While Texas residents know that death can strike at any time and that tomorrow is never guaranteed, a relative's death nevertheless catches people by surprise most of the time. The shock and trauma are even more severe when the death occurs because of someone else's negligence or reckless during an activity that was supposed to be fun and enjoyable. After a fatal accident, many surviving family members look into the possible of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in order to recover compensation for the death and hold the at-fault party liable.
Last July, a woman fell to her death while riding a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas. In response, her family has sued both the amusement park and the maker of the cars used on the roller coaster. As the suit has progressed, the two defendants have become opponents, as well. Six Flags alleges that the roller coaster cars were defective with a dangerous design. The manufacturer of the cars asserts that the accident was caused by Six Flags' failure to use the test seat provided in order to determine if the restraint system in the cars can safely accommodate a passenger's size.
No amount of money will bring back a lost loved one or erase the pain and suffering felt. Holding a negligent party liable, however, and working to ensure that the same thing doesn't happen to someone else in the future can give surviving family members a way to work through their loss. In addition, if the deceased relative was a primary breadwinner, suing for compensation can mean the difference between the ability to pay the bills and maintain stability and complete financial ruin.
Wrongful death lawsuits are very detail-orientated and for this reason the experience of a skilled attorney can be helpful. One of the first steps in filing these kinds of lawsuits is investigating the accident to identify its cause. This may involve interviewing and consulting with several sources of information, as well as reconstructing the accident. In addition to guiding surviving relatives through the complex process, attorneys can provide valuable advice on the benefits and disadvantages of accepting a settlement or continuing with litigation and presenting the case to a jury.
Source: Dallas Morning News, "Texas Giant train designer blaming Six Flags for fatal accident," Jeff Mosier, March 6, 2014