Death is inevitable. However, if a loved one’s death is attributable to another party or entity’s unlawful actions, then it becomes a totally different story. Such death is deemed wrongful and the negligent party may be held liable for the resulting damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. However, not all fatalities arising from car crashes qualify for wrongful death lawsuits. So, under what circumstances can you sue for wrongful death following a car crash?
Understanding wrongful deaths and car crashes
Certain driver actions can lead to a fatal accident and, thus, a wrongful death claim. Here are some of these actions:
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other inebriating drugs
- Driving an unsafe vehicle
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
Basically, every motorist has a duty of care to mind their safety as well as other road users. If they do not, and their actions result in an accident, they may be held liable for the resulting damages, including causing death.
Suing for wrongful death in Texas
A loved one’s untimely death may leave many people devastated. However, Texas wrongful death laws limit who may bring a lawsuit against the liable party. Per these laws, only the decedent’s spouse, children, parents or estate representative may bring a lawsuit. Still, they cannot bring this lawsuit at their convenience. They must act within the statute of limitations period. In the Lonestar state, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years. In other words, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s wrongful death to bring the claim.
A loved one’s sudden death can leave a huge void in your life. If this death is attributable to another motorist’s negligence, consider learning more about your legal options.