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Is Proof of Criminal Liability Important in a Texas Wrongful Death Claim?

pexels-lukas-rychvalsky-1600909-300x200Although this past holiday season has looked a little different from previous ones because of the pandemic, Texas roads remain busy as families continue to take road trips, commute around town for necessities and daily errands, and travel. Even though COVID-19 may have kept many at home this holiday season, Texas drunk driving accidents still continue to claim too many lives.

According to a recent news report, a local mom lost her husband and two children after a tragic car accident. The two children and husband were driving along when the driver of a Ford F250 crashed into them. Although the driver of the Ford F250 survived, the local mom lost her entire family in the crash. So far, no charges have been filed against the truck driver. However, the mom retained attorneys who have filed a wrongful death lawsuit because the Ford F250 driver was allegedly intoxicated when the accident took place. The investigation remains active, and officials are still assessing potential charges. While charges are pending, the local mom and her attorneys are hopeful that criminal charges against the at-fault driver will be filed.

The legal system can often be challenging and confusing to navigate when it comes to certain claims. Unfortunately, when criminal charges are officially filed against an individual, it does not mean that they will automatically be responsible for paying damages to the party who suffered harm. Because criminal law and the criminal justice system were not designed to protect victims or survivors individually, but rather to protect society as a whole, damages are not typically awarded to specific people who have been harmed through the criminal system.

To ensure that the at-fault party is ordered to compensate survivors or victims, a separate claim must be filed in civil court. In the event that someone your love is killed in an accident involving carelessness, negligence, or wrongdoing of another party, filing a wrongful death claim in civil court, regardless of whether criminal charges or liability have been levied against the other party, can ensure that you have an opportunity to receive the damages you deserve.

Because local officials or authorities will not file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit on your behalf in the wake of an accident, you must bring the lawsuit individually. Texas only allows for individuals related to the deceased to file wrongful death claims. Surviving spouses, adult children or legally adopted children, and parents of the deceased are usually able to file such claims. Further, these claims must generally be filed within two years—any claims filed later than this period will not be considered because of Texas’s statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits.

Do You Need a Texas Wrongful Death Attorney?

If you or someone you love has been recently killed in an accident that was the result of another person’s carelessness or negligence, you should contact the Texas wrongful death attorneys at Carabin Shaw. Our team of experienced, compassionate, and hardworking lawyers will assist you every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 800-862-1260.

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