Serious Car Accident Results in Fatality...

by Fred
(Houston, TX)

My daughter was allowed to drive without a license by my ex-wife. She was in a serious car accident and was killed. I feel my ex-wife is responsible for this.

Is my ex-wife responsible regardless of whether she permitted my daughter to use the car or if my daughter just took the keys? Can I sue my ex-wife?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Serious Car Accident Results in Fatality...":

Fred (Houston, TX):

It appears you are asking if you can sue your the mother of her deceased daughter. If that is what you meant you might consider waiting until after your daughter's funeral. You might also consider waiting until your daughter's mother finishes her initial grieving.

Because the Statute of Limitations (the legal amount of time you have to file a wrongful death case against someone in the State of Texas) is 2 years, you will have plenty of time to file a wrongful death case against your ex-wife.

You can sue your daughter's mother. To be successful you would have to prove your wife negligently permitted your daughter to drive the car. Negligence would include several issues.

They might be:

• The age of your daughter (If she was 16 compared to 12 or 13)
• Whether your daughter was intoxicated; or had some limitation which would have made her driving more dangerous than otherwise;
• Whether your wife was aware of that limitation, and still permitted your daughter to drive.

The next consideration would be how you would look in front of a jury.

You must consider how a jury would react to you in a lawsuit when they see you are trying to make a profit from your daughter's death. On cross-examination a sharp defense attorney will ask you:

• How much money you think you the jury should award you. She will ask you how much money you think your daughter's death should be worth to you.
• She will ask you how much money you would be satisfied with?
• She will ask you how much money your daughter's death is worth to you?
• She will also ask you more very similarly embarrassing questions.

You might want to give a good deal more thought to the whole idea of suing the mother of her dead child.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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