Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience, especially if the death was unanticipated. Unfortunately, fatal accidents such as drunk driving crashes, workplace accidents and incidents of medical malpractice occur on a regular basis, costing the lives of many individuals.
Sometimes these incidents are truly accidental. Other times, however, a death is caused by the negligence of another. If so, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Texas wrongful death laws
Under Texas wrongful death statutes, if a person passed away due to the actions of another and had they survived they could have pursued a claim against the responsible party, the deceased’s survivors can pursue a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims are generally based on negligence. There are several factors that need to be proven to demonstrate negligence in a wrongful death claim. First, the defendant must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care. Second, the defendant must have breached this duty of care. Third, the breach must have actually and proximately caused the death at issue. Finally, the victim’s survivors must have suffered compensable damages.
Drunk driving crashes
Let’s look at the example of a fatal car crash caused by a drunk driver. All motorists are tasked with the duty of driving safely. Drunk driving breaches this duty, as we cannot drive safely if we are intoxicated.
A drunk driver can cause a crash that but for their intoxication would not occur. Car crashes are a foreseeable event if we choose to drive while intoxicated. Finally, the loss of a loved one in a drunk driving crash can cause us to suffer damages such as loss of earning capacity, loss of companionship and funeral and burial expenses.
Wrongful death claims can help
Wrongful death claims can be difficult to contemplate, especially when we are grieving the loss of a loved one. Still, they can be a viable way to obtain compensation for all the harm we suffered. By working with a legal professional, we can pursue a wrongful death claim that allows us to obtain the financial resources needed to make it through a difficult time.