When can a car accident lead to a wrongful death lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Car accidents happen all the time. While most are minor fender benders, some can be catastrophic. If someone you love succumbs to injuries following a car crash, you know that your life can never be the same.

But just because a driver had something to do with a loved one’s death does not automatically guarantee that you can sue for wrongful death. You must have a valid case against them.

Building a wrongful death case after a car crash

At the very basic level, death is deemed to be wrongful if it is attributable to another person or entity’s negligent or unlawful actions. In the context of a fatal car crash, the following defendant’s actions could justify a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • If they were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other inebriating drugs
  • If they knew or should have known that the vehicle they were driving had mechanical faults
  • If they disregarded basic traffic rules like yielding way or observing the designated speed limits

Generally, most of these actions are criminal in nature too. As such, alongside the civil claim, the defendant may face applicable criminal charges as well.

Suing for wrongful death in Texas

A loved one’s sudden and tragic death can be difficult to process and cope with. However, it is crucial that you understand how the law works when preparing to bring your claim. For starters, not everyone can sue for wrongful death in the Lonestar State.

Per Texas wrongful death laws, only the deceased’s spouse, children, parents and estate representative may bring a wrongful death claim. And, they must do so within the statute of limitations period, which is two years from the date of death.

You can never bring a loved one back to life. If their death was caused by another road user’s negligence, however, you deserve justice on their behalf.