BACK TO BLOG May 16, 2017

What You Should Know About A Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

When a family loses a loved one, it is a tragedy. When that family loses that loved one due to the avoidable actions (or inaction) of another party, that tragedy becomes compounded with a sense of injustice. Families who must endure this type of loss may consider filing a Texas wrongful death lawsuit against the parties involved in their loved one’s death. An experienced attorney can guide them through the process of such a case, and help them find closure for their loss.

How Texas Wrongful Death Law Works

The Texas statute code defines “wrongful death” as any “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” by one party that leads to the death of another party. Texas wrongful death law covers cases ranging from purposeful acts of violence, such as in criminal cases of assault or murder. It also includes cases in which a party’s inaction or incompetence leads to an innocent party’s death, such as auto collisions or workplace accidents.

Who Can File a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The statute has specific limitations on who can file a Texas wrongful death lawsuit. Spouses, parents, and children of the victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties they believe are responsible for their loved one’s death. Adult children may file suits on behalf of their parents, and adopted children can file cases on behalf of their adoptive parents. However, siblings are not allowed to file cases on behalf of their siblings, and adoptive children cannot file cases on behalf of their biological parents.

Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Families of victims can pursue substantial damages when they file a Texas wrongful death lawsuit. The typical damages that such a suit can claim include:

  • Lost income
  • Lost emotional support
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost inheritance
  • Funeral costs

Some wrongful death lawsuits can also pursue “exemplary damages”, also known as “punitive damages”. These damage claims are designed to punish the parties responsible for the loved one’s death.

Limitations on a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

State law places strict time limits on a Texas wrongful death lawsuit. The affected parties must file their case within two years of their loved one’s death. While a few exceptions to this rule are available, they are difficult to establish and are not frequently employed. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney can determine if a case meets those rare exceptions.

Sources: NOLO

Know Your Rights in a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The professional staff and experienced attorneys at The Flowers Law Firm stand ready to offer legal advice for the families of victims of a wrongful death. Our record of success and our list of satisfied clients shows that we work hard to protect the rights of East Texas residents. Call or email us today to schedule a consultation on your wrongful death lawsuit, and we will be happy to discuss the details of your case.

NOTE: This post is a news story and does not imply an endorsement of the Flowers Law Firm by any of the parties mentioned herein.