What is a wrongful death case?
It is exactly what it sounds like. It is a civil case filed against a person, business, or entity that is legally responsible for someone’s death. Many actions can contribute to the death in a wrongful death case including:
- Negligence or careless conduct, such as medical malpractice
- The construction or distribution of defective products
- Reckless or negligent acts, such as a drunk driver or physical assault
Officially, Texas Statutes section 71.001 states that an suit for wrongful death may be brought if the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party causes the death of another.
Can I file a wrongful death claim?
The surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased person are all elgible to file a wrongful death claim in Texas. Texas laws are restrictive relative to some states but if the spouse, children, or parents chose not to file a claim within three months of the death, the personal representative or executor of the deceased person’s estate may file the claim instead. However, if a surviving family member requests that the claim not be filed, a representative or executor of the estate may not file the claim.
In Texas, adult children children are permitted to file wrongful death claims over the death of a parent. Similarly, adopted children are also permitted to file claim for the death of an adoptive parent. This only holds true if the child was fully and legally adopted before the death. On the same vein, adoptive parents are permitted to file a death claim if their adopted child suffers an unlawful death. Interestingly, an adopted child may not file a claim for the a biological parent.
Texas wrongful death law does not permit surviving siblings to file a claim for the death of a brother or sister. Stepparents, foster parents, and grandparents cannot file a death claim. Divorced parents can bring a lawsuit for the death of their child in Texas.
A wrongful death claim may filed regardless of whether or not criminal charges have been pressed in connection with the death. In a wrongful death claim, the family members or estate personal representative must file the claim directly and liability is expressed solely in terms of monetary damages, not imprisonment or probation like in a criminal case.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?
These are subject to two statutes of limitations, which define how long someone can wait before bringing a claim. There is the limitations period on the claim that the deceased person could have filed. In Texas, that period is, in most cases, two years from the date of the person’s injury. There is also the limitations period on your own claim for death, which normally is two years from the date your spouse, child or parent died.
It’s important to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you think you have a wrongful death claim.
See below Silvia’s testimonial discussing her experience with the Roxell Richards Personal Injury law firm.
Roxell Richards TV Client Testimonial
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury as the result of an accident caused by a defective auto part, consult Roxell Richards and Associates immediately. Call and speak to one of our attorneys now directly at 1-844-7-RIGHTS or contact us via e-mail for a free Case Evaluation. Roxell Richards is a highly successful law firm with a proven track record of successfully taking on insurance companies.
How much will I be compensated for a wrongful death claim?
The amount of damages that can be recovered varies from case to case. Generally however, the compensation is a summation of:
- The amount of financial support the deceased person would have provided if they had lived
- Pain and suffering of the deceased
- Loss of emotional support experienced by the survivors due to the absence of the deceased person, including loss of care and loss of companionship
- Cost of pre-death medical treatment
- Cost of funeral and burial expenses
Contact Texas Wrongful Death Lawyer Roxell Richards Today
Roxell and Richards and Associates have decades of legal experience and are dedicated on giving you justice. If you think you have a wrongful death claim after the tragic death of a loved one, contact Roxell Richards for a free consultation. Your rights matter.