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When does a motor vehicle accident constitute wrongful death?

Every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle or ride as a passenger, you are taking a risk. After all, crashes happen every single day across Texas. Most of these crashes result in minor injuries. Some result in serious, even permanent injuries. A few are fatal. These crashes can happen without warning, many times caused by a driver who is intoxicated, impaired, distracted or simply negligent.

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is one of the worst things a person can go through. It can be hard to accept that someone you loved is now gone. Motor vehicle accidents don't give you any time to prepare or come to terms with your loss.

You just have to grieve and learn to live without that person. In time, however, you may find yourself wondering if the other driver was responsible. In some cases, with clear fault, it may be possible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the other driver.

What is wrongful death in Texas?

The Texas Wrongful Death Act allows for the spouse, parent or child of someone killed in an accident to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident. In order to win a wrongful death case, it is generally necessary to prove that the death was a result of a wrongful act, neglect, unskillfulness or carelessness.

If the court finds that the defendant in a wrongful death suit caused an injury either by a willful act, omission (failure to act) or gross negligence, they may award punitive damages to the family of the deceased.

In cases where the deceased shares some responsibility for the accident, those punitive damages could get reduced or even eliminated. Distracted driving, intoxication or even failing to stop and call for emergency responders could be grounds for a wrongful death suit.

Wrongful death suits can ease the burden of a sudden loss

The tragic truth is that no amount of compensation can make up for losing someone you dearly love. In cases where a loved one dies in a tragic crash, the consequences could haunt the surviving family members for life. This is particularly true in cases where the deceased was the primary wage earner for his or her household.

A wrongful death lawsuit can help offset the losses experienced by your family. The funds can cover funeral expenses, property damages, lost wages and even medical bills incurred trying to save your loved one's life. Because these funds are also punitive, they serve as a form of punishment for the person who ended the life of someone you love.

In many cases, even if the courts decline to bring criminal charges against a driver who caused an accident, there is a potential for a successful wrongful death lawsuit.

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If you are involved in an auto accident, do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Willie D. Powells! The process is easy and you are made to feel extremely comfortable! The entire staff is very compassionate and cares for the clients and the service is beyond exceptional! Most law offices cannot be contacted after 5 pm nor on the weekends but this one can!! Excellent Firm!! - Katrina

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Willie D. Powells III

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Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC
7322 Southwest Freeway, Suite 2010
One Arena Place
Houston, TX 77074

Phone: 281-407-7445
Fax: 713-583-3100
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