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At The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers, our San Antonio lawyers are here to help you understand the process of filing a claim after a fatal car accident. This includes (but is not limited to) when and where compensation is determined and how to handle the legal process. Let us know how we can help you find the answers you need:

Call The Law Giant at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers at 210.944.4045 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

What is a Fatal Car Accident Settlement?

If you file a wrongful death claim or suit after a fatal car accident, the settlement you receive is an assessment of monetary damages as stipulated by the judge or the jury depending on whether or not the case goes to trial. The amount you receive for the settlement is based upon your individual case, but it can include things like:

  • lost wages or benefits that the deceased would have earned for the family
  • loss of companionship, love, care, or protection of the deceased
  • final expenses including funeral and burial costs
  • medical costs associated with the final care received by the deceased in between the time of the fatal car accident and their passing

The settlement can be agreed upon out of court, which can expedite the process.

Some of our recent results...

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*The outcome of any individual case depends on factors unique to that case. Past case results listed on this website do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.

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Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in San Antonio

For a fatal car accident to bring about a legally viable wrongful death claim, the person who submits the claim has to demonstrate that the deceased died as a direct result of recklessness or negligence of the other driver.

Throughout the state of Texas, the spouse, children, or the parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim. Children could seek compensation if they lost a parent even if that child is over the age of 18. In Texas, siblings and grandparents alike are not allowed to file. But unlike other states, there is not the same delineation in terms of when throughout the statute of limitations each particular party can file.

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim After a Fatal Car Accident?

In the state of Texas, you have two years from the date of the death to file a claim after a fatal car accident. Bear in mind that if an individual is involved in a severe car accident and sustains injuries, but doesn’t immediately pass away from those injuries, the two-year statute of limitations begins when they pass away, whether it is a few days or a week after the accident, and not when the car accident took place.

It is for this reason that it’s essential to work with a San Antonio fatal car accident attorney who can start your claims process immediately and navigate the next steps to avoid any stalling efforts that the other party might try. Rest assured that insurance companies, claims adjusters in particular, are given the training to help them offer the lowest possible settlement or avoid a settlement altogether. While you focus on final expenses, burials, and moving forward through your grief, we can help focus on your claim to make sure it is filed within the appropriate amount of time, so you don’t lose out on any proper compensation.

Calculating Damages

Damages for wrongful death settlements are based upon each case. If, for example, the person who was killed as a result of the car accident was the primary income provider for a family with young children, the lost income stream would be calculated into the amount of financial loss.

While every case is slightly different in terms of the damages that can be awarded, the calculation used in San Antonio is consistent across all of them and is based upon things such as:

  • loss of income
  • property damages
  • pain and suffering

These three items are considered compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate you for your losses.

If the other party was particularly negligent or reckless, the judge might see fit to award you punitive damages which are meant to punish the other individual for the negligent crime they committed. Punitive damages are designed as an incentive to prevent people from behaving in the same fashion in the future.

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How Long Does a Case Last in San Antonio?

The length of time required to settle a case of a fatal car accident in San Antonio is based on the circumstances. If, for example, the other driver was under the influence and they accept responsibility and have been arrested for drunk driving, a case could be settled within months. If they try to fight the negligence that results in a fatal accident, the case could be extended anywhere between one year and four years. If a case ends up going to trial, it gets settled on average within five days, but it can take between one and two years for the case to go to trial.