Without a clear understanding of the law, many people in your situation may not be fully aware of whether or not they may be able to seek legal action against a negligent party through a wrongful death lawsuit. So, to begin at the beginning, here is a list of basic conditions that must have existed, or may have existed, in order for you and your family can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit:
Your loved one must have died as a result of the negligent behavior of another person or entity (like a company). This negligent behavior could have been the direct cause – or in legal terms – the proximate cause of the fatal accident. Proximate cause means that the liable party played a contributing role (or the only role) leading up to the accident. More on this website
Your relative must have a surviving family member or beneficiary that can pursue legal action. Second cousins once removed do not have legal standing unless they can prove a strong, ongoing link to the deceased family member. And that only rarely happens.
Your beloved victim or your family must have incurred some form of tangible financial loss as a result of the fatal accident, which is a civil case is known as legal damages.
If at least one of these basic aspects existed as a result of the accident that claimed the life of your loved one, you have the right to seek legal action against the liable parties through a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. If you are unsure whether or not these circumstances may have existed in regards to your possible case, contact one of our Texas wrongful death attorneys toll-free at 1(800) 862-1260 to discuss the merits of your wrongful death case.
You should also be aware that a civil lawsuit can be pursued regardless of whether or not a liable party is also facing criminal charges since the purposes of each type of case are different. But if criminal charges were considered against any negligent parties, even if they were not formally filed, that has no bearing on your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. And if criminal charges are filed against the liable defendant, regardless of whether that defendant is found guilty or innocent in criminal court, the fact that charges were actually filed significantly strengthens any civil case you might choose to subsequently file.
For example, a distracted driver may strike a pedestrian, resulting in that pedestrian’s death. In most instances, criminal charges will not be brought against the negligent driver. If the same driver had been drunk at the time of the fatal pedestrian accident, then criminal charges likely would be brought against the driver. In either instance, the driver could be held civilly liable for their actions through a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas, regardless of the status of the criminal activity.
Contact our Law Firm’s wrongful death attorneys at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit anywhere in Texas. Our goal is to help you get through this difficult time so that you and your family can be fully compensated for your loss from the guilty defendants who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and your loved one can truly rest in peace.