Snellings Law PLLC Attorneys are Personal Injury Trial Lawyers

My Loved One Was Killed in a Car Crash. What Should I Do?

Losing a loved one, especially in a sudden and traumatic way is a truly devastating experience. Nothing can prepare you for the devastation of knowing that the person you love is no longer here. The grief can be unbearable and unpredictable. One day it may feel like it’s tearing through your insides and ripping you apart, and the next day you may just feel numb.

These feelings are more painful when you know that person was taken too soon in a car crash. Somehow, a feeling that couldn’t be worse is more painful than anyone could imagine. It’s just plain unfair, and no one should have to experience loss because someone negligently caused a car crash on the road.


Dealing with the loss of a loved one is challenging in itself. When you also have to talk with insurance adjusters and deal with the other hassles of a car crash, it can feel—to put it lightly—overwhelming. Nothing can take the pain of your loss away, but there are steps you can take to ease the stress of filing a wrongful death claim, dealing with insurance, paying for funeral expenses, and more.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is explained in Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. It states that if a person is killed due to someone’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default, then certain members of the deceased’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. One of the most common causes of wrongful death in Texas is car accidents. The family members that are allowed to bring a wrongful death case vary from state to state. In Texas, only the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased, including adoptive children and parents, can file a wrongful death suit.

Why Should You File a Wrongful Death Claim?

If you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages like medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, mental anguish, and lost companionship. If your loved one contributed to your household earnings or helped with household chores, you may be able to recover damages for that as well. If you were set to inherit money from them in the future, you could recover damages for what that inheritance should have been if they had lived their full life.

In many cases, the deceased’s estate can file a survival action claim. A survival action claim awards the deceased’s estate the damages suffered by the deceased before death, which can include both economic and non-economic damages. It’s important to note that the deceased’s estate receives theses damages, not a particular family member.

The Next Steps

If your loved one was killed in a car crash, the best thing you can do is to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to let them guide you through the process. In Texas, loved ones have two years after the date of the incident to file a wrongful death suit. While that may sound like a long time, the evidence you will need to pursue this claim often disappears very quickly after the incident, so it’s important to act quickly. Hiring a wrongful death lawyer quickly will allow for an early investigation, which will help preserve as much evidence as possible.

If an 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle caused the crash, it is even more important to hire a wrongful death lawyer. Sometimes, the company that employs the driver is at fault. However, the insurance adjusters that protect large corporate policies are extremely savvy. A wrongful death lawyer will be able to help ensure you and the other beneficiaries are not taken advantage of by the at-fault company, insurance adjusters, and defense attorneys.

There is also a possibility that the at-fault person in the crash does not have enough insurance to cover all of your damages. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you and your family have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). UM/UIM policies will cover the difference if the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance or if they don’t have any insurance at all. While no amount of insurance or money will ever be enough to compensate you for the loss of a loved one, having an experienced wrongful death attorney on your side will help to ensure each of the at-fault parties are held fully accountable.

For more information about wrongful death claims, our founding partner, Scott Snellings, explains a bit more in the video below. We also have a free guide you can download here that answers seven of the most commonly asked questions we get about wrongful death.

Play Video about wrongful death video

Snellings Law Attorneys are Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyers

At Snellings Law, we’ve seen the devastation and stress that come from losing a loved one in a car crash. We know your family is hurting, and while we know there’s no way for us to take the pain away, we can help relieve some of your stress. Our job is to take care of the extraneous stuff so that you can take time to properly grieve. Our wrongful death attorneys are also trial lawyers, and we are ready to fight for you in court if necessary. If you’ve lost a loved one in a car crash, give us a call today to set up a free consultation with one of our wrongful death attorneys. We can talk you through your case, explain the personal injury process, and determine what next steps to take. We are driven to help victims in North Texas, and we will handle your case like you’re our own family. You can reach our office at (214) 387-0387.

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There is zero obligation. We want all injury victims to understand their rights and the process.

After your Free Strategy Session, you will understand where insurance companies can set traps for you and what needs to be done to avoid these traps. You will also understand the personal injury process as well as how we can help, or if you need the help of an attorney. The strategy session typically will have one of three outcomes. You:

  1. Decide to move forward with our law firm.
  2. Decide to think about it, and we will be available to answer your questions.
  3. Say, “I’ve got this,” and decide you do not need an attorney.

Again, there is zero obligation and you will be informed and understand your rights and the process. We want to arm you with knowledge to avoid the traps insurance companies set to harm your claim.