Drunk drivers cause serious car accidents every single day in the United States. In many cases, these accidents result in devastating fatalities that forever change the lives of those affected. If you were injured by a drunk driver, chances are you will be able to sue and receive compensation for your injuries and damages. If you lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible driver. It is important that you understand your essential legal rights following a drunk driving accident, especially if there were fatalities. These types of cases are incredibly sensitive and require a lot of work – from start to finish. In order to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit, make sure you understand what the legal process will look like and what your rights are. While you cannot sue for ‘murder’, perse, you can file a wrongful death claim against the driver whose negligent actions resulted in the loss of your loved one’s life.
Factors to Consider in a Drunk Driving Lawsuits
Drunk driving is a serious offense that can result in criminal prosecution, even if there wasn’t an accident or no one was injured. However, if you lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you may have the right to seek financial compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there were approximately 10,300 fatalities linked to drunk driving accidents in 2016. That same year, 9 percent of all drivers involved in fatal accidents during the day had been drinking, compared to 30 percent of drivers at night.
Due to the nature of drunk driving accidents, there is a good chance you will have to consider both criminal and civil matters when pursuing a wrongful death claim. In some cases, the responsible driver may face manslaughter charges and jail time. If the drunk driver had auto insurance, you have the right to file a civil action for wrongful death and receive compensation for your emotional damages and pain and suffering. Depending on the circumstances, you may also be able to file a claim for funeral costs and other costs associated with your loss.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Texas law allows the parents, children, and spouse of a deceased individual to file a wrongful death claim. For example, if you lost your husband in a drunk driving accident, you can take the at-fault driver to court in pursuit of financial compensation for your loss. If a child is over the age of 18 and their parent is killed by a drunk driver, they can file a wrongful death claim. However, in Texas, the deceased’s siblings or grandparents are not able to file a wrongful death claim. It is important to understand the various rules and regulations surrounding wrongful death lawsuits in Texas, as this will govern how you proceed.
To learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit following a drunk driving accident in Texas, please contact Green Law today. Our Brownsville drunk driving attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have and help you seek retribution for the loss of your loved one.