How to Claim for Wrongful Death in Texas
In 2020, about 1.5 million people died per hundred million vehicle miles traveled in Texas. While wrongful deaths represent less than one percent of these accidents, it comes with many challenges for families left behind.
Whether it’s caused by the carelessness of others or something else entirely, claiming wrongful death in Texas is a process that’s both complex and emotionally taxing.
We’ll break down the steps and help you understand your rights in this article. Keep reading to learn more.
How Is a Case Considered a Wrongful Death
If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits seeking to recover damages for the deceased person’s survivors. In Texas, the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and parents can bring a wrongful death claim.
To succeed in a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the reason for the death was because of another person or entity’s negligent or wrongful act. You must also prove that the survivors suffer financial damages due to the death.
If you consider bringing a wrongful death claim, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations
In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of death. It means that surviving family members must file a wrongful death claim within two years of their loved one’s death date. If they do not, they will be unable to receive compensation for their loss.
There are exceptions to this rule, like if the lawsuit’s plaintiff is a child. It is also exempted if the defendants’ negligence was not known during the two years.
The plaintiff may also have an exemption from the filing if they have been mentally or physically impaired during the period. Fraud is also a factor that needs some consideration when talking about exemptions.
Wrongful Death Exemptions
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim in Texas. However, certain statutory exemptions may apply in your case.
For example, if the person who died lost their life while committing a felony, the survivors may not be able to file a wrongful death claim. Additionally, if someone who died was killed while trespassing on another’s property, their survivors may be barred from filing a claim.
It is important to consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer to determine what exemptions may apply in your case. An experienced attorney can advise you of your rights and help you through the claims process.
Make sure to consider the different state laws before filing a case. Getting a lawyer familiar with Texas laws on wrongful death is important to make sure that they can be more effective in getting the results you want. Research law firms and wrongful death lawyers near your area to find the best suited for your case.
Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim
The next of kin may file a wrongful death claim in the Texas court system. It is typically the spouse or the adult child of the deceased. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate may also file the claim.
If there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent, then the right to file a claim falls to the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate. To file, the claimant must have suffered damages due to the death.
To make a successful claim, it is necessary to prove that another person’s negligence caused the death. You can do it by presenting evidence that the person responsible for the death did not act with the level of care that a reasonable person would have in the same situation. It may include witness statements, medical records, and police reports.
For example, if someone died in a car accident caused by another driver, the surviving family would need to show that the other driver was not paying attention or driving recklessly. If a defective product caused the death, the family must show that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the defect and failed to fix it.
If a defective product causes death, you might be able to bring a claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the product. If the death was caused by medical negligence, you might be able to bring a claim against the healthcare providers involved.
Once you have gathered this evidence, you will need to present it to a judge or jury who will decide if the death was caused by negligence. If they find that it was, then you will be able to recover the damages.
Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Case
The petition must name the defendants and allege they were responsible for the death. The survivors may be able to recover damages for mental anguish, lost companionship, lost earnings, and funeral expenses. It may also involve the loss of financial support, inheritance, medical costs, and much more.
The plaintiffs may also get compensation for punitive damages if the jury sees that the defendant meets the qualifications. The personal representative should file a claim to recover the damages the deceased would have received had they lived.
Filing a Case for a Wrongful Death in Texas
If your loved one has died due to the negligence of another person or entity, you may be able to file a wrongful death in Texas. To do so, you must prove that the death was caused by the negligent party’s actions or inaction, and that you have suffered damages. If you believe you have a valid claim, you should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney to discuss your case and determine your best course of action.
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