Vehicle Crashes and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Under Texas law, an action for wrongful death may be brought if the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party causes the death of another (Texas Statutes section 71.001). A surviving family member (spouse, children, and/or parents), representing the deceased person’s estate, can file a civil lawsuit pursuing damages for the wrongful death. For example, a family member of an individual killed in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, one of the Boeing 737 crashes that happened last fall and this spring, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Houston, based on the finding that Boeing did not properly inform pilots about the risks of the 737’s problematic new MAX software.
The survivor will need to retain a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney to navigate the intricacies of filing a wrongful death claim. It’s important to know that the plaintiff must file the wrongful death claim In Texas within three months of the date of death. After the three months, the personal representative or executor of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim, as long as surviving family members do not oppose bringing a claim.
The normal two-year Texas statue of limitations applies to wrongful death lawsuits. Under Texas law, siblings cannot bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a brother or sister. A qualified family member may file a wrongful death claim even when criminal charges are also filed in connection with the death, but the wrongful death claim is limited to monetary damages, not criminal punishment.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will help the plaintiff determine the amount of compensation due to compensate the surviving family members for their losses. These losses can include many of the functions that they deceased carried out, such as lost earning capacity; lost comfort, love, and companionship; mental and emotional pain and suffering; lost potential inheritance based on what the deceased would have earned if her or his life had not been cut short.
At Hudson Law Firm, we put PERSONAL back into Personal Injury Law. For an injury claim evaluation, call us at (972) 360-9898, or visit our website to chat with an associate. We understand and care about your injury, and look forward to helping you with your accident claim.