How Much Can I Recover If My Mother Was Killed in an 18-Wheeler Accident in Texas?
Written By: Attorney Audrey Guthrie
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The loss of a parent is devastating. Not only is the emotional burden catastrophic, but the death of a parent can also have costly and complicated legal implications. However, if your parent was killed as a result of the wrongful actions of someone else, the right law firm may be able to help you recover from the financial burdens and take some of the stress off your plate.
If your mother was killed due to a collision with an 18-wheeler, you may be entitled to recover money from the trucking company and driver. You can recover out-of-pocket expenses you were forced to spend as a result of your mother’s death. You can also recover damages for the emotional loss of your mother. Additionally, your mother’s estate will have claims that you can pursue if you are the executor. Even if you are not the executor, if you are a beneficiary, you may end up receiving some of those funds when the estate is distributed.
WHAT AM I ENTITLED TO IF MY MOTHER IS KILLED IN AN 18 WHEELER WRECK?
The Texas Wrongful Death Act provides that children can recover against trucking companies for the death of their mother. Texas law provides specific types of damages that a child can recover. You do not have to be a minor, or living with your mother, to recover for her wrongful death. The types of damages you recover may change depending on your age or reliance on her, but Texas law recognizes your loss regardless of your age.
You can recover two types of damages for the wrongful death of your mother: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are money you spent, or debts you incurred, as a result of her death. They can include funeral expenses and travel costs you have already paid or that you owe. Economic damages can also include money that your mother would have given you if she had lived. If you are a minor or financially dependent on your mother, your claim will be larger than if your mother did not support you or give you financial assistance. Non-economic damages compensate for the emotional losses you suffered due to your mother’s death. They can include loss of companionship and motherly affection as well as your mental anguish.
In some circumstances, you may be able to receive exemplary damages as well. Exemplary, or punitive, damages are money that the jury awards you to punish the company if its behavior in causing the collision was particularly egregious.
If you are the executor of your mother’s estate, there may be additional claims that you should assert on her behalf. For example, your mother’s estate can bring claims for the pain and suffering she experienced in the time before her death as well as for medical costs she incurred, and funeral and related costs, if someone else did not pay them.
WHO MAY BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR MY MOTHER’S DEATH?
The people held responsible for your mother’s death will depend on how she died. If your mother was killed by a tractor-trailer, the people most likely to be found at fault are the driver and the company that employed the driver. Sometimes there is more than one company involved in creating the dangerous conditions that led to the loss of your loved one.
The only way to identify everyone responsible is to get to the bottom of what happened, both during the collision and before. An aggressive investigation often reveals that the trucking company had hidden safety issues – sometimes even in violation of the law – which led to the truck not being in safe condition or the driver being unable to safely operate the truck.
Ultimately, it is not the driver or company themselves that actually pays the claims. It is their insurance company. The driver and company bought insurance for the express purpose of paying claims when they make mistakes. Some companies are self-insured and pay their own claims, but many hire the same insurance companies you use to insure your own vehicles.
Wrongful death claims are some of the most heartbreaking claims. Deaths that were avoidable and the product of a company choosing cost-cutting over public safety are especially upsetting.
HOW DO I FILE A CLAIM FOR THE WRONGFUL DEATH OF MY MOTHER?
18-wheeler tractor-trailers are heavier, have bigger blind spots, and are both harder to maneuver and slower to stop than passenger cars. They cause far more damage than any passenger car in a collision and are far more likely to cause a death. As a result, there are special laws dedicated to truck drivers and their employers. To pursue a claim for the loss of your mother, you will need to hire an attorney that has the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully resolve your case.
Getting started on your claim is easy. It involves making a single phone call and the right law firm will take over from there and carry the stress of the process for you. You participate in your claim, but an experienced, organized, and compassionate law firm, like Zinda Law Group, may take charge and guide you gently through the process while aggressively pursuing your claim.
After you call, attorneys at Zinda Law Group will sit down with you and explain what you can expect as well as what your rights are throughout the litigation process. After the meeting, the next step is investigation. The team of attorneys and staff will dig into the facts of your mother’s death and identify the driver and the company involved. They will check in with you regularly and tell you as much, or as little, about what they find as you want to hear.
A case for wrongful death due to a collision with a tractor-trailer will very likely need to be litigated. That means that Zinda Law Group mayfile a lawsuit on your behalf against the people responsible for her death. Most tractor-trailer collisions are not freak accidents. They are often the result of a trucking company failing to train and supervise their drivers, overworking their drivers, and turning a blind eye to expensive mechanical defects in their trucks.
There are protections in the law about how companies have to treat and train their drivers and maintain their vehicles. The truth about a company’s safety failures is only found by investigating internal documents and questioning the right people. Companies do not hand over sensitive information willingly, but they can be forced to do so through the litigation process. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group know what to look for and how to get it.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Texas law puts a time limit on how long after the death of your mother you will have to initiate action against the trucking company. Under the Texas Wrongful Death Act, actions for wrongful death must be brought within two years or the statute of limitations will bar you from ever making your claim. For that reason, it is important to reach out to an attorney quickly. Once you have signed up, an attorney from Zinda Law Group may help by keeping track of the statute of limitations for you, and helping you collect the information you need. It is one more thing that you will not have to worry about.
ASK ZINDA LAW GROUP
At Zinda Law Group, our truck collision lawyers have the knowledge and experience to aggressively pursue a wrongful death claim on your behalf. Attorneys in our firm have obtained seven and eight figure recoveries from tractor-trailer collisions. At the same time, we also pride ourselves in being a source of comfort to you, instead of a source of stress. We will walk you through every step of the process and check in on your regularly. It is important to us that you know you can always reach out with questions or for updates.
Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your auto accident case. That’s our No Win No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with our personal injury attorneys are available by appointment only.