Death is a natural part of life. However, if a loved one’s death is caused by someone else’s negligent actions, the pain can become unbearable. Besides the sorrow, you have to deal with the anger and frustrations that result from your beloved’s preventable death.
According to Texas statutes, any death that is caused by someone else’s reckless, careless or wrongful action is deemed to be wrongful. If this happens, the decedent’s family may be eligible for financial restitution through a wrongful death lawsuit. But exactly who can sue for wrongful death in the Lonestar State?
Filing wrongful death claims in Texas
To file a wrongful death claim in Texas, you must fall into any of the following criteria:
- You must be the decedent’s spouse or legal partner
- You must be the decedent’s child (biological or adopted)
- You must be the decedent’s parent
- You must be a personal representative of the decedent’s estate
It is important to understand that wrongful death is a civil matter. This means that you may file a wrongful death claim even when the defendant is charged with a crime following their actions. For instance, if a drunk motorist causes your loved one’s death, they may be charged with DWI even as you file a wrongful death claim against them.
The time limit for filing a Texas wrongful death claim
Texas has a specific statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, you have up to two years from the death of your loved one’s passing to file a claim against the liable party. Rarely is this time period extended, so it is in your best interest that you do not let it run out.
Losing a loved one due to another person or entity’s negligence is one of the most difficult life experiences you can go through. Knowing your legal rights following your beloved’s preventable death can help you hold the liable party accountable for their actions.