What am I entitled to if my child was killed in an 18-wheeler wreck in Texas?

Written By:  Attorney Alexandra Evans

CALL THE 18-WHEELER ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP AT (800) 863-5312 TODAY

The loss of a child is devastating and life-altering.  Fortunately, Texas law permits surviving parents to be compensated for their child’s death, under certain circumstances.

Under the Texas Wrongful Death Act, Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, certain surviving family members are permitted to bring a wrongful death claim when their loved ones are killed due to the wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default of another person.  The purpose of wrongful death actions is to compensate family members for what they have lost due to the death of their loved one.

If your child was killed in an 18-wheeler wreck, call the attorneys at Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to see if we may help seek justice for your family.

CAN I FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM ON BEHALF OF MY DECEASED CHILD?

Yes – Texas law permits parents to bring wrongful death claims on behalf of their deceased children.  Texas also permits spouses and children to bring claims on behalf of their deceased loved ones.  If your child was killed in an 18-wheeler accident and has a surviving spouse or children, you may file your own separate claim, or you may file a joint claim with them.

WHAT KIND OF COMPENSATION CAN I RECEIVE?

Texas wrongful death law permits surviving parents to recover certain types of damages.  These include: economic damages, non-economic damages, and in some cases, exemplary (or punitive) damages.  If your child was killed in an 18-wheeler wreck, you may be entitled to:

Economic Damages

These include medical and funeral expenses incurred by the deceased’s family.  These damages also include wages and other compensation that the deceased would likely have earned if he or she had lived, as well as loss of inheritance.

Non-economic Damages

These damages attempt to compensate a loved one for the grief and emotional pain they suffer due to the loss of their deceased family member.  Typically, this comes in the form of love, companionship, care, and comfort the surviving family member would have received from their deceased love one.  Non-economic damages can also include loss of guidance, advice, nurturing, assistance, affection, and protection from the deceased person.

Exemplary Damages (Also Known as Punitive Damages)

These are damages granted for the purpose of punishing the defendant for egregious conduct.  Under Texas law, a beneficiary can recover exemplary damages when the death of his or her loved one is caused by the willful act or omission, or gross negligence of another.  In addition to punishment, punitive damages are used to reform the defendant’s behavior and to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar conduct.

Each type of damages presents its own complications and an attorney at Zinda Law Group may help you learn more about the specific damages to which you are entitled.

HOW MUCH CAN I RECOVER?

Texas law does not limit the amount of economic damages to which a claimant is entitled.  However, Texas limits the amount of non-economic damages a claimant can receive by implementing statutory caps on these awards.

In most trucking cases, the cap for non-economic damages in Texas is $500,000.00 per decedent. This means that regardless of the number of wrongful death beneficiaries for one deceased loved one, the cap for noneconomic damages cannot be stacked for multiple claimants.  This amount is adjusted for inflation and currently exceeds $1.5 million.

Further, Texas law limits the amount of money claimants may receive for exemplary damages.  These damages are limited to $200,000.00, or, double the amount of economic damages plus non-economic damages, whichever is greater, but only up to $750,000.00.

IS THERE A TIME LIMIT?

In Texas, you must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the death of your child. There is a narrow set of exceptions to this rule, but in most cases, if you attempt to file your claim later than two years after death, it will be barred by the statute of limitations.

Zinda Law Group attorneys may help you to understand the specific exceptions that would permit a claim to be brought outside of this two-year period.

DO I NEED A LAWYER?

Wrongful death cases are not only emotionally challenging, but also legally complicated.  It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney to determine if you have a viable claim.

By hiring an attorney, you and your family are able to focus on other vital tasks following the death of a loved one, while your attorneys handle the legal process.

WHY ZINDA LAW GROUP?

The attorneys at Zinda Law Group are well-versed in wrongful death cases and have helped many clients during the hardest times in their lives.

Zinda Law Group has an extensive network of resources, including full investigation and medical records teams.  These resources allow Zinda Law Group to handle every aspect of your case while you focus on your family in this difficult time.

Our experienced truck accident attorneys know the legal and practical complexities that these types of cases present, and we may aggressively pursue the insurance company to guarantee you receive the compensation your family deserves.  Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation.  You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.  That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

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