If a person dies due to the legal fault of another person or entity, there may be grounds for filing a wrongful death claim. This is especially critical if the decedent was the primary wage earner for a family, which now faces financial hardships and instability.

In Texas, you may possibly recover damages for a wrongful death claim if you are the spouse, child (natural or adopted), or parent of the deceased person. You can file a separate or group claim if you fit into any of these categories.

The damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit are divided among the affected family members in proportion to the injury they suffered as a result of the wrongful death, which is typically decided by the court.

If a claim is not filed within three months of the death by a spouse, child or parent, the executor of the decedent may file the claim unless a surviving family member specifically requests that a claim not be filed. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death, unless certain legally defined exceptions apply.

Damages that are eligible for recovery for a wrongful death claim under Texas law may include:

  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost support, care, services, maintenance and counsel the decedent may have provided to surviving family members
  • Lost love, companionship and society
  • Mental anguish, pain and suffering
  • Lost inheritance

Texas law also provides for the awarding of exemplary damages in some cases if the wrongful death was caused by gross negligence or a willful act or omission. Gross negligence could include drunk driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, dangerous work conditions or hazardous materials or products.

The best way to determine if you have a wrongful death claim is to consult with an attorney experienced in wrongful death lawsuits. The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.

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