On Saturday, July 27th, two different accidents took place just minutes apart in the Rio Grande Valley. Both accidents resulted in the loss of life.
San Benito Woman Loses Her Life
The life of a 21-year-old San Benito woman was tragically cut short when the driver of a Ford F-150 she was in plunged into a mud pit at approximately 2:56 a.m. on Saturday. The incident occurred north of Rancho Grande subdivision off U.S. 281.
Five others – including the driver – are in critical condition following the accident.
Authorities noted that the driver was intoxicated and is likely going to face charges.
Fatal Hit-and-Run in Mission
A 22-year-old man was arraigned on July 29th for the accident. The driver is accused of being responsible for a fatal hit-and-run that cost the life of another 22-year-old man.
The fatal accident occurred at around 3 a.m. Saturday morning on the 900 block of West Expressway in Mission.
The driver and his passenger fled the scene of the accident that night and did not turn themselves in until two days after the incident.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas
The unexpected loss of a loved one, especially as the result of another’s negligence, can be a terrifying experience. If you have lost a loved one as the result of another party’s actions, the McAllen wrongful death attorneys at J.Gonzalez Injury Attorneys are here to help you seek justice as well as the financial recovery needed to aid surviving family members or respective beneficiaries.
According to Section 71.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, the definition of a wrongful death is the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of a person taking the life of another.
Individuals who are able to file a wrongful death claim in Texas include:
- The surviving spouse
- Child (adult or minor)
- Legal parent/guardian
- A representative of the victim’s estate
Surviving siblings are ineligible to file a claim.
It is important to note that under Texas law, eligible parties have a two-year (2) window to file a claim. This two-year (2) window begins at the date of death.
There are, however, a few situations in which the statute of limitations can be extended, including:
- The plaintiff is a minor.
- The people accountable for the wrongful death had not been known.
- A mental or physical impairment prevented the plaintiff from filing the lawsuit.
The key factor when filing a wrongful death claim is proving that the defendant acted in a negligent manner prior to the loss of life. The plaintiff’s legal team must show that a duty of care was owed and that the defendant failed to meet this standard.
For instance, drivers are required to be sober when operating a vehicle. A drunk driver who causes an accident and loss of life breached this duty of care and is thus responsible for the damages suffered by the decedent’s family.
What a Wrongful Death Claim Can Cover
Some of the damages that can be recovered by those eligible family members may include:
- Lost earning capacity
- Cost of funeral and burial fees
- Loss of inheritance as a result of the death
- Loss of companionship, maintenance, services, and support
- Emotional pain and mental anguish
- Lost value of household services
The state of Texas may also award what is known as exemplary damages. If the death was a willful act or caused by gross negligence, the state would make an example out of the defendant and distribute the additional damages to the beneficiaries.
To learn more about your rights and ability to file a wrongful death claim, contact the J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys today at (956) 630-6700.
It’s never easy to lose a loved one, especially under difficult circumstances. Just know that you are not alone.
The McAllen wrongful death attorneys of J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys are here to fight for you, and most importantly, provide justice in memory of your loved one.