Fatal Truck Accidents
Due to its size and weight, a truck can cause serious damage to a smaller vehicle and people riding inside it. Big rig accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or even a tragic death. After the loss of a loved one in a fatal truck accident, you can enlist compassionate Dallas attorney Nick Feizy to help you seek compensation. While nothing can fully make up for the untimely loss of your family member, compensation can cover practical concerns such as making mortgage payments, buying food, paying for utilities, and accounting for other expenses or services to which the victim formerly contributed.Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas
In Texas, a wrongful death is a fatality caused by the neglect, carelessness, wrongful act, or default of another party. The decedent's surviving spouse, children, or parents can file a wrongful death claim in Texas, either individually or as a group. If they choose not to file a claim within three months of the death, the decedent's personal representative or his or her estate's executor can file the claim.
In some cases, there may be a criminal homicide case against a truck driver who negligently causes an accident. A different standard of proof applies to criminal cases than civil cases, and you can still file a wrongful death claim if the defendant is judged not guilty in a criminal case. However, it is a good idea to consult an attorney as soon as possible after the death because what happens in the criminal case may affect the wrongful death case. In Texas, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the decedent's death. If you miss this window of time, your claim may be barred.
As with personal injury claims, most wrongful death actions arise out of negligence. To prove negligence, the surviving family members who bring the case would have to prove the truck driver's duty, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. If the truck driver has violated a safety statute and the violation caused the accident, the doctrine of negligence per se may apply.
The damages in a wrongful death case are paid to compensate the decedent's survivors for their losses associated with the death. As a spouse, child, or parent, you may recover for mental anguish, lost love and care and society, lost support, lost advice, and lost earning capacity. If the death was caused by a willful act or gross negligence—such as a truck driver who was drunk or a trucking company that knew about a driver's substance abuse problem and kept him on the payroll anyway—it may be possible to recover punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish a defendant for wrongdoing and deter future similar conduct.Contact an Experienced Dallas Attorney after a Fatal Truck Accident
Even when liability is clear, the insurers for truck drivers and truck companies tend to want to protect their bottom line and may not offer you what your case is worth. If a loved one was killed in a motor vehicle collision in the Dallas area, it is important to retain a wrongful death lawyer who understands the trucking industry and insurers' tactics to evade liability. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or contact us via our online form to arrange a free consultation. We also represent families in Irving, Garland, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Plano, among other Texas cities.