In 2016, 3,773 people died on Texas roadways. Of those, 84 car accident fatalities occurred in Fort Worth. Fatal wrecks cut lives short and rob families and friends of precious time with loved ones. At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, we can’t undo the pain your family experiences after a fatal car wreck, but we can help you take action against the driver who is responsible. If your loved one died in an accident in the Fort Worth area, contact our fatal car wreck lawyers to learn more about your legal options.
Causes of Fatal Car Wrecks
When drivers choose to engage in unsafe driving behaviors, they dramatically increase the risk of a serious accident and fatality. The most deadly accidents often arise from a number of contributing factors including distracted driving, speeding, failure to follow the rules of the road, and driving while intoxicated. In addition to behaviors, automotive defects are also the cause of most fatal car wrecks in the city of Fort Worth.
All these contributing factors are highly preventable. When drivers, vehicle manufacturers, and others fail to use reasonable care, they are responsible for accident outcomes. Some, including DWI drivers, will likely face criminal charges for their actions. A criminal case can punish an unsafe driver under state laws but will often fail to provide the surviving family members with a sense of justice and closure.
Wrongful Death Claims After Fatal Car Wrecks
Fatal wrecks have ripple effects in the lives of surviving family members. Deceased parents lose the ability to provide support to their children. Spouses often lose companionship, support, and a source of income. The mental anguish survivors experience can diminish a family’s quality of life. These are real losses careless drivers cause when their actions take a life. A wrongful death suit can provide financial compensation for these losses and bring families a sense of closure.
In Texas, immediate family members including spouses, parents, and children can file wrongful death claims. One or more people can join the claim to represent all eligible beneficiaries. If no one steps forward to file a claim in the first three months after a loved one’s death, the deceased individual’s estate executor may file a claim.
A Fort Worth fatal car wreck attorney can help your family navigate the complexities of wrongful death claims including identifying beneficiaries, requesting damages, and ensuring the plaintiffs meet all relevant deadlines. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert handle fatal accident claims every year. We understand the shocking and devastating nature of unexpected and preventable loss. As you grieve and try to move forward, count on us to provide compassionate legal guidance.
Survival Actions and Fatal Car Wreck Claims
Our state allows for another type of legal remedy after a fatal car wreck. The estate executor can file a survival action as a form of after-death personal injury claim in Fort Worth. Damages in a survival action cover the deceased’s medical expenses, pain and suffering prior to death, funeral expenses, and other economic and noneconomic losses.
Who is Liable for a Fatal Crash?
- Most fatal car accidents happen due to negligent drivers. When a driver fails to uphold his or her duty of care to drive legally and responsibly and causes an accident, that driver is liable for the damages resulting from that accident. The plaintiff’s attorney in a fatal car accident case will need to prove that the defendant’s negligence directly caused the death in question.
- It is also possible for a driver’s employer to absorb liability if the driver kills another person due to negligence during the course of performing job duties. If a lawsuit uncovers inappropriate employee screening processes, inadequate training programs, or unacceptable safety standards, then the driver’s employer will likely face liability for the damages in the lawsuit.
- A product manufacturer could also face product liability claims if a defective vehicle or vehicle part causes a fatal accident. The plaintiff’s attorney would need to prove that the product in question was defective and the defect directly caused the fatal accident.
In rare cases, multiple parties may share liability for a fatal car accident. For example, a driver with a passenger is driving over the speed limit when a drunk driver swerves in front of the driver from the opposite lane. The first driver’s passenger dies in the accident, and the jury reviewing the case decides that although the drunk driver bears the most liability for the accident, the speeding driver also contributed to the crash by driving over the speed limit, potentially limiting the ability to swerve or take evasive action and avoid the collision.
This is just one example of how a fatal car accident case can become an extremely complex legal issue. A Fort Worth fatal car wreck lawyer can help a victim’s family recover the damages owed to them due to the negligence of other parties.
Compensation for a Fatal Car Wreck in Fort Worth
The damages available to plaintiffs of fatal car accident claims reflect those typically seen in most personal injury lawsuits. However, the conditions of the death in question have a bearing on the compensation available to the plaintiffs in the case. For example, if a person suffered mortal injuries but survived in the hospital for several days or weeks, the victim’s family may be able to secure pain and suffering compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering experienced by the decedent during his or her final days. However, if the victim died immediately upon impact then the family may secure pain and suffering damages for their own loss of affection, care, and consortium resulting from the death, but not for the pain and suffering of the deceased.
Plaintiffs can also receive economic compensation for the value of household services and financial contributions the deceased made toward the family. It is also possible to secure compensation for the income the decedent would have reasonably expected to earn in the future had he or she survived. Plaintiffs can also receive compensation for funeral and burial costs, medical expenses for treating the deceased’s final injury, attorneys’ fees, lost inheritance, and other damages.
Why Choose Our Firm?
- Our Fort Worth fatal car wreck attorneys focus exclusively on personal injury cases, and we have successfully handled many personal injury cases for past clients covering a wide variety of practice areas.
- Aaron A. Herbert completed specialist certification with the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for personal injury law and is one of the leading personal injury attorneys of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
- Our firm has successfully handled more than 50 trial cases and helped secure several multimillion-dollar verdicts for past clients.
- Our firm offers contingency fee billing, meaning we do not accept legal fees unless we win your case. This helps to ensure that any client has access to a Fort Worth fatal car wreck attorney if necessary, regardless of personal finances.
Choosing a Fatal Car Wreck Lawyer in Fort Worth
Fatal car wrecks include any accidents that proximately cause a person’s death. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert can handle cases involving the death of one or more family members in and around Fort Worth. Founding attorney Aaron A. Herbert is a board certified personal injury trial attorney with a reputation for success in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. We can help your family move forward after a car accident fatality. For a free case evaluation, reach out to our office today at (214) 200-4878.