Wrongful death is defined as the death of a person as a result of the wrongful act of another person. When a wrongful death in Texas occurs, the family of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for their loss.
There is a statute that defines wrongful death in Texas as the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” that causes the death of a person (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.002). Wrongful death in Texas is a civil action. Common wrongful death claims involve drunk driving, car accidents, manslaughter, negligence, assault and battery, and murder.
Wrongful death lawsuits have a statute of limitations in Texas. Under the Texas wrongful death statute, a person has only 2 years to file a wrongful death claim from the date of the death unless it meets one of the exceptions:
In Texas, not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim. If you want to file a claim for wrongful death in Texas, you must meet at least one of these criteria:
It’s important to mention again that a wrongful death claim is a civil matter. You may file a wrongful death claim regardless of whether criminal charges are ever filed against the defendant.
There are two broad categories of damages that the surviving spouse, child, or parents of the deceased may be entitled to receive. The first category helps you recover damages that the deceased may be owed from the moment of their death that resulted from a negligent act. This may be medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and suffering for the deceased, lost wages, and funeral and burial expenses.
The second broad category deals with the losses that the survivors incurred as a result of the wrongful death. This may include lost earning capacity, lost support and care, mental and emotional pain and suffering, loss of comfort and companionship, and lost inheritance.
Additionally, Texas wrongful death claims may also award exemplary damages. Exemplary damages have the goal of making an example out of the defendant. Exemplary damages may be recovered if the death was caused by a willful act or omission, or as a result of gross negligence.
Negligence is the main legal element that must be proven in a wrongful death claim. When someone is negligent, it means that they did something that they shouldn’t have done or that they did not do something that they should have done. There are four elements that the plaintiff’s wrongful death attorney must prove:
When someone you love dies because of the negligence of another person, it can be a hurtful and scary time. It can be hard to make decisions or know what you should do. If you have questions about wrongful death claims in Texas, call us. We’ve got answers. Our compassionate and experienced wrongful death attorneys can help you understand the laws and provide free case evaluations.
If you or a loved one are involved in an accident due to the negligence of another party, you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney. Contact one of our experienced attorneys at Thompson Law in Dallas at 214-444-4444 or Fort Worth at 817-444-4444. We offer clients a free case evaluation and will help you get the proper medical treatment and compensation for your suffering. Call us 24/7 at 214-919-5860.
Thompson Law receives an attorney fee and you pay no legal fees as our client unless we pay you. Thompson Law has 350 years of combined experience in legal representation and has won over $1.8 billion dollars in cash settlements for our clients. We master the art of managing client cases with empathy, compassion, respect and, of course, prodigious skill. Contact us today for a free, risk-free consultation to discuss your accident and your options.
State law limits the time you have to file a claim after an auto accident. If you have been injured in an accident, call now to get the help you need.