How to Pursue a Wrongful Death Case Due Distracted Driving
The loss of a family member in a car accident is a devastating and frighteningly common event. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least eight people are killed each day in the United States as a result of distracted driving, and countless more will suffer life-altering injuries.
While no amount of money can make up for a loved one’s death, immediate family members of victims killed in Texas car accidents can hold the at-fault driver responsible for his actions through a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed by a surviving family member against someone whose negligence played a role in the death. If successful, a wrongful death claim can provide a variety of damages, including:
- Financial losses, such as money paid for medical bills and care before death, the loss of the deceased person’s lost wages, loss of future income, and compensation for lost services and support to the family
- Loss of relationships, including a loss of comfort and companionship provided by the deceased and the loss of advice and counsel he or she would have provided to family members
- Loss of inheritance, including the potential assets, savings, and interest the deceased person would have accumulated and left to his or her beneficiaries if he or she had lived to normal life expectancy
- Mental anguish, including the emotional pain and suffering caused by the death, medical treatment, and loss of your family member
- Exemplary damages for a death that resulted from a driver’s gross negligence or willful disregard for safety
Proving That Distracted Driving Caused a Wrongful Death
In order to get compensation in these cases, the family will have to prove that the at-fault driver did not exercise reasonable care and that negligence directly led to the loved one’s death. In distracted driving cases, it may seem fairly straightforward: the law requires that all drivers remain focused on the road, and there are dedicated laws to prevent distracted driving. However, the difficult part occurs not in showing that the driver was distracted, but in proving that the distraction caused the deceased person’s death.
Proving that someone was driving distracted is far from simple, and presents a number of unique legal challenges. If a driver was on his cellphone, you will likely need an attorney’s help to request the at-fault driver’s phone records. If there is no irrefutable evidence (such as a text message with a timestamp just seconds before the crash) your attorney will need to gather additional circumstantial evidence to prove that distraction is the most likely reason for the crash. If you need help building your wrongful death case, contact us by phone, by using the instant live chat feature, or by filling out the quick contact form on this page.