There are simply no words and no actions that can ever truly console a family who lost a loved one in an unexpected way. That is even truer when the death was caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless act. But the Texas legal system does give surviving family members a way to pursue compensation and with it, perhaps, a sense of justice.
Wrongful death lawsuits allow grieving families to seek accountability for conduct that led to the death of a loved one. Here are four things you should know about wrongful death claims in Texas.
1. Only Certain Family Members Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
Texas law is very specific about who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The person filing must be a direct descendant or close relative of the deceased. Eligible people include:
- A surviving spouse
- A child of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- Adopted children of the deceased
The deceased person’s siblings are not eligible to file a claim. We invite you to read our full article on this topic for more details.
2. Several Different Types of Damages Are Available
If a wrongful death lawsuit is successful, the Texas court can award monetary damages to compensate families for:
- The lost earning capacity of the deceased
- Loss of companionship, society, comfort and love
- Emotional pain and mental anguish suffered by survivors
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Value of lost inheritance
In some situations, if the death resulted from particularly egregious conduct, the court may award punitive damages to the survivors. When you see news about cases where a family was awarded millions of dollars, punitive damages are often the reason.
3. Common Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death claims arise under many different circumstances. Some of the more common sources of lawsuits in Texas include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including truck accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Injuries caused by defective products
4. The Statute of Limitations
With very few exceptions, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the date of death. This is called the statute of limitations. It is highly advisable to speak with an attorney well before the two-year mark approaches, however. That’s because your attorney will need time to gather evidence and conduct at least a preliminary investigation in order to decide whether there is a potentially valid claim. The sooner you can discuss the situation with a Dallas wrongful death lawyer, the better.
Speak With a Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney
If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s conduct, talk to a Dallas lawyer at Ted B. Lyon & Associates today. You may be eligible for financial compensation. Schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney by calling 800-TedLyon or contact us online.