This is the next post in my series on the common issues that arise during wrongful death cases in Laredo, Texas. My last article discussed how comparative fault impacts wrongful death cases in our state. It is important to remember that Texas is a “modified” comparative fault state. This means that plaintiffs can sue for damages even if they are partially at fault for an accident. However, if they are found to be more than fifty percent (50%) responsible for the accident, they cannot recover any damages. Matters involving comparative fault are highly complex and it is important that you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you. In this article I will discuss the process of conducting discovery and proving liability in such matters. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
Discovery is the process by which plaintiffs can gather evidence in a Laredo wrongful death case
Discovery is an essential phase of a lawsuit and a necessary tool for lawyers to use once an action has been filed. Discovery is the process for obtaining evidence from the other side in a litigation. The process allows for gaining records, documents, written answers to questions, and sworn statements from your opposing party. It is incredibly important to gather evidence in wrongful death cases and survival actions. This is because discovery can be used to prove liability, refute claims by the defendant, and establish damages.
Discovery can impact a wrongful death case or survival action in various ways. Consider an example where discovery is beneficial to such cases. Suppose that a bicyclist is randomly struck and killed by a driver of a motor vehicle. The driver was following all traffic laws and alleges that the bicyclist did not have the right of way and swerved into the driver’s lane. The bicyclist’s family files a wrongful death case against the driver. The driver’s attorney claims that the bicyclist is more at fault. If the bicyclist actually was more at fault, he would not be entitled to damages since Texas is a “modified” comparative fault state. The bicyclist’s family’s attorney requests the production of the driver’s texting records which ultimately reveal that the driver was texting at the time of the accident. This would, as a result, impact the allocation of fault between each party. However, it would ultimately be left to the jury to decide who was more responsible for the accident.
Damages in Texas wrongful death cases will be based on past and future losses as well as other additional expenses
Wrongful death cases and survival actions are exceptionally difficult to prove with respect to damages as they are different from most personal injury calculations. Typically, personal injury damages are based on medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. These are the types of damages which will typically be awarded in survival actions as the matter will consider the harm that the victim went through before his or her passing. Similarly, wrongful death actions often result in damages such as medical bills, loss of past income, and loss of the victim’s potential future earnings. However, since wrongful death cases are brought by the family of a victim and the victim is deceased, other types of damages may be awarded. For instance, additional damages may include funeral and burial expenses, grief and mental suffering of the survivors, and the loss of companionship. Moreover, in deciding damages in wrongful death cases, an expert witness will typically decide applicable damages due to the complexity of such cases.
I am a Laredo wrongful death lawyer and I take pride in the level of service I provide to my clients. This includes promptly responding to your emails and quickly returning your phone calls. Most importantly, my office will make sure that your case gets the attention it deserves. We believe in protecting the rights of people, and not insurance companies. If you need assistance with a wrongful death case, contact my office to speak with an attorney. I also serve other areas of south Texas.