Dallas Fatal Car Accident Attorneys
Losing a loved one in a car crash deals a devastating blow to the whole family. Apart from the emotional and psychological impact of such a tragedy, families who suffer the loss of a loved one may also face financial difficulties in the aftermath of the accident. If you’re coping with the loss of a loved one due to a fatal car accident, our heart goes to you and your family. As personal injury attorneys representing the families of fatal car accident victims, The Barber Law Firm would like you to know that you have every right to pursue financial compensation on behalf of your deceased loved one.
Although no amount of money will make up for your tragic loss, bringing the parties responsible for the death of your loved one to justice may bring you a necessary sense of closure. The compensation you may obtain can help you cover the medical costs your family has incurred as a result of the fatal accident as well as other expenses related to it. The Barber Law Firm offers compassionate and comprehensive legal assistance and representation to families who have been wrongfully deprived of a beloved family member. Contact us without delay to discuss your rights and legal options.
Can I File a Claim on Behalf of Deceased Loved One?
Surviving family members of a person killed in a car accident may seek damages from the party or parties responsible for the fatal injury under a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death means that a person was killed due to the negligent or reckless actions of another person. In the context of motor vehicle accidents, negligence often includes a failure to drive safely and may involve breaking traffic laws or driving in a careless and thoughtless manner. Recklessness is usually defined as stark indifference for the safety of others.
However, while the loss of a loved one undeniably affects the whole family, not every member of the family may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim in relation to a fatal car accident. Under Texas state laws governing wrongful death claims, such a claim can only be introduced by the following relations of the victim:
Importantly, both adult and minor children of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim. In addition, such a claim can also be introduced by adoptive children as well as adoptive parents of the victim. On the other hand, siblings or grandparents of the deceased are not legally entitled to file a wrongful death claim.
Compensation in Fatal Car Accident Claims
If you decide to file a compensation claim on behalf of your loved one who died in a car accident, you may be able to recover the financial losses you and your family sustained as a result of the fatal crash. These financial losses are known as economic damages as their value can be clearly shown and easily calculated. Economic damages may include:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses for the treatment of your deceased family member’s injuries prior to their death
- Wages lost by your deceased family member due to their injuries prior to their death
- Loss of your deceased family member’s expected income
Not all losses you may have suffered are easily quantifiable even though they pose an undeniable, negative impact on your life. These often relate to the emotional and psychological aftermath of the accident that your deceased family member suffered prior to his death and that you may also be coping with right now. These losses, called non-economic damages, include:
- Pain and suffering experienced by your deceased family member prior to their death
- Your emotional pain, suffering, and distress
- Loss of love and companionship you and your family are experiencing
- Loss of care and guidance your deceased family member was providing to you and your family
Texas Insurance Minimums
There is no doubt that families who have lost a loved one in an accident caused by a negligent driver deserve full and just compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. In fatal car accident claims, the value of the losses experienced by the deceased person’s family often amounts to tens of thousands of dollars.
However, recovering the full value of such a claim can often be challenging due to minimum liability coverage limits as defined by the Texas state law. These minimum insurance limits are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death per person per accident
- $60,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
In practical terms, these limits mean that if your family member was the only person who got injured in the accident and the at-fault driver had the minimum insurance only, the insurance company is obliged to compensate your family only up to $30,000 even though the actual value of your claim may be much greater.
How to Recover Compensation Beyond Insurance Minimums
Since minimum insurance limits rarely cover all the economic and non-economic damages in a fatal car accident claim, our lawyers have developed proven strategies to help affected families recover compensation beyond such limits. These strategies include:
- Suing multiple defendants: while the at-fault driver may share part of the responsibility for the accident, our lawyers will carefully analyze the circumstances surrounding the incident to see if your deceased family member’s injuries may have been aggravated due to the negligence of other parties. These may include car and car components manufacturers (if a motor vehicle defect was involved) or authorities responsible for maintaining safe driving conditions on the roads.
- Vicarious liability: involves the liability of an employer for the negligent actions of his or her employee. Vicarious liability can be used in fatal accident claims where the accident was caused by a driver employed by a trucking company or another business.
- Multiple insurance policies: even if the at-fault driver’s liability insurance offers only the minimum coverage, he or she may carry other insurance policies that may be drawn upon by our lawyers to obtain the full amount of compensation for your family.
- Collecting from the defendant personally: as a last resort, our lawyers may try to file a lawsuit in order to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver’s personal assets.
Statutes of Limitations in Texas Fatal Car Accident Claims
If your beloved family member was killed in a car accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver, you have every right to pursue a fatal car accident claim on their behalf and on behalf of your family’s future well-being. Due to the statutes of limitation imposed on such claims by the Texas state law, you will do well to contact a lawyer and discuss your compensation options as soon as possible.
Statutes of limitation define a limited period of time following the accident that an affected family member has to introduce a fatal accident claim. Once this time has elapsed, no further legal recourse is available. In Texas, this time period is two years from the date of the death. While two years may seem like a long enough time, please be advised that your lawyers may need considerable time to analyze the circumstances of the accident, contact witnesses, gather evidence of fault, and prepare a strong claim with a high chance of success.
Don’t wait any longer. Contact us without delay for a free consultation and experience the comprehensive, compassionate assistance that you and your family deserve.