Fatal Car Accidents Attorney in Odessa, Texas
Dec. 7, 2022
It is natural that most of us take things in our daily routines for granted. We believe we will get out of bed to start our day. Kids will go to school and parents to work. The day will end by going back to bed and tomorrow, the routine repeats.
Sometimes, someone does not come back home. Losing a loved one is a tragedy no one should experience, but sometimes, another driver’s negligence or bad decisions can take have devastating consequences, even causing death. Lives are shattered by the sudden loss and those left behind seek answers to the questions about how and why this happened.
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident you believe someone else was responsible for, you need to have your questions answered. At The Law Office of Steve Brannan, I am a personal injury attorney that has been helping clients find those answers for more than 40 years. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in Odessa, Andrews, Big Springs, Midland, Pecos, or anywhere in West Texas, reach out to get the legal support you need.
What Are Some Causes of Fatal Car Accidents?
Some car accidents may be simply accidents. Someone lost control of the vehicle on a patch of black ice, or they fell asleep and drove off the roadway. However, many accidents are caused by the negligence of someone else. If that is true, you may be able to assert a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.
The driver of another vehicle may be at fault or, if your loved one was a passenger, the driver of the car they were traveling in might have been negligent. If the crash was caused by a defect of your loved one’s vehicle, a company could be held accountable. So long as you can prove that someone else’s negligence led to the death, you can pursue a wrongful death claim.
What Does Filing a Wrongful Death Claim Do for Me?
Many clients can, at first, feel reluctant to file a wrongful death claim. It is true that taking legal action will not bring back the person they have lost in their lives, but there are reasons to pursue a claim.
A wrongful death claim holds the party liable for a wrongful death accountable for their actions or inaction. Prevailing in a claim or wrongful death lawsuit may mean that no other family will have to endure the loss and grief that you have.
You should also consider the other losses you have and will suffer in the wake of your loved one’s death. There are funeral and burial expenses and perhaps expenses for medical treatment rendered in an attempt to save their life. You have lost the income and financial support you counted on, and the inheritance you might have received as an heir of the person killed.
In addition to your financial losses, you are also suffering mental pain and anguish in your grief, the loss of their love and companionship, and the loss of the guidance, services, and counsel your loved one provided to you and your family every day. You deserve some sort of financial compensation to help you provide for yourself and your family in a future without your loved one.
How Can I Prove Wrongful Death?
The burden of proof in a wrongful death claim is the same as that required in a personal injury claim. After all, had your loved one survived the crash, they would have been able to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and for their own pain, suffering, and mental anguish. Since the accident leading to their death means they aren’t here to pursue a personal injury claim, you can pursue a wrongful death claim by meeting the same burden of evidence.
You must prove that the other party owed your loved one a duty of care, that the other party failed in their duty of care, and that as a result, your loved one’s injuries resulted in their death.
As is the case with Texas personal injury claims, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years. Although an injury claim is two years from the crash, a wrongful death claim is two years from the death of your loved one.
Who Can File a Texas Wrongful Death Claim?
The heirs of the person killed are eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Texas – the surviving spouse, children, and parents. One person may file on behalf of all heirs.
If the heirs do not file a claim within three months of the loss of their loved one, the executor of their estate may file a claim on behalf of the estate for the benefit of the heirs.
Seek Fair Compensation
I understand that you may be at your most vulnerable. You are grieving, angry, and overwhelmed by your loss and the claims process, and you deserve compassion and care. With years of experience, I aggressively pursue justice against those whose negligence has left such a gaping hole in your life.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal car accident in Odessa or anywhere in West Texas, call The Law Office of Steve Brannan now to schedule a free case consultation.