How to Prove Liability in a Texas Wrongful Death Case
Losing a loved one is a devastating experience, and when that loss is caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, it can be even more difficult to bear. If you have lost a family member due to someone else’s actions, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. However, in order to succeed in your case, you will need to prove liability. Here are the key steps you need to take to do so:
Determine who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas
Before diving into the specifics of proving liability, it’s important to understand who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. According to Texas law, only certain family members are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These include the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person. If the deceased person doesn’t have a surviving spouse, children, or parents, then other family members such as siblings or grandparents may be able to file a lawsuit.
Establish negligence or recklessness
To prove liability in a wrongful death case, you must establish that the other party was negligent or reckless. Negligence refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care, which leads to harm to another person. Recklessness, on the other hand, refers to a deliberate disregard for the safety of others. For example, if someone caused a car accident because they were texting while driving, they may be considered negligent. If someone caused a car accident because they were driving under the influence of alcohol, they may be considered reckless.
Once you have established negligence or recklessness, you must also prove that the other party’s actions were the direct cause of the death. This can be challenging, as you will need to show that the other party’s actions were the “proximate cause” of the death – in other words, that the death would not have occurred if the other party had not been negligent or reckless. This will likely require expert testimony and other evidence to establish.
Finally, you will need to show that the wrongful death caused damages. This can include a range of financial, emotional, and other types of damages, such as lost income, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. You may need to present evidence such as medical bills, pay stubs, and testimony from friends and family members to support your claim for damages.
To prove liability in a Texas wrongful death case, it’s crucial to gather as much evidence as possible. This can include police reports, witness statements, photographs of the accident scene, medical records, and any other relevant documentation. Your attorney can help you gather this evidence and determine which pieces will be most effective in proving liability.
Hire expert witnesses
In many wrongful death cases, expert witnesses can provide critical testimony to help establish liability. For example, if your loved one died in a car accident, an accident reconstruction expert may be able to analyze the evidence and testify as to how the accident occurred and who was at fault. Similarly, a medical expert may be able to testify about the cause of death and the role that the other party’s actions played in it.
Be prepared for a legal battle
Proving liability in a wrongful death case is often a long and difficult process. The other party may try to deny liability or shift the blame to someone else. It’s important to be prepared for a legal battle and to have an experienced attorney by your side who can help you navigate the legal system and fight for your rights.
Willumsen Law Firm PC is a Texas-based law firm that specializes in handling wrongful death cases. Our experienced attorneys can help you with every step of the process of proving liability in a Texas wrongful death case, including:
- Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident or incident that caused the death.
- Gathering evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records, to build a strong case.
- Hiring expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction experts and medical professionals, to provide testimony and support your case.
- Analyzing the evidence and crafting a legal strategy to establish liability and seek maximum compensation for your losses.
- Negotiating with insurance companies and other parties to reach a fair settlement, or taking your case to trial if necessary.
At Willumsen Law Firm PC, we understand how devastating it can be to lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. We are committed to providing compassionate and personalized legal representation to help you seek justice and obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you prove liability in a Texas wrongful death case.