Texas is mourning after the untimely deaths of NFL player Cedric Benson and his passenger, a University of Texas graduate. According to news reports the player’s motorcycle collided with a white minivan on an Austin, Texas highway. Witnesses state that good samaritans and bystanders offered assistance before Texas fire and emergency services arrived at the scene. Representatives at the Austin police department said that they would comment after reviewing witness footage of the accident.
Tragic Texas motorcycle accidents are often the result of some wrongdoing, and the victims and their families are entitled to recourse. Under the Texas Wrongful Death Statute, plaintiffs can assert a claim if the death was a result of the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness” of an individual or entity. Some common instances where a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate are in drunk or distracted driving accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and medical malpractice cases. Filing this type of claim is appropriate regardless of whether the state pursues criminal charges against the culpable party.
Texas law only permits specific individuals to commence a wrongful death statute on behalf of their loved one. Parents, spouses and children of the deceased individual may file a wrongful death claim. These parties can file the lawsuit individually or as a group. Texas considers adult and fully adopted children eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Children that are fully and legally adopted may not file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their biological parent. Unfortunately, Texas law does not permit siblings to file a wrongful death claim.
Unlike Texas criminal claims where the outcome is designed to punish the responsible party through incarceration, civil wrongful death claims are intended to compensate the surviving family members financially. Recoverable damages include compensation for lost companionship, lost inheritance, and earning potential. The court will look to the damages the deceased individual would have been entitled to if they lived, and the pain and suffering of the loved ones left behind. Exemplary damages may be available where the defendant engaged in certain egregious behaviors. Such as in instances where the offender exhibited gross negligence or a willful act or omission.
Family members must commence a Texas wrongful death claim within two years of the death. There are some specific exceptions to the statute of limitations. Some exceptions include instances where the plaintiff was a minor or the defendant’s negligence was unknown.
Has Your Loved One Died as a Result of Another’s Negligent Actions?
If you have experienced pain and suffering because of the death of a loved one, you should contact the experienced San Antonio wrongful death lawyers at Carabin Shaw. The attorneys at our San Antonio law firm have extensive experience handling these types of emotionally draining cases. These lawsuits can be exceptionally complicated, and experienced and dedicated attorneys must represent victims. If you are successful, you may be eligible for monetary compensation. To learn more, contact the knowledgeable Texas personal injury attorneys at Carabin Shaw at 800-862-1260 to schedule your free initial consultation.