Rose on tombstone

Who Can Bring a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death in Texas?

When you lose a loved one, the pain of your loss can be exponential. But when you lose a loved one due to an unexpected accident, the feelings involved are often unimaginable. Between the stress, denial, confusion, and pain, there is also a responsibility to handle the logistical aspects of their death such as their medical bills and funeral costs – not to mention your own lost wages. Put simply, it’s not unusual to feel full-on overwhelmed. But who is responsible for your loved ones death and are you allowed to bring a lawsuit? Here’s what to know. 

What is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death occurs due to a “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of another party. There are a variety of reasons for which such a death can occur. Some of the most common causes of wrongful deaths include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Drunk accidents
  • Drowsy accidents
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace (often construction) accidents
  • Criminal acts
  • Oilfield accidents

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Under Texas law, there are only specific people who are allowed to bring a suit for wrongful death. This generally includes:

  • Surviving spouses;
  • Children (includes adult children); 
  • Parents; and
  • The estate of the deceased.

These individuals may choose to file a claim as a group or separately. If any of the aforementioned individuals fail to file a claim for wrongful death within three months of the date of their loved one’s death, then the deceased person’s estate executor or personal representative may do so. 

What is the Compensation?

While the facts and circumstances of each case are different, there are common losses for which loved ones are able to receive compensation. Such losses include the following:

  • Lost wages of the deceased
  • Lost future earnings of the deceased
  • Lost benefits of the deceased
  • Loss of companionship of the survivor
  • Property damage
  • Mental anguish
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased (prior to his or her death)
  • Punitive damages
  • Exemplary damages (in some cases)

It’s important to keep in mind that Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits. This means that if someone who has the legal standing to file a wrongful death claim fails to do so within two years of their loved one’s death, they lose the right to do so all together. 

The Attorneys at Rochelle McCullough Help Those in Houston Who Have Lost a Loved One in an Accident

The lawyers at Rochelle McCullough help the loved ones of those who have been wrongfully killed to get their lives back on track. While nothing can bring back your loved one, those who are responsible for their death should be held accountable. Compensation can help you to move forward with your life as best possible after their death. Since wrongful death claims can be complicated and the statute of limitations to bring a claim is relatively small, it is imperative that you speak with a lawyer as quickly as possible to protect your rights. Call the lawyers at Rochelle McCullough today!