It can happen in the blink of an eye. A distracted driver swerves across two lanes. A person who has had too much to drink runs a stoplight. A glitch in the car’s computer system causes the driver to lose control. In that instant, one life is lost and many more are changed forever.
The statistics are heart-wrenching. Every year in Louisiana and Texas, hundreds of people die in fatal car accidents. In 2015, Louisiana saw almost 700 fatalities on its roadways, according to the Louisiana State University Highway Safety Research Group. The year before, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that, on average, one person was killed every 2 hours and 29 minutes in auto accidents across the state.
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one who was killed in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact the fatal car accident lawyers at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault today. Our team of compassionate attorneys is here to listen to your story and help you seek justice for the tragic wrongful death that your family is experiencing.
WHAT EXACTLY IS WRONGFUL DEATH?
On some level, anytime a person is taken from us too soon, it seems like a wrongful death. However, in legal terms, a wrongful death is one in which someone else is to blame, and the at-fault parties are held responsible for damages suffered by surviving loved ones.
If you have lost a loved one in an auto accident and another person is to blame, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This type of lawsuit can also be filed in cases where a fatal crash was caused by a faulty auto part or system.
The fatal car accident lawyers at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault are experienced in these types of claims, and we can review your case to explain your options for taking legal action.
WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
If you have lost a family member in a fatal car accident due to some else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for your loss. Your eligibility to file a wrongful death claim is determined by the state.
According to Louisiana law, you may file a wrongful death claim if you are:
- The surviving spouse or child
- A surviving parent (if there is no spouse or child)
- A surviving brother or sister (if there is no spouse, child or parent)
- A surviving grandparent (if there is no spouse, child, parent or sibling)
Under Texas law, wrongful death claims can only be brought by spouses, children and parents. If your loved one has no immediate surviving family and you are the representative of his or her estate, you still may be able to seek justice through a “survival action,” which could recover compensation on behalf of your loved one’s estate.
To go over all your options, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault today. We are well-versed in wrongful death claims and survival actions, and we can help you determine how to proceed after losing a loved one in a fatal car accident.
WHAT IF MY LOVED ONE WASN’T WEARING A SEATBELT?
Sometimes, fatal car accident cases don’t seem so cut and dry. We all know that seatbelts can save lives, and depending on what state you’re in, seatbelt use may be a factor in your case.
In Louisiana: Drivers and passengers are required by law to wear seatbelts. However, failure to wear a seatbelt in Louisiana is not considered to be comparable negligence on the part of the victim, meaning it would not factor into the case.
In Texas: Motorists are required to wear seatbelts, and the court has ruled that the victim’s failure to wear a seatbelt may be a factor in determining compensation.
WHAT IF MY LOVED ONE WHO DIED WAS THE AT-FAULT DRIVER?
Even if your loved one was responsible for the fatal accident, you may be able to pursue compensation based on comparative fault rules, which assign a percentage of blame to the parties involved. Your case would depend on your loved one’s degree of fault in the fatal car accident.
HOW OUR LAWYERS CAN HELP YOU
We understand how stressful and chaotic life can be after the devastating loss of a close family member or friend, and our attorneys are here to help. The compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault will work swiftly to:
- Preserve evidence, document the scene of the accident and interview witnesses
- Enlist an accident reconstruction expert if needed to help determine the circumstances of the accident
- Manage bills and expenses to help you track your family’s financial losses
- Negotiate with insurance companies so you don’t have to
- Help set up the estate for your loved one
DON’T WAIT TO TAKE ACTION
If you have lost a loved one in a deadly crash that was caused by someone else’s negligence, contact the fatal car accident lawyers at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault now to talk about your options. Although no one can put a time limit on the grieving process, the law does limit the time you have to file a claim on behalf of your loved one. So it’s important to take action sooner rather than later.
Our attorneys have been representing accident victims and their families for three decades, and we are dedicated to pursuing justice for your loved one. Contact us today by filling out our online form, or give us a call.