Wrongful Death In Texas: Frequently Asked Questions?
Our attorneys represent families grieving the loss of loved ones. We understand that this is an extremely difficult time for you, and you likely have many questions. Following are some common questions we have heard in our many years of representing families who lost loved ones due to wrongful death.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
The surviving spouse, children, and parents have priority and may choose to file individually or together as a group. If none of these parties have filed a claim within three months of the deceased person’s death, the personal representative or executor of the deceased may then file a claim unless a surviving family member opposes.
Adoptive parents in Texas may file a wrongful death claim in the event of the untimely death of their adopted child, as well as vice versa. However, surviving siblings are not permitted to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a brother or sister, regardless of whether they are biological or adopted.
What Types Of Evidence Are Needed In Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
To bring a lawsuit forward, you must have substantial evidence to back up your claim. In wrongful death cases, there are certain critical elements involved that can help you prove the validity of your claim.
- The responsible party owed your loved one a duty of care
- This duty of care was breached
- The breach of duty directly caused your loved one’s death
In criminal cases, an element of intent will likely need to be proven or demonstrated in order to secure a conviction. This may require eyewitness testimony, expert opinions, and a thorough investigation of applicable case law.
How Long Do You Have To File A Wrongful Death Claim In Texas?
Wrongful death claims in Texas are subject to a two-year statute of limitations, meaning that eligible parties generally have until the second anniversary of their loved one’s death to file a lawsuit in civil court. If this filing deadline expires, you will lose your ability to pursue compensation.
The statute of limitations period for wrongful death may only be extended under limited clearly-defined circumstances. Since adhering to this deadline can have such a profound effect on your case, it is important you speak to an experienced Amarillo wrongful death attorney.
Why Should You File A Wrongful Death Claim?
After losing a family member, your life will never be the same. No amount of money can ever make up for your losses, but a judge may award you a settlement to help compensate for the material and emotional hardship you’ve faced.
You may be able to recover:
- Medical bills incurred before the death of your loved one
- Costs associated with the funeral
- Recompense for expected future income or inheritance
- Emotional damages that recognize the hardship you have faced, and that will persevere
We want to help you in any way possible during this difficult time. Our team is here to answer your questions about seeking legal remedies in cases of wrongful death.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
To discuss your case with us, please call our law firm in Amarillo at (806) 547-2022 or complete our contact form. Our attorneys represent clients throughout the Texas Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico.