Q: I was driving my car when a commercial truck hit my vehicle. My friend, who was a passenger in my vehicle, was killed. What can I do now?
You’ve suffered a devastating loss and we are so sorry to hear about your friend’s death. You understandably want to hold the person or the company that caused your friend’s death accountable.
You Can’t File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit, But You Can Take Action
In Texas, only the following people can file a truck accident wrongful death claim:
- Surviving family members such as a spouse, parent, or child.
- The representative of the deceased person’s estate.
Assuming that you are not the representative of your friend’s estate, you do not have legal standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit regardless of how much you loved your friend or how much you want to help your friend’s family. Without legal standing, any complaint that you file in court would be dismissed upon the defendant’s motion and you would be left without a legal recovery.
You can, however, help your friend’s family by:
- Encouraging them to make a claim against the trucker and/or the trucking company that caused the crash.
- Helping them find an attorney to represent them in their wrongful death claim.
- Offering them emotional and practical support as they grieve.
As you help your friend’s family, it is important that you also take action to protect your own rights. You can do this by:
- Filing a claim against the trucker or trucking company if you were hurt.
- Being prepared to defend against a claim that you were, at least partially, responsible for the accident and for your friend’s death.
You Don’t Have to Handle This Alone
Instead, you have the right to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can do a thorough investigation into the accident and help you or your friend’s family make a fair recovery.
There are many causes of fatal truck wrecks. As a passenger, your friend did not cause the crash and it is important to find out who was responsible. If you would like additional information, we encourage you to browse our related links and to call our office directly to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.