Is it Worth Getting a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer?
If you lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by another person’s negligence, don’t wait to hire a fatal car accident lawyer. Although a criminal case might bring the liable party to justice, they rarely meet the needs of the deceased’s family.
On top of the grief, anger, and disbelief you may feel, you likely have been faced with financial hardship too. A fatal car accident attorney can help you file a wrongful death claim, giving you the opportunity to fight for compensation and protect you from costs that should not be your responsibility.
In this article, we will cover why it’s important to hire an auto accident lawyer, who can file a wrongful death claim, and what types of damages you can receive.
Survival claim vs. wrongful death claim
After suffering catastrophic injuries, victims of a car accident can sometimes spend time in a hospital fighting for their lives before succumbing to their injuries. If this is the case, a survival action seeks to recover damages related to the pain and suffering of the deceased including their medical bills and lost earnings.
A survival claim can be filed in addition to a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claim
In Texas, “wrongful death” occurs when another person’s negligence, carelessness, or wrongful act — whether accidental or intentional — causes a person’s death. Since the person is not here to file a personal injury lawsuit, certain members of his or her family are able to sue for damages. These damages can be rewarded on the basis that you, the family member, suffered on account of the accident.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Under the Texas wrongful death statute, only a few family members are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Each family member listed is allowed to open their own case or choose to file jointly:
- Surviving spouses
- Children (including legally adopted)
- Parents (including adoptive parents)
All other family members, including grandparents and siblings are not legally allowed to file a claim for wrongful death, but they may be entitled to some money if a survival claim is pursued.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations in Texas for a wrongful death lawsuit is 2 years from the deceased’s date of death. If you think you have grounds for a strong car accident claim, contact a Sears Crawford car accident lawyer as soon as possible. We can help you navigate the legal process, preserve the critical evidence, and aggressively represent you if the case is brought to court.
What is needed to prove wrongful death?
To be awarded damages on account of a wrongful death claim, your legal representative will need to prove that your loved one was a victim of someone else’s negligence. Evidence including the police report, photos or videos, witness statements, etc. is absolutely critical to prove wrongful death. You are suffering a great loss at this time and it might be hard to think about much else, but these forms of evidence need immediate attention to ensure they are not lost or destroyed.
What damages can a fatal car accident lawyer help you recover?
We understand that no amount of money will replace the family member you have tragically lost. Filing for wrongful death or surviving action can at the very least provide financial support so that you can focus on grieving the loss of your loved one.
The damages received aim to compensate for the damages of the deceased as well as your losses. Texas law states that you could be awarded damages including:
- Loss of companionship, support, and love
- Pain and suffering
- Mental or emotional pain or anguish
- Loss of future financial support provided by the deceased
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of income for both deceased and family members who assisted in caring for the deceased
- Medical bills
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Potential for punitive damages
How can a fatal car accident attorney help you?
You might find yourself asking, “is it worth getting an attorney for a car accident?” Yes, it is. Your focus should be on mourning your loved one, not navigating the fine details of a legal battle.
Hiring an auto accident lawyer can help ensure you’re getting all the right paperwork in, fight for the most compensation, accurately calculate your damages, talk to insurance adjusters, represent you, and guide you through the legalities.
1. Accurately calculate your damages
Depending on your case, you could receive compensation for damages not mentioned above. A fatal car accident attorney understands how to correctly maximize your recovery by helping to ensure that you get what you deserve.
2. Negotiate with insurance adjusters
Most insurance adjusters fight to keep claims low or might deny it altogether. Having a lawyer who negotiates with your best interests in mind can take the burden off of you.
3. Represent you if the case goes to court
Many fatal car accident claims are handled outside of the courtroom. But when it’s necessary, you’ll want to have a trusted legal advisor by your side to fight for you in trial. Not all lawyers are trial lawyers. In fact, many attorneys have never taken a single case to trial. You do not want one of those attorneys. Hire a real trial attorney with the experience and expertise to take your case to trial. Trial attorneys usually recover more money from the insurance companies, because they create more risk for the insurance company if they choose not to settle. Don’t hire an attorney that is afraid to take your serious case to trial. Don’t settle for less, hire the best. You deserve the best.
4. Advise you on the laws in Texas
Between the paperwork, statute of limitations, filing deadlines, etc, there’s a lot you need to be aware of to ensure you receive fair compensation. A qualified car accident attorney knows all of these finer details, giving you peace of mind during an already trying time.
Looking for a board certified personal injury attorney in Houston? Sears Crawford is here for you.
Sears Crawford’s team of serious personal injury lawyers have a proven track record of maximizing recoveries for their clients. Less than 2% of attorneys in the state of Texas are Board Certified in personal injury law and Ross Sears is one of them.
Our legal team specializes in various types of personal injury law including defective product lawyer, 18 wheeler accident lawyers, job injury lawyers, and fatal car accident lawyers. We are ready to step in to protect your rights.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve. To schedule a FREE initial consultation, contact us online or call at 713-223-3333 today.
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