Last month, a man in Chattanooga crashed a school bus, resulting in the wrongful death of 5 school children. This tragedy has resulted in criminal and civil cases being filed against the driver. He is facing five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment charges after he had crashed the bus.
At the time of the incident, there were 37 students on the bus. Five of the students died in the crash from blunt force trauma following the accident where the bus rolled and then hit a tree. Three were in critical condition following the crash and two were in fair condition.
On behalf of one of the parents, a Texas attorney has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, which alleges that the driver and the School Services were negligent. The lawsuit additionally alleges that the bus was not produced in a manner that was adequate to protect the children, including claims that the bus lacked shatter-resistant windows and seat belts.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff is seeking $5,000,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Texas, wrongful death lawsuits are cases brought against someone who caused the death of another. These types of cases are typically brought by the survivors of the deceased, including children, parents, or the spouse of the person. They seek to compensate the survivors for the losses that they have suffered as a result of the untimely death.
The losses tend to include:
- Lost earnings
- Lost care, support, and services of the deceased
- Pain and suffering
- Lost companionship
- Lost inheritance
Additionally, exemplary damages tend to be available in wrongful death cases that are caused by gross negligence. These types of damages are also known as punitive damages. The purpose of these types of damages is to punish the individual and to send a message regarding the lack of tolerance for the behavior.
When damages are awarded in a wrongful death case, they are normally divided among the survivors in proportion to the injuries that were suffered. This calculation is typically done by the court after a jury has awarded damages in a case.
These types of cases will always be tragic but the injured family members and survivors do have recourse. There are options available to hold the wrongdoers responsible for their actions. When a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, it is important to know your options and to take the appropriate action to hold the wrongdoer accountable.
To gain an appreciation of your legal position in such a case, we invite you to call our Houston injury attorneys at Charles J. Argento & Associates on (713) 225-5050. We speak both Spanish and English here.
Overview of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
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