Death is one of life’s inevitabilities. But when a loved one’s death is attributable to another person or entity’s wrongdoing, you deserve justice on their behalf. Through the criminal justice system, the responsible party can be charged with murder or manslaughter. And if they are convicted, they’d serve time in jail.
But what if someone’s negligence led to death? Well, in this case, you can pursue the liable party for the resulting damages through a wrongful death claim. But while an unexpected death impacts many people, Texas law limits who can sue for wrongful death.
What is wrongful death?
Under Texas law, death is deemed wrongful under the following circumstances:
- A personal injury led to a fatality or the miscarriage of a fetus
- The injury was caused by another person or entity’s negligence
- The decedent would have filed a personal injury claim had they survived their injuries
Wrongful death can result from a car accident, a slip-and-fall incident, an animal attack or medical malpractice.
Who is allowed to bring a wrongful claim in Texas?
Because the victim is not around to seek justice, someone else has to act on their behalf. Per Texas’ wrongful death statute, the decedent’s spouse, children and parent can file a wrongful death claim. In the absence of these family members, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file the claim. And if the decedent had no will and, thus, no personal representative, the court will appoint one.
How long do you have to file a wrongful death claim in Texas?
You cannot file a wrongful death claim at your convenience. The Texas statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of your loved one’s death. If you bring your claim after the expiry of the statute of limitations period, your claim might be dismissed.
Protecting your interests
Wrongful death claims can be quite complex. Learning more about Texas wrongful death laws can help you safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing justice on behalf of the departed.