Devastating accidents occur every day in the Houston area, many of which result in tragic fatalities. It can be exceedingly difficult to deal with the unexpected loss of a loved one. Distraught family members must arrange for a funeral while also undertaking the weighted task of learning precisely who and what caused your loved one’s death.
Our experienced Houston car accident lawyers at Sutliff & Stout have worked together with countless families of fatal car accident victims. They have over a decade of experience helping families through this awful time. By partnering with a fatal car accident lawyer, you can recover compensation from the at-fault driver so that you and your family can focus on recovering from this tragedy. We are here to provide assistance with every detail of this painful process.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents in Houston?
Houston is the most populated city in Texas, which means residents have a higher chance of being in a car accident. Thousands of people are injured or die in car accidents every year. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 3,639 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, and 12,161 serious injury crashes throughout Texas in 2018. Many of these crashes are catastrophic and cause unexpected deaths.
Some of the most common causes of fatal car accidents in Houston include:
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Malfunctioning vehicles
- Driving while fatigued
Semi-truck accidents and high-speed collisions can cause a lot of damage, and injure or kill those involved. However, fatal car accidents don’t just happen on the freeway – they can also occur on small, local streets. One reason for this is drivers are often more relaxed and pay less attention to the road when driving on local roads at a low speed. Drivers who let their guard down and pay attention more to their mobile device than the conditions on the road are more likely to cause catastrophic collisions.
When someone’s negligence causes the death of a loved one, you have every right to recover damages. Drivers have a legal duty to act reasonable when operating their vehicle. This means following the rules of the road and not taking unnecessary risks that endanger the lives of others. Drivers who fail to uphold this duty of care are legally negligent, and families of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death and, possibly, a survivorship claim.
Wrongful death claims are similar to personal injury claims, but with the family of the deceased accident victim taking action. In Texas, any one of the following individuals may file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse
- Children of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
Siblings of the deceased are excluded from filing a wrongful death claim in Texas. Adopted children and their parents may file a wrongful death claim if the adoption was legally completed. Texas laws allow adult children also to file a wrongful death claim over the death of a parent. These individuals can file the suit together as a group, or individually.
If your loved one needlessly lost his or her life in a fatal car accident, Sutliff & Stout wrongful death attorneys can help you negotiate a wrongful death car accident settlement. While your loved one can never be replaced, the compensation repaid in a wrongful death claim can help with financial losses that you’ve experienced so that you and your family can begin the road to healing and recovery.
We can help recover compensation for:
- Loss of care and companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral costs
- Mental anguish
- Loss of inheritance
- Lost income that the deceased provided
- Loss of future expected income that the deceased would have reasonably been likely to earn over time
Under the Texas statute of limitations law, surviving families of a fatal car accident victim have up to two years from the time of the person’s death to file a wrongful death claim. Any claim filed after two years will likely be dismissed. This reason behind the statute of limitations is to encourage victims to act promptly and to defend people from being sued for an occurrence that happened years ago when evidence and memories have faded.
Fatal car accidents create complex judicial proceedings where the insurance companies for the liable fight to avert paying a fair settlement to the victim’s family. It’s in the insurance company’s best interest to pay as little as possible. Your attorney’s role is to construct a compelling case to increase your reward. Wrongful death lawsuits often take a long time to resolve and settle. Victim’s families must contact a wrongful death lawyer with experience in fatal car accidents in Houston as soon as possible.
The untimely death of a loved one is an overwhelming experience for the entire family. You are entitled to claim compensation from the liable party who caused the fatal car accident and get the answers that you need to move forward and recover from this traumatic event. Do not delay consulting with an experienced attorney about your possible legal rights during this challenging period. The fatal car accident lawyers at Sutliff & Stout have helped countless families in Houston in your situation, and understand how to deal with these intricate and difficult legal affairs successfully.
Sutliff & Stout attorneys work tirelessly to ensure that each client obtains the largest settlement possible. If you would like to discuss a fatal car accident with an accomplished wrongful death lawyer from Sutliff & Stout, please schedule a free consultation to discuss your wrongful death claim by completing an online contact form or calling today at (713) 987-7111.