When a loved one dies due to a party’s negligent behavior, Texas law provides family members with recourse via its wrongful death statute. Specifically, Texas allows certain individuals to bring a wrongful death action if the wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default of a party caused the death of a loved one. Below is an overview of wrongful death in Texas.
Who may file a wrongful death claim in Texas?
In Texas, the following people may file a wrongful death claim:
- The surviving children, spouse, and parents of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim.
- If the surviving children, spouse, or parents do not file a wrongful death claim within three months of their family member’s death, the executor or personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate may file the claim instead.
- An adult child may file a wrongful death claim over the death of a parent.
- An adopted child may file a wrongful death claim for the death of an adoptive parent.
- Adoptive parents may file a wrongful death claim if their adopted child is killed.
Texas wrongful death claim damages
When damages are awarded pursuant to a Texas wrongful death claim, they are divided among surviving family members in proportion to the injuries suffered by each as a result of the family member’s death. The amount received by each family member is determined by the court. The types of damages available in wrongful death cases in Texas include:
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost maintenance, care, services, advice, support, and counsel that the deceased individual would have provided to his or her surviving family members but for the death
- Emotional and mental pain, anguish, and suffering
- Lost companionship, love, society, and comfort
- Lost inheritance, including money that the deceased person would likely have saved and given to his or her surviving family members if he or she had survived
When must a Texas wrongful death lawsuit be filed?
A wrongful death lawsuit in Texas must be filed within two years of the deceased individual’s death unless an exception applies. If your loved one was killed due to another’s negligent behavior, but you believe you’ve missed the deadline to file a wrongful death claim, contact a Texas wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to determine if an exception applies.
Montgomery County Wrongful Death Attorney
If your family member or loved one was killed due to another’s wrongful conduct or negligence, the Houston wrongful death attorneys at Adams Law Firm are here to help. Our experienced attorneys handle wrongful death and survival claims involving all types of accidents, including professional malpractice, defective products, and unsafe property conditions. If you are the surviving spouse, parent, or child of someone who has been killed in an accident of any kind, please contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation.
Posted in: Wrongful Death