Two deaths and several injuries resulted from a recent truck crash in North Texas. A bus carrying the Mount Pleasant High School track team was driving near a town about 100 miles away from Dallas when an 18-wheeler veered into oncoming traffic. The 18-wheeler struck the bus, toppling it over. The 18-wheeler then continued into traffic, smashing into a car driven by the assistant girls’ team coach. When the chaos subsided, both the driver of the truck and the girls’ team coach were dead. As far as the students on the bus, 18 were hospitalized with varying degrees of injury.
At present, it is uncertain what led the truck driver to veer into traffic.
Wrongful Death in Texas
In Texas, spouses and children of wrongful death victims are able to sue for damages. There are several elements the plaintiff needs to prove for a successful wrongful death lawsuit:
- The defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff. All drivers have a duty of care to act in a way to ensure public safety.
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care.
- The breach of duty caused injuries or death.
In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for the family members of wrongful death victims to file suit. Damages available for these families include:
- Pecuniary damages (damages for care costs, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel and reasonable contribution of pecuniary value that beneficiaries would have received had the victim lived
- Loss of compensation, or loss of consortium (physical and emotional connection to the victim)
- Mental anguish
- Loss of inheritance
- Punitive damages to punish the plaintiff and help ensure no accidents like this occur in the future