The Bettersworth Law Firm

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS! CALL NOW!

Call Us830-606-0404   888-392-0039

New Braunfels San Marcos San Antonio Sequin Austin
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in new braunfels wrongful death attorney

TX accident lawyerA true tragedy occurred in Austin recently, when a Mercedes-Benz struck a Hummer on its passenger side, injuring two young children. One of the children, a nine-year-old girl, died from her injuries on April 4, while the other underwent potentially life-saving surgery. The Mercedes driver was treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries and was later arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). In addition to the major criminal charges that the driver may face given the young girl’s passing, it is possible he may be sued in civil court by the family, to try and collect damages for her wrongful death. If you have lost a loved one, especially a minor, to the negligence or recklessness of another person, you have the right to try and hold them accountable, even if they already face criminal charges.

No Replacing A Lost Loved One

If you and your family have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you may be able to recover monetary compensation - not to replace the lost person in your life but to hopefully help your family stay on its financial feet while you adjust to the loss of that person. You may be able to recover for both tangible (also called economic) and intangible (non-economic) damages, including (but not limited to) lost wages, funeral expenses and last medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of inheritance, and several other potential causes of action.

Generally, Texas law holds that a cause of action for wrongful death exists if someone’s passing can be directly linked to the negligence, wrongful act, carelessness, or unskillfulness of another person. For example, if someone is killed in an auto accident because their brakes failed, a mechanic who negligently failed to notice a problem might possibly be liable for that person’s death because they ought to have noticed and fixed the issue. Only a surviving spouse, parents, or children can file a wrongful death claim in Texas.

...

Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX accident lawyerRecently, a Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) deputy was killed in a traffic accident while on duty. An Infiniti traveling westbound on FM 2244 veered into his eastbound lane, causing him to roll off the road and land on its roof. The deputy was pinned inside, expiring from his injuries at the scene. The other driver was hospitalized with “serious but not life-threatening” injuries. While the accident is still being investigated, it appears that the deputy lost his life due to the wrongful action of the Infiniti driver, which would open them up to potential liability for wrongful death. If you have lost a loved one in a similar situation, understand that you do have options if you choose to seek compensation for your loved one’s passing.

Texas Wrongful Death Law

Wrongful death is a death that should not have occurred but for the “wrongful act, negligence, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of another person. Texas law states that if that person’s conduct can be proven, and that it can be shown that no other intervening cause played a role, then that person is liable for damages. Only specific family members can file a wrongful death suit in Texas; usually, a surviving spouse, parents, or children.

There are two types of wrongful death lawsuits in Texas. One is a standard wrongful death claim, where family members of the deceased person file a lawsuit against the person whose wrongful conduct allegedly caused the decedent’s passing, seeking damages for causes of action like lost wages, lost companionship, and mental pain and suffering. The other type is called a survival action, which is brought by heirs or the estate, to try and recover for claims that the deceased person would have been able to bring themselves, had they survived the incident in question.

...

b2ap3_thumbnail_accident_20200302-152104_1.jpgIn February 2018, a woman from Portland, OR was struck and killed by a MetroRail train on East Fifth Street in Austin. At the time, her grieving family did not bring suit against anyone over her passing because MetroRail and its associated entities promised progress on making the area safer, as well as increasing passenger safety outreach. However, the family recently announced that they have not seen sufficient progress on either promise, and are thus bringing suit against Capital Metro, the City of Austin, Austin Energy, and other associated entities. If you have been injured, or lost a loved one, due to a train accident, suing can be quite difficult, and it remains to be seen if this family will prevail.

Sovereign Immunity

Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) is considered a public entity, and as such, one of the first questions that a potential plaintiff has to ask if they want to bring suit against a public entity is whether they will be able to. Texas has a doctrine called sovereign immunity, which holds that the ‘sovereign’ (that is, the government and its agencies) is generally immune from suit by an individual. However, like many other jurisdictions, Texas has waived this in part, allowing suits from individual plaintiffs in certain specific situations.

WIth regard to the suit brought by the family, one can read the relevant law and hold that their suit may meet sovereign immunity standards. Texas law states that a governmental entity can be sued over someone’s injury or death that was caused by the “wrongful act or negligence” of an employee if it arises from the use of a “motor-driven vehicle,” and if the entity would be liable to the plaintiff if they were an individual. At least with the information currently available, the family’s suit would appear to meet these criteria.

...

TX injury lawyerRecently, two people were racing their vehicles along Bluff Springs Road in southeast Austin when one struck the side of the other, sending it into a light pole and killing the driver. Initially, the second driver had fled the scene, but he returned to the scene while law enforcement was still present, and was taken into custody. He was charged with two second-degree felonies, and while there has been no indication that the deceased driver’s family seeks to file suit against him, the driver could face a wrongful death suit if they choose to do so. If you lose a loved one due to another person’s negligence, filing a wrongful death suit is usually an option for you and the other survivors.

Wrongful Death vs Homicide

The Texas Wrongful Death Act states that a person is liable for damages that stem from the death of another person if that death was caused by their (or their agent’s) “wrongful act, negligence, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” If this turns out to be the case, your family may be able to recover compensation to help offset the loss of your loved one - it is not a replacement or a way to fix what you are going through, of course, but compensation may be able to help keep your bills paid or otherwise help the family stay afloat while you try to recover.

Keep in mind that a civil action for wrongful death is different than a criminal charge of homicide. The former is brought by the survivors of the deceased, while the latter is brought by the state; the former is punished with civil fines and other remedies while the latter carries jail time. However, one person may go through both a civil and a criminal case for the same action - they simply cannot happen concurrently. Most of the time, a criminal case will happen before a civil case, because the burden of proof is higher and if someone incriminates themselves or confesses to something during a criminal trial, that evidence is usually admissible in a civil trial as well.

...

TX accident attorneyA tragic accident occurred on Loop 1604 recently, as a man ran into traffic on the road near Culebra Rd., intentionally jumping into the path of an 18-wheeler. While the man was pronounced deceased by emergency medical services, the accident no doubt has had a permanent effect on the truck driver - both because of the obvious human drama and because on some occasions, causing the death of someone on the road can lead to liability in wrongful death, for both the driver and for their employer. While suicides are rare, accidents resulting in death can be more common, and if you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

Specific Criteria for Filing

The Texas wrongful death act states that if someone’s death occurred due to the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default” of another person, that person may be held liable. This can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint, especially in automobile or truck accidents, because there can be a very fine line between pure accident and negligence. However, there are certain requirements that can show that a trucker (and, in some cases, their employer) was negligent enough to cause the victim’s passing.

Only certain family members can bring a wrongful death suit in the state of Texas - generally, parents, children, or surviving spouses. Other family members are perceived to be too far removed from the loss, rightly or wrongly. Those who can file, however, may be able to recover for funeral expenses, loss of inheritance, loss of the decedent’s earnings and companionship, and the surviving family members’ mental anguish, pain, and suffering.

...

The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

Texas Trial Lawyesr Association State Bar of Texas San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top