In tragic cases where a person loses their life due to the preventable actions of another, the surviving family members have the option to pursue a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims aim to provide financial compensation to cover various costs, including funeral expenses, daily living expenses, and the loss of companionship. However, it’s important to understand that only specific individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death suit, and each state has its own set of laws governing such claims.
In this blog, we will focus on who can file a wrongful death suit in Texas, but it is advisable to consult a dedicated Carrollton Wrongful Death Attorney for personalized guidance.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Texas?
In Texas, the right to file a wrongful death suit is granted to certain individuals who have a close relationship with the deceased. These eligible parties include:
- Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased has the primary right to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. They can file the claim individually or on behalf of their children.
- Children: If there is no surviving spouse, the surviving children may bring a wrongful death suit.
- Parents: In the absence of a surviving spouse or children, the parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
- Executor or Administrator: If none of the aforementioned parties take legal action within three months of the death, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate can initiate a wrongful death suit.
It’s worth noting that individuals such as stepchildren, siblings, and grandparents do not have the legal standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas unless they have been appointed as an executor or administrators of the estate.
Time Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Understanding the statute of limitations is of utmost importance when it comes to filing a wrongful death claim in Texas. In this state, the statute of limitations generally allows a two-year window from the date of the individual’s death to file a claim. It is crucial to be aware of this timeframe, as failing to initiate legal action within the stipulated period can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation.
The two-year statute of limitations is designed to encourage prompt action and ensure that cases are brought to court in a timely manner. It allows for gathering evidence, conducting investigations, and building a strong case. However, it is essential not to delay in seeking legal counsel and representation from a personal injury attorney specializing in wrongful death cases.
By consulting with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, you can effectively navigate the legal process and meet the necessary deadlines. They will guide you through the steps involved in filing a wrongful death claim, ensuring that all required paperwork and documentation are submitted within the designated timeframe. By acting promptly, you maximize your chances of securing the compensation you and your family deserve.
Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases
When pursuing a wrongful death claim, the primary goal is to obtain the compensation that addresses the losses suffered by the surviving family members. In Texas, potential damages awarded in wrongful death cases can be categorized into two main types: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages aim to provide financial compensation for the tangible losses resulting from the death of the individual. These damages may include:
- Medical Expenses: This includes any medical bills incurred as a result of the incident leading to the wrongful death. It covers expenses related to hospitalization, treatment, medications, and therapy.
- Funeral and Burial Costs: The expenses associated with arranging a funeral, burial, or cremation are considered economic damages. These costs may include the funeral service, casket or urn, burial plot, headstone, and related expenses.
- Loss of Financial Support: If the deceased was a primary income earner, economic damages may encompass the loss of financial support experienced by the surviving family members. This compensation is intended to cover the income and benefits that the deceased would have provided had they survived.
- Loss of Potential Inheritance: In cases where the wrongful death prevents the surviving family members from receiving their rightful share of the deceased’s estate or inheritance, economic damages can account for this loss.
Non-economic damages address the emotional and intangible losses experienced by the surviving family members due to the wrongful death. These damages may include:
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain endured by the deceased prior to their death, as well as the emotional suffering of the surviving family members.
- Loss of Companionship: The loss of companionship, guidance, and emotional support resulting from the death of a loved one can be significant. Non-economic damages seek to compensate for this loss of companionship and the impact it has on the surviving family members’ lives.
- Mental Anguish: Wrongful death can cause severe emotional distress, leading to mental anguish and psychological trauma. Non-economic damages aim to address the psychological impact experienced by the surviving family members.
- Loss of Consortium: Loss of consortium refers to the deprivation of the benefits and companionship of a spouse, including intimacy and affection. Non-economic damages may provide compensation for this loss in cases where the surviving spouse is the one filing the wrongful death claim. Loss of consortium is not limited only to a spouse. A child of the deceased may assert a loss of consortium claim as well.
Consulting with a Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a cherished family member to wrongful death is an incredibly painful experience that no one should have to endure. Our hearts go out to those who have faced such unimaginable loss. We hope that this blog has shed light on the individuals who can sue for wrongful death in Texas, helping you understand your rights during this difficult time. Remember, you don’t have to face this journey alone.
While no amount of compensation can ever replace the life that was taken, taking action can provide a sense of closure and justice for your loved one. So, don’t wait in silence. Take that first step towards seeking the justice your family deserves. Reach out to The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, and let them fight for your rights while you focus on healing and remembering the precious memories of your loved one.