This is the next post in our series on the handling of wrongful death cases in Austin, Texas. Our last article focused on discovery in wrongful death cases. It is important to ensure that all available evidence is gathered in order to maximize your chances of recovery. Failing to properly conduct discovery can reduce those chances. In this article, we will discuss what one should expect at trial in such a case. It cannot be stressed enough should retain an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you.
We have previously discussed what one should expect at an Austin trucking accident trial. Many of the same concepts will apply to a case involving the death of a loved one. Two very big differences, however, involve presenting proof of damages as well as whether evidence of damages will be inadmissible. We will discuss each of these issues in turn.
Proving damages is typically more complicated in a wrongful death case than in any other type of personal injury matter. This is because the case will involve harm to a greater number of parties. If one has tragically died due to negligence, the family should be compensated for the amount of money which the deceased would have earned in the remainder of their projected lifetime. There is also the issue of the surviving loved ones. Family members such as a spouse, children, brothers, parents, etc. can also be entitled to compensation due to the loss of companionship and personal pain they will feel as a result of the accident. This means, therefore, that more witnesses will testify as to the issue of damages in a wrongful death trial.
While more witnesses may wish to testify in such a case, it must be understood that the defendant or defendants will object to such individuals being able to testify. Testimony regarding the loss of companionship will revolve around the relationship between the witnesses and the deceased. The defense will likely argue that such testimony is “prejudicial,” meaning that it would make the jury more likely to rule for the Plaintiffs out of sympathy as opposed to the facts of the case. In these types of trials, the court must always walk a fine line as to whether the need for testimony outweighs the testimony’s prejudicial nature.
If you have lost a loved one due to negligence then it is crucial that you retain an Austin wrongful death attorney who is experienced in taking such cases to trial. Having an experienced lawyer means that your counsel will have previously dealt with objections over whether evidence should be admitted and will be prepared to handle such arguments. Dan Christensen is a former military member and has devoted his legal career to standing up for the rights of victims. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.
We also service Travis County cities which include Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, the Williamson County cities of Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, as well as other areas of Texas.