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Sawicki Law Firm Blog

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lubbock Family Sues Police After Daughter Killed by Speeding Patrolman

What are the options available to grieving family members when a loved one is killed as a result of negligence? 

Under Texas law, a wrongful death action may be filed by surviving family members in the event their loved one is killed by the negligence or intentional misconduct of another person. Specifically, a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the decedent may file a claim either individually or jointly. The claim must be based on the alleged wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default of the defendant.  Moreover, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the victim’s death. 

In one recent case, the parents of a 20-year old Texas Tech University student filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Lubbock following a catastrophic auto accident they assert was caused by the negligence of a police officer. The lawsuit stems from the events of August 13, 2014 when the victim was struck by a marked police vehicle traveling in the opposite lane of traffic. While the specific details of the crash have not been publicly released at this point, it is presumed that the officer’s vehicle ventured into the victim’s lane for an unknown reason, causing the fatal collision. 

Unlike a typical negligence lawsuit, damages available in a wrongful death claim are limited to those related to the untimely death of the victim, including:

• Lost earning capacity;
• Loss of the care, maintenance, services, support, advice, and counsel of the deceased had he or she survived;
• Mental and emotional anguish and pain;
• Lost love and companionship; and
• Lost inheritance, which is calculated based on the amount the victim would have likely passed on to heirs had he or she lived a typical life expectancy. 

Procedurally, a wrongful death action may be filed either within three months of the victim’s death by the family or within two years of the incident by the executor of the victim’s estate. 

If you are facing a difficult personal injury or are the surviving loved one of someone killed in an tragic accident, we encourage you to contact Sawicki Law in Dallas, Texas today by calling (888)468-8844. 

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