Unfortunately, not all victims of truck crashes survive. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 3,744 people were killed in truck wrecks in 2014, with the vast majority being occupants of other motor vehicles. If a family member died due to a truck driver’s negligence, you may feel overwhelmed by the sudden changes to your life and the grief over your loved one. While it will not bring back your family member, you may be able to file a wrongful death action against the trucking company and truck driver.
What Is a Wrongful Death Action in Texas?
Under Texas statutory law, certain surviving family members can bring a wrongful death action if a person’s or business’ "wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default" caused their loved one’s death. This statute could give you the right to hold both the negligent truck driver and the trucking company responsible for the loss of your loved one. You would need to qualify as a statutory beneficiary, as these are the only individuals allowed to file a wrongful death action. These include the following:
- Surviving spouse
Surviving siblings are not allowed to file a wrongful death action in Texas, even if they are dependent on the victim for support.
What Compensation Can You Obtain in a Wrongful Death Action?
Compensation in a wrongful death action is awarded to make up for the loss of your family member. You could receive these types of damages:
- Your loved one’s lost earning capacity
- Loss of your family member’s support, care, advice, services, and maintenance
- Your pain and suffering due to the death of your family member
- Loss of your loved one’s companionship, love, and comfort
- Lost inheritance, including additional sums that you may have inherited if your family member had lived
- Exemplary damages to punish the trucker and trucking company for their willful act or omission or gross negligence
If a family member was killed as a result of a trucker’s negligent actions, let the experienced truck wreck attorneys at Hart Law Firm take over the burden of investigating the crash and negotiating your settlement so that you can focus on dealing with your grief and picking up the pieces of your life. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free case evaluation.