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Truck-bus crash highlights wrongful death lawsuits

The fragility of life was on display recently in Texas. In late March, a pickup truck driven by a 20-year old male collided with a bus carrying 14 people from a church group. 13 of the 14 people in the bus died as a result of the crash, but the 20-year old male truck driver survived. The case is still under investigation, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Crashes like this, which affected members of a church in New Braunfels, near San Antonio, can be emotionally and financially devastating to loved ones. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, fatal crashes cost Texas residents nearly $1.5 million per fatality in medical bills and lost economic productivity. How can loved ones impacted by a deadly crash recoup the high financial costs?

Wrongful death litigation provides tools for loved ones

Through the process of a wrongful death lawsuit, loved ones can use the civil courts to seek recovery for damages. The legal steps can seem overwhelming when faced with the death of a loved one, but a personal injury attorney can help families navigate the process.

Here are two main elements of a wrongful death lawsuit:

They may accompany criminal charges.

The pickup truck driver involved in the bus crash will likely face criminal charges such as vehicular homicide, distracted driving, or possession of illegal substances. A criminal trial seeks retribution for a person's wrongful acts against society as a whole, but it cannot account for the personal loss of loved ones.

A civil trial allows for loved ones affected by a fatal crash to have their case heard by a judge and jury. When determining guilt, or "fault," civil trials use a lower standard of proof known as preponderance of the evidence, or "more likely than not" that a person is responsible for damages.

A financial expert can help calculate the costs.

After a fatal crash, the medical bills add up quickly. Dealing with various insurance companies is a complex task. A legal professional can help loved ones with the immediate paperwork, but is there an unseen, long-term financial impact on families?

In a wrongful death lawsuit, a lawyer may seek the help of a financial expert to testify on a loved one's behalf. The financial expert can add up the long-term costs of a loved one's death including lost wages and benefits.

No one should have to face the possibility of losing a loved one in a car accident, but with the right knowledge, families can begin the recovery process when it is needed.

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Phone: 817-763-9553
Phone: 214-698-5988
Fax: 817-763-5891