What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death in Texas

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.

Texas Wrongful Death Statute

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:

  1. The plaintiff of the wrongful death lawsuit is a minor child.
  2. Negligence of the named defendants wasn’t known during that 2-year period.
  3. A mental or physical impairment of the plaintiff prevented filing during the 2-year period.
  4. Fraud.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

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:

  1. You are the surviving spouse.
  2. You are a surviving child (adult or minor).
  3. You are the surviving parent(s).
  4. You are a legally adopted child of the deceased.
  5. You are the surviving adoptive parent(s).
  6. You are the personal representative of the estate of the deceased.

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.

Family grieving at grave - Wrongful death in Texas

Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Claim

There are two broad types 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.

Proving 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:

  1. A legal duty was owed. For instance, all drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles without being intoxicated.
  2. The legal duty was breached. Continuing with the example, someone is drunk and gets behind the wheel.
  3. The breach of duty caused an actual injury. Injuries can be physical, including death. It can also include property damage to the vehicle.
  4. There must be monetary damages that occur. This could be hospital bills, surgeries, loss of work, and even loss of inheritance.

Do You Have Questions about Wrongful Death in Texas?

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 or survival actions 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.

No Win No Fee for wrongful death claim

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. 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.

Recent Post

Photo of car accident on road. How to Determine Who is at Fault in a Texas Car Accident

What to Do After A Car Accident in Texas

After a car accident, it is essential to remain composed and follow certain steps to safeguard your rights. These steps will not only ensure your safety but also help you

Read More

Mallet

How Does the Personal Injury Claims Process Work?

Suppose you or a loved one have been injured by some else’s negligence in an accident like a motor vehicle crash, workplace accident, or slip and fall. You might decide

Read More

Car Wreck Lawyer

When To Get A Car Wreck Lawyer

Following a car accident, you may be asking yourself, “When do I need a car wreck lawyer?” The answer: It is always worth contacting a car accident attorney. Start by

Read More

Personal Injury Claims

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take in Texas?

The first question that many new clients ask when they are beginning the process of hiring a personal injury claims lawyer is, “how long is my personal injury case going

Read More

insurance claim attorney

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements by State

Minimum car insurance requirements vary from state to state in the United States. Understanding the minimum car insurance requirements in each state is crucial for drivers, insurance seekers, and policyholders.

Read More

Punitive Damages are shown using a text - What are punitive damages?

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are a type of financial compensation awarded in civil lawsuits. Unlike compensatory damages, which are intended to reimburse the plaintiff for actual losses such as medical expenses, lost

Read More

Truck Accident Guide

Injuries Commonly Sustained in Trucking Accidents

When a heavy truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the size and weight difference significantly increase the risk of serious injury or fatality for the passenger car's occupants compared to

Read More

Thompson Law Guarantee

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.