Accidents can occur even when driving carefully in Garland, TX. Unfortunately, these crashes can result in significant property damage, injuries, and death. These losses can be traumatic and have long-term consequences. However, state laws give you the right to seek financial recovery.
If you recently lost a loved one in a car crash, you could work with a fatal car accident lawyer serving Garland and legal action against those responsible for the crash. At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC®, our fatal car accident lawyers serving Garland can handle the entire legal process while you rest.
You Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for a Fatal Car Accident
According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 71.004, the only parties qualified to file wrongful death actions such as a Garland fatal car accident case include:
- Surviving spouse
- Biological and adopted children (so long as the adoption is legal)
- The deceased’s parents
This means siblings, grandparents, and other relatives such as cousins cannot bring a case even if they are listed as beneficiaries to the estate. They can only do so if they are the executor, the individual responsible for carrying out the decedent’s will. Even then, executors can only take legal action if no qualified party steps forward to file the case within three months of the fatal accident.
Your Recoverable Fatal Car Accident Damages
Surviving families bring wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of their loved ones since they cannot pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Types of losses you can seek recovery for typically include:
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of skills and services rendered
- Loss of consortium, companionship, and guidance
Besides the damages mentioned above, you would also be able to get repaid for accrued accident-related expenses. For instance, you can get compensated for hospitalizations and medical treatments spent on your loved one if they did not immediately die from the accident. You can also recover damages for funeral costs and auto repairs.
To estimate your damages, our fatal car accident lawyer can help gather the records of your relevant expenses, such as medical and repair bills. They can also assist with compiling the information needed to show the value lost with your loved one. These can include proof of their income, their career, or testimonies of how they have affected your family.
If Your Loved One Shared the Fault for the Accident
Texas’ modified comparative fault laws apply to wrongful death actions as well. That means your potential financial recovery could get reduced if your loved one shared some fault for the collision.
To illustrate, let us assume that your loved one was 35 percent liable for running a red light. Suppose the court still deems the other party more negligent and places 65 percent liability on them for driving while under the influence of drugs. That would mean you can only recover 65 percent of your losses. However, if you were more than 50 percent liable, you would not be eligible for recovery.
This law makes it even more crucial to have our fatal car accident lawyer serving Garland review all your supporting evidence and documents before filing. This is because the other party might find weaknesses in your evidence and statements to place more liability on your loved one.
Time Limit for Filing Your Garland Fatal Car Accident Case
The filing deadline for fatal car accident cases like yours is the same as those for personal injury lawsuits. That means you have to file within two years, according to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 16.003. Failure to submit on time will risk your case, so it would be better to work on the case while you still have ample time.
Your fatal car accident case may have tolling exceptions, though. These are special situations that can toll or pause the statute timer, thus extending your time limit. One such scenario would be if the liable party fled to a nearby state. The statute of limitations will not run again until they return to Texas.
Our fatal car accident attorneys serving Garland can check if such exceptions apply to your case. Part of their work is to help you comply with filing requirements, so they will also monitor the developments to ensure that you can submit within the deadline.
What If the Other Party Also Died in the Fatal Car Accident?
You would still be able to file your fatal accident lawsuit even if the at-fault motorist, pedestrian, or other party died in the crash. According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 71.008, an executor can serve as the defendant in the deceased party’s stead. They would be responsible for defending the other side’s interests.
Should the court decide in your favor, the executor would be responsible for distributing the at-fault party’s assets accordingly.
This law also comes into play if the at-fault party dies for unrelated reasons before you get a chance to take legal action.
Our Fatal Car Accident Attorneys Serving Garland Are Here to Help
Auto collisions often have fatal consequences that are both distressing and costly for surviving loved ones. However, you may be able to receive reparations from the motorist, company, or any other party responsible for the incident. D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® has handled such cases since 2002, and now we want to help you.
We can discuss your case and how our car accident attorneys can help during a free case evaluation. Our team is available 24/7 and can cater to you in either English or Spanish, so do not hesitate to approach us anytime. Call us today!