On July 29th, a Houston car accident resulted in the death of two individuals and the hospitalization of three others. The cause of this accident has been determined to be drunk driving. 

Houston police stated that a Cadillac crashed into a Lexus just before 3 a.m. on Richmond near Hillcroft. The two individuals inside the Lexus did not survive the crash while the three occupants of the Cadillac were hospitalized.  

The driver and two passengers of a Cadillac were all said to be intoxicated.

The unexpected loss of a loved one, especially at the hands of a drunk driver, is an experience that no one should have to endure. If you have lost a loved one as the result of another party’s wrongful act, depend on the trustworthy Houston attorneys at Lapeze & Johns to hold the parties accountable who have done you harm. 

Wrongful Death In Texas 

A wrongful death occurs when an individual loses their life their due to the wrongful act of another. Wrongful acts can include negligent behavior (carelessness), assault and battery, vehicle manslaughter, manslaughter, or murder. 

Should an individual pass away due to the negligence of another party, survivors of the deceased individual (decedent) may pursue a civil claim against those responsible for the loss of life. The intent of filing a wrongful death claim is to recover damages and hold the defendant accountable for their unlawful actions. 

As per the Texas Wrongful Death Statute, wrongful death is defined as the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” which results in the death of an individual. 

Certain family members of the decedent have two (2) years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim as per the statute of limitations. 

Exceptions to the two (2) year filing period are as follows:

  1. The plaintiff of a wrongful death lawsuit is below the age of 18.
  2. Negligence of the named defendants was made known later that the two-year filing window.
  3. The plaintiff had a mental or physical impairment which did not allow them to file within the time frame.
  4. Fraud has occured.

Individuals who have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by the negligence of another individual may be entitled to compensation. With the help of our skilled attorneys, you can make sure liable parties are held accountable for their wrongful acts against you and your loved ones. 

The Houston wrongful death attorneys at Lapeze & Johns are ready to help you secure compensation and justice against the negligent parties who have caused you pain. Call 713-766-0075 now for a FREE legal consultation. 

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?

Survivors who can seek to file a wrongful death claim include:

  1. Surviving spouse
  2. Surviving child (adult or minor)
  3. Surviving parent(s)
  4. Legally adopted child of the deceased
  5. Surviving adoptive parent(s)
  6. Personal representative of the estate of the deceased

Even if the defendant has not faced any criminal charges for their negligence, survivors may still pursue civil damages in a wrongful death claim.

Types of Damages That Can Be Recovered

Survivors of the decedent may be left with many expenses after the death of a loved one. This is why they have the right to recover damages, which can be categorized into two general categories. Those eligible to file a claim may recover: 

1. Damages for the decedent which were the direct result of an act of negligence:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral and burial expenses

2.Damages for the survivors of the deceased which were the result of the wrongful death: 

  • Loss of support and care
  • Pain and suffering of the survivor
  • Mental distress
  • Loss of comfort/ companionship
  • Lost inheritance

In the state of Texas, exemplary damages may also be awarded in order to hold the defendant accountable and discourage future acts of negligence. Exemplary damages are awarded when the cause of death is caused by intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

Proof of Negligence Is Necessary

A plaintiff and their attorney must be able to prove the following elements in order to hold the defendant liable in a wrongful death claim: 

1. A legal duty of care was owed. For example, every driver owes the duty to follow the rules of the road in order to keep other drivers safe.

2. The legal duty of care was breached. To continue with the example, a driver would breach this duty by driving while intoxicated. 

3. The breach of duty caused an actual injury. There must be physical proof that an injury took place because of this breach of duty. Broken bones, property damage, or loss of life are all examples of an injury.

4. Monetary damages must have occurred. Monetary damages can be the medical bills that resulted from the hospitalization of a victim, the lost wages as a result of needing to miss work to heal from injuries, the loss of support, or loss of inheritance. 

If you have lost a loved one in a car accident that resulted from another party’s negligence, you should seek the help of Houston wrongful death car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns

Contact us at 713-766-0075 now to get a FREE consultation from our team of committed and experienced Houston wrongful death attorneys. 

Source: ABC13


About Christopher Johns

Christopher Johns co-founded Lapeze & Johns with one thing in mind: civil justice for victims of negligence. Mr. Johns is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried over 50 cases to verdict and judgment throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast, and around the United States with a 98% success rate. His efforts throughout his time at the University of Houston Law Center and as a lawyer have garnered him many accolades, a 10.0 rating from AVVO, and Super Lawyer in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation every year since 2004. Read more about Christopher Johns here.

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