Losing a loved one in an accident that was not their fault is a devastating experience. As much there’s no amount of compensation or punishment to the responsible party that will make up for your loss, knowing that justice was served and receiving compensation could help your recovery process. Let us take a look at Texas wrongful death laws.
Texas wrongful death
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.001 to 71.003, wrongful death occurs when:
1. Someone’s unskillfulness, carelessness, neglect, wrongful act, or default causes an injury to another person
2. That injury leads to their death
3. A fetus died due to birth injuries caused by a hospital or doctor’s negligence
Eligibility for wrongful death in Texas
Not all loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. The most common claimants are the victim’s spouse, children, and parents. However, other relatives such as siblings or grandparents may also file a claim if they were financially dependent on the victim.
Damages available in a Texas wrongful death suit
In Texas, there are two types of damages: compensatory and punitive. The judge awards compensatory damages to survivors to make up for their losses. They include:
• The victim’s medical expenses
• The cost of the victim’s funeral and burial expenses
• The value of the victim’s income that was lost as a result of their death
• The value of the services the victim provided, such as household chores or childcare
• The pain and suffering of the survivors
Punitive damages are intended to punish the person or company responsible for the death. To be eligible for punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions were willful, wanton, or malicious.
Survival claims in Texas
In addition to wrongful death claims, Texas law also allows for survival claims. Survival claims are brought by the victim’s loved ones seeking to recover damages for their pain and suffering before death. Even if the victim died instantly and did not suffer any conscious pain, you can still file a claim.
If your loved one died a wrongful death in Texas, you must file suit within two years of their unfortunate demise. This is known as the statute of limitation. But, there are exceptions depending on your unique circumstances. It may not be too late to get justice.