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You only have so much time to file a lawsuit after a fatal crash

You said goodbye to your spouse, child or other loved one as they drove off, and went inside. What happened next was shocking.

You received a call from the police that your loved one was involved in a fatal car crash. You are devastated.

While the idea of taking legal action at such a time may seem impossible, you do not want to lose the chance to hold the person who caused the fatal crash responsible. One way to do this is by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Elements of a wrongful death suit

If you lose a loved one in a car crash, you might be able to file a wrongful death suit to recover compensation from the party that caused the collision.

In a wrongful death suit, you allege that the defendant was negligent, that this negligence caused your loved one’s wrongful death and that you suffered damages as a result.

In the case of a car crash, all drivers have the duty to drive reasonably and safely for the sake of other drivers sharing the road. If a motorist causes a car crash, it is likely that they were not driving safely, and you could argue they were negligent.

Texas statute of limitations

Under Texas law, you have two years from the “date of accrual” to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. The date of accrual is the date your loved one died due to injuries they suffered.

In car crash cases, the accrual date could be the date of the crash if your loved one died at the scene of the wreck or shortly thereafter. Or, if your loved one lingered for days or even weeks before succumbing to their injuries, the accrual date would be the day they passed away.

Once the statute of limitations is up, you can no longer file a lawsuit even if you normally would have been able to prior to the conclusion of the limitation period.

Wrongful death lawsuits are complex, so it is important to explore your right to pursue one as soon as you can. This can be difficult in the aftermath of a fatal crash, especially when you are planning a funeral and grieving the loss of a loved one. Still, you do not want to lose the chance to seek the compensation you are entitled to for a wrongful death