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What to Know: Wrongful Death Claims and Catastrophic Accidents

May 22, 2024
Wrongful Death Claims and Catastrophic Accidents

Every day, catastrophic accidents claim the lives of victims in their prime. Losing a loved one is incredibly painful, even more so if you lose them because of someone’s negligence.

Suing the at-fault party won’t bring the deceased back, but it can help provide some closure. You may also be able to recover damages, such as the deceased’s lost earning potential, to help your family financially.

An experienced Texas or New Mexico  wrongful death attorney can help explain what you must know about claims involving catastrophic accidents.

Wrongful Death Causes

Legally, a wrongful death is a death that occurred because of someone else’s negligence, misconduct, or purposeful actions. Wrongful deaths can have many causes, some of the most common are as follows:.

Car and Truck Accidents

Most wrongful death claims are for car and truck accidents. If your loved one died in a car crash, you can sue the at-fault driver and potentially even his or her employer, vehicle manufacturers, road construction companies, or other individuals or companies who may have contributed to the accident.   .

Semi-truck accidents are a little different. In addition to the driver, you may be able to sue the trucking company, brokers, dispatchers and others involved in the business.. For instance, if the company forced its driver to use a poorly maintained truck, you could hold the driver’s employer responsible.

Workplace Accidents

Despite safety precautions, workplace accidents number in the hundreds each day. Workers’ compensation insurance pays death benefits to surviving family members, as well as funeral and burial benefits.

You usually can’t sue employers for workplace accidents, but Texas allows surviving family members to sue employers for punitive damages if they’ve committed gross negligence.   Additionally, you may be able to bring claims against other individuals or companies at the work site who are not directly affiliated with the employer.

Animal Attacks

Some dog breeds are built to kill, and once they bite a victim, they’re not letting go. If you lost a loved one in this way, you may be able to hold the dog owner liable. This is true even if the dog has no prior history of aggression. Generally, the dog bite would happen in a public place or on your property – not on the property of the dog owner. 

Defective Products

You certainly don’t expect a product to catch fire or blow up in your face when you use it. Yet, manufacturers must recall products every year in response to failures and design defects.

If your loved one perished in an accident from a defective product, you can hold the manufacturer responsible. 

Damages Available for Wrongful Death Claims

With the help of a attorney for wrongful death cases, you can recover damages such as:

  • The deceased’s lost wages and loss of earning potential
  • The deceased’s accident-related medical bills
  • The deceased’s accident-related pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Funeral and burial costs

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

Who may file a wrongful death claim varies by state. In Texas, surviving children, parents, and spouses can make a claim. In New Mexico, only the deceased’s personal representative can do so. If there is no personal representative, the court will assign one (usually the spouse or another surviving family member).

If you’re unsure whether you can make a claim, reach out to a wrongful death attorney for advice.

Legal Representation for Wrongful Death in Texas and New Mexico

Our law firm has lawyers licensed in both Texas and New Mexico and specialize in  wrongful death and catastrophic injuries.   Our  law firm can help you recover damages if you’ve lost a loved one in a catastrophic accident. Call Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., at (800) 433-2408 for a free consultation with a Texas or New Mexico wrongful death attorney.