Can Anyone File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
If the unthinkable just happened, and a loved one died unexpectedly because of another’s negligence, you may consider filing a lawsuit. Before doing so, you need to learn whether you are eligible to bring a claim in Texas.
Only certain relatives can bring a wrongful death claim against a negligent party in Texas. You can’t file a lawsuit if you’re not a victim’s child, parent, or spouse. However, if you are eligible, you need also to learn if the circumstances of your loved one’s death warrant litigation. Navigating such lawsuits can be difficult, so it’s wise to reach out to a skilled lawyer. When Texas families hire an experienced attorney, they can build a strong case against a responsible party and recover compensatory damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our Texas lawyers are dedicated to helping families heal after a loved one’s wrongful death. For a free case evaluation with the Fort Worth wrongful death attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., call today at (817) 476-1797.
Which Relatives Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
In Texas, only certain relatives of a victim can file a wrongful death claim on a deceased loved one’s behalf. Learning whether or not you can bring a claim yourself or in tandem with other family members is important if you wish to get justice for your loved one.
Only close family members can file a claim against the person responsible for a loved one’s death in Texas. According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.004, a victim’s spouse, parents, and children are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim. Siblings are excluded from that list, as are any other relatives or friends that may be included in a recently deceased person’s will.
Families can have one of the eligible family members file a wrongful claim against the person responsible for their loved one’s death. When this happens, children, parents, and spouses can benefit even if they are not part of the lawsuit. Alternatively, eligible plaintiffs can band together and file a claim together as a family. Your Houston wrongful death attorney can walk you through your options so that you, as a family, can decide the best course of action.
Remember, only people with specific relationships with victims can bring wrongful death claims in Texas. Friends and romantic partners that are not spouses cannot sue a responsible party for a loved one’s death. If you’re unsure whether or not your relationship with the deceased permits you to bring a case on their behalf, reach out to a lawyer for clarification.
Under Which Circumstances Can You File a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Knowing who can bring a wrongful death claim in Texas is important, but no more important than understanding when you can file a lawsuit. In order to bring a successful claim against a responsible party, family members need to learn whether or not the circumstances of their loved one’s death warrant litigation.
According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.002, wrongful death claims can arise from any situation in which another person’s negligence leads to your loved one’s death. For example, medical malpractice and car accidents are common reasons for wrongful death claims in Texas.
If your loved one died because of an employer’s negligence or workplace hazard, you might be able to file a claim in Texas. Tragic accidents on poorly maintained property and defective products can lead to a loved one’s untimely death.
It’s important to note that a responsible party does not need to have intended for your loved one to die for you to bring a claim. Our Arlington wrongful death attorneys will tell you that negligence is enough to file a lawsuit. Simply put, if another’s actions, whether intentional or not, lead to a victim’s death, that can warrant a lawsuit.
Some families may have difficulty learning the true circumstances of a loved one’s death. If another party is truly responsible, they may attempt to hide important details or dissuade you from bringing a claim. That is why it’s important for Texas families to consult an attorney. Our experienced lawyers can investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death so that you can get justice on their behalf.
Can Anyone Recover Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
Recovering Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas can be a complicated emotional process. Our attorneys understand this, which is why we help spouses, children, and parents recover sufficient compensation and divide damages among themselves.
Certain family members with an experienced lawyer and a viable claim can recover damages in a Texas wrongful death lawsuit. If a deceased victim provided financially for their spouse, children, or parents, a settlement will likely compensate the family for current and future lost wages. Texas families are also likely to recover compensation for hospital bills and funeral costs associated with a victim’s death.
Generally, wrongful death lawsuits in Texas end with families recovering substantial non-economic damages. In the wake of a loved one’s unexpected death, spouses, children, or parents may become depressed, angry, and confused. They may have lost a mother, a father, a child, or a partner. It is undoubtedly an emotional, challenging time. Non-economic damages in Texas wrongful death claims attempt to compensate families for the loss of counsel and companionship and pain and suffering. Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death, and if your lawsuit goes to trial, a judge or jury may also award punitive damages.
Dividing damages after a settlement can be complicated. If your wrongful death claim goes to trial, a judge or jury may decide how much goes to parents, children, and spouses. Of course, this also depends on how many or few family members brought the case. If a wrongful death lawsuit is settled out of court, the burden may be on the family to divide a settlement appropriately. This can be uncomfortable and challenging for families to achieve, especially when still reeling from a loved one’s death. Our Dallas personal injury attorneys can help you navigate any discomfort so that damages are properly divided among your family members.
Call Our Texas Attorneys Today to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you’ve recently lost a loved one as a result of another’s negligence, reach out to our lawyers for help. For a free case evaluation with the Arlington personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., call today at (817) 476-1797.