Wrongful death statutes exist in every state to ease the financial hardships and emotional burden that a fatal truck accident or a fatal car crash can have on a family that loses a loved one. In Texas, there are limitations on who can benefit from a wrongful death action, the compensation available and the length of time within which the action must be commenced.
Only a surviving spouse, the children of the accident victim and the parents of the victim may sue for loss of companionship or other damages under the wrongful death law. This would exclude brothers or sisters suing following the loss of a sibling.
Damages recoverable in a wrongful death claim following a fatal boating accident could include:
- Loss of the future financial support of the deceased
- Pain and suffering of the survivors
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral expenses
If the death was caused by the willful act or gross negligence of another party, the victim's family might be entitled to exemplary damages. Exemplary damages are also referred to as punitive damages, and they are awarded to punish the negligent party for the conduct that caused the fatal accident.
The family of a fatal workplace accident victim should contact a personal injury attorney who has knowledge of the state's wrongful death statute. Although dealing with the many issues that arise following the sudden and tragic loss of a loved can be difficult, a family in Bexar County, Texas, has only two years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit against the person whose negligence caused the fatal accident. A judge may dismiss a lawsuit filed after the expiration of the two years.