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Claiming a Wrongful Death After a DWI Fatality

 Posted on November 28, 2023 in Wrongful Death

Fort Bend County personal injury lawyerDrunk driving is reported to be responsible for approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When a loved one passes away due to the negligence of a drunk driver, it can have devastating repercussions. A wrongful death claim could provide financial compensation for your loss. Contact a Texas wrongful death claims attorney to help get you started.

What is a Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death occurs when an individual causes the death of another due to neglect, carelessness, or a wrongful act. A loved one taken in this way may allow you to file a claim and recover damages for the loss.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Texas only legally allows specific individuals to file a wrongful death claim in the event a loved one is killed. The people who can file such a claim include:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • The deceased’s children, who have legally adopted children
  • The deceased’s parents, which provides for adoptive parents

Siblings and grandparents cannot file for a wrong death action in the state of Texas. When an eligible family member does not file a wrongful death lawsuit within three months of when the death occurred, the state can allow a personal representative to file a lawsuit instead. However, an eligible family member can choose to prohibit a personal representative from doing so.

What is Required to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Proof of negligence is needed to win a wrongful death case. You must be able to show in court that:

  • The defendant had a duty of care for the reasonable safety of your loved one
  • They failed in this duty
  • The failure led to the accident which caused the death of your loved one
  • You suffered damages on behalf of your loved one due to the death

Evidence that can be used to prove these claims includes:

  • Medical cost receipts
  • Funeral expense receipts
  • Medical reports
  • Police reports
  • Income statements

What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Wrongful Death Action?

You have the opportunity to recover compensation for expenses and losses incurred by your family because of the death of your loved one. Compensation can be received for any of the below damages:

  • The pain and suffering you and your family received due to the death
  • The income lost because of your loved one’s death
  • Possible loss of inheritance
  • Medical, funeral, and burial costs
  • Loss of a parent or companion

Punitive damage eligibility is possible for your family in extreme circumstances. A judge can also award them to penalize the other party for gross negligence. These particular situations are most common in wrongful death claims involving driving while intoxicated (DWI) and homicide cases.

Contact a Fort Bend County, TX Personal Injury Lawyer

Suffering the loss of a loved one is never an easy pill to swallow. The pain of that loss can linger on for many years to come. Though it cannot cover the true cost of your pain, employing the help of a Katy, TX wrongful death claims attorney can help fight for every bit of compensation your family is owed. The Hatton Law Firm PLLC can provide a compassionate ear to your claims and push for every penny of compensation possible. Contact our office at 713-840-6344 for a free consultation.

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