It’s bad enough to lose someone close to you. When that death could have been prevented, the grief becomes even more intense. If you lost a spouse, parent or child because of what someone else did or didn’t do, you might be looking into filing a wrongful death claim. We’ve helped family members in Longview, Shreveport and other parts of Texas receive compensation after tragic loss.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
A Wrongful Death Claim allows family members to receive compensation after the death of a parent, spouse or child.
To file a wrongful death claim, you’ll need to prove two things:
- That you’re a statutory beneficiary (spouse, child or parents) of the person who died
- That the defendant caused their death
Unfortunately, Texas law doesn’t allow brothers or sisters to file a wrongful death claim. Stepparents and foster parents also can’t assert a claim.
Spouses can bring a claim even if they were separated at the time of death or if they were married by common law. Also, biological, adopted and adult children may sue for wrongful death.
A representative of the estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of surviving family members or others who were affected.
If you’re not sure whether or not your relationship to the deceased will allow you to file a claim, the best way to find out is to talk to a personal injury attorney. We offer free consultations, and we’re available to answer all of your questions about legal issues you might be facing.
What is Wrongful Death?
It’s hard when you’re grieving to make sense of things or know what you should do. People file a wrongful death claim when a loved one dies because of someone else’s negligence or intentional act.
This one is the most obvious. If someone killed your loved one, law enforcement will prosecute them for their criminal activity. You also can bring a wrongful death claim.
Medical Malpractice That Leads to Death
If death resulted from doctor or hospital malpractice, dangerous medications or medical equipment, you can bring a wrongful death claim.
Car Accidents that Cause Death
If your loved one was in a car accident and died as a result of their injuries, you may be able to receive compensation for your loss. The defendant could be another driver, an auto manufacturer or anyone else who contributed to what happened. Here are some common wrongful death claim situations:
- Drunk driving wrecks
- Distracted driving collisions
- 18-Wheeler wrecks
- Vehicle rollovers
- Wrecks caused by improper maintenance
What Types of Damages Do Loved Ones Receive?
Loved ones may receive compensation for actual damages like these:
- A loss of the deceased’s earning capacity, along with the support and care he or she would have offered family members if he or she had been allowed to live out a natural lifespan.
- The mental anguish suffered when an unexpected, avoidable death occurs.
- Loss of a lifetime’s worth of companionship, love and comfort.
- The possibility of a reduced inheritance, since your loved one couldn’t continue to accumulate funds.
If the defendant caused death through gross negligence, omission or a willful act, you may also receive exemplary damages.
Is There a Time Limit on Wrongful Death Claims in Texas?
In Texas, for most wrongful death cases the claim must be filed within two years from the date the person died.
What’s The Cost For a Wrongful Death Claim?
At Monsour Law Firm, we work on a contingency basis. That means if you hire us to represent you, we don’t charge anything at all unless you receive a settlement.
If you lost a loved one and you have questions about filing a wrongful death claim, we’re here to help you find answers. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.