes be merely a tragic mistake. However, if someone dies due to the negligence, wrongful act, or carelessness of another person, their death is considered wrongful under Texas law (if the connection between the death and the other person’s actions can be proven). A finding of wrongful death can result in financial liability for the defendant, both for tangible expenses like funeral costs and for intangible damages like mental anguish or pain and suffering.
Be advised that if you are in a situation where you believe it may be a good idea to file a wrongful death suit, you have a very short window of time to do it. Texas law allows only two years from the death of the person in which you can file suit – in other words, if you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligent actions, you must file your wrongful death suit within two years of their passing, Any longer and witnesses become unreliable, while physical evidence will be forgotten or lost.
Know Your Rights
If you have lost a loved one, and are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, there are a few things you ought to be aware of before proceeding. One of the most important is that only certain family members are permitted to file this type of suit. While some states expand the pool of family and loved ones who are able to seek compensation for wrongful death, Texas’ candidates are few: a surviving spouse, biological children, or parents. Siblings, aunts, uncles, most adopted children or stepchildren, and all the other close-knit types of relationships are barred from filing.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are a member of the family who is permitted to file suit, you may be able to seek more monetary compensation than you had previously thought. Too many believe that only economic (tangible) damages can be sought in a wrongful death case when in reality, it is possible to seek intangible damages as long as you can establish them. For example, if the deceased was your family’s primary breadwinner, you may have a claim for loss of support and services, or loss of future earning potential.
Contact a New Braunfels Wrongful Death Attorney
As of this writing, the family of the woman who lost her life in the Dessau Road accident does not appear to be contemplating wrongful death charges against the other driver. However, if you wind up losing a loved one in a situation where wrongful death charges might be appropriate, calling a dedicated New Braunfels wrongful death attorney is crucial. The Bettersworth Law Firm can offer dedicated and compassionate representation during what can be a terrible time. Call our offices today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.