All too often, a tragic death can happen in a car wreck, truck crash, slip and fall, or another ordinary accident. Dedicated wrongful death attorney Jeffery B. Galbreath has handled a broad range of these claims in the Abilene area. He understands the heavy burden of losing a loved one due to someone else’s careless or reckless behavior. While financial compensation cannot undo the pain of losing a loved one, it can help ease the economic hardship that may result in wrongful death cases.Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim After an Accident
Almost 3,400 people died on Texas roadways in 2013, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). This included 495 motorcycle accident victims, 485 pedestrians, and 48 pedal cyclists. TxDOT also reports that 1,089 of the fatalities during this time period were caused by drunk drivers, and 460 people were killed by distracted driving behaviors, such as cell phone use.
The Texas Wrongful Death Act grants certain family members of people who are fatally injured the right to sue whoever was responsible for actual and exemplary damages. In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, a claimant must first have standing to sue. People entitled to file a claim include the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents.
The claimant must show that the defendant owed a duty to the deceased person to act with reasonable care or avoid exposing the deceased person to unnecessary, foreseeable risk. The claimant also must prove that the defendant breached this duty and that the breach resulted in the victim’s death. As a final matter, the claimant must identify actual, quantifiable damages incurred by the death.Wrongful Death and Survival Action Damages in Texas
If a claimant prevails in a case of negligence against the defendant, some of the damages available in a wrongful death case may include:
- Medical expenses of the deceased stemming from the accident
- Burial costs
- Lost earning capacity (the wages that the deceased would have made had he or she not been killed in the accident)
- Lost companionship and society between the claimant(s) and the deceased
- Mental anguish suffered by the survivors
In addition to a wrongful death lawsuit, the heir or personal representative of the estate of the deceased person may also be able to bring suit under the Texas Survival Statute. Compensation in a survival action represents the damages that would have been available to the deceased person had he or she survived the accident. These can extend to medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, or pain and suffering. Both wrongful death and survival actions must be filed within two years to comply with the Texas statute of limitations, but it is not wise to wait until the last days before the time expires to consult an attorney. Cases take time to investigate, and evidence can decay or disappear with the passage of time.Contact an Injury Attorney in Abilene to Discuss Your Claim
If you have lost a loved one you should consider speaking with injury lawyer Jeffery B. Galbreath, who can help you deal with the long-term consequences of your loved one’s death. Call us at (325) 437-7000 or fill out our contact form to set up a free initial consultation. We handle most personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will not need to pay us anything unless we get compensation for you.
The Galbreath Law Firm serves clients throughout the State of Texas including but not limited to the cities of Abilene, Sweetwater, Brownwood, Coleman, and Eastland. Counties include but are not limited to Taylor County, Nolan County, Brown County, Coleman County, and Eastland County.