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The Complexity of Fatal Auto Accident Litigation
Few claims of wrongful deaths are simple. In some situations, family members may not know whether their loved one’s death is eligible to file a wrongful death civil lawsuit. A wrongful death civil claim can be filed regardless of the presence or absence of criminal charges against liable parties. For example, say that the driver is driving recklessly and accidentally struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The pedestrian was fatally injured in the accident. In all likelihood, the driver would be not charged with the death because the driver probably did not mean to kill the pedestrian. However, the driver was careless, which means that the family members of the pedestrian can file a civil wrongful death case against the driver, despite the absence of criminal charges. More about Car Accident Lawyer San Antonio here
Even if criminal charges are brought, the family members may still sue in civil court. For example, if the driver was drunk, they would probably face some sort of criminal indictment in the death of the victim such as intoxication manslaughter. Even if the driver is tried and convicted of criminal charges, the family members may still file a civil case for wrongful death. Under Texas law, four conditions must be fulfilled for an applicant to have a legitimate wrongful death trial:
The plaintiff in the wrongful death claim has suffered economic damage due to the death of the victim
The victim was killed in a fatal auto accident that was caused in whole or in part by the actions or inactions of another party or parties
The party (parties) liable for the accident must have behaved carelessly at the time of the accident
Some of the survivors or loved ones are beneficiaries and eligible to apply for either the survival or wrongful death damages
In some situations, there may be caps on the amount of damages that the plaintiff may recover. In other claims, a higher standard of proof is needed for the pursuit of a wrongful death suit.
Plaintiffs will face similar challenges in wrongful death lawsuits when it happens on the job. In these claims, they have to fight the workers’ comp system. If your loved one’s employer has workers’ compensation at the time of the accident, the amount you may recover will be extremely low compared to civil wrongful death claims. In these situations, frequently our law office looks for third parties who were also liable for your loved one’s death and file claims against them. If our firm can show that your employer has been grossly negligence, the cap imposed by workers’ compensation does not apply. However, it is an extremely strict standard of proof. Our Texas fatal auto accident attorneys understand how to pursue what is needed in these sorts of claims.
As you see, these sorts of claims are frequently much more complex than they seem at first sight – and that’s before any legal opposition is even considered. It is the kind of case that you must have a proven Texas fatal auto accident attorney on your side. Laymen may sometimes bring their own personal injury lawsuits in certain situations. However, the filing of a wrongful death without extensive legal experience is a recipe for failure. These claims are extremely complex and technical and you need help from a proven lawyer to make sure that those liable for your loved one’s death will be held accountable. Allow our Texas fatal auto accident attorneys to make sure that your family members’ legal rights are preserved.