How Long Do You Have To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
Surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas against the person or organization who caused their loved one’s death with help from a skilled wrongful death attorney. There are certain stipulations that must be followed when filing such a claim, including the fact that the Texas statute of limitations for wrongful death is set at two years from the date of the loved one’s passing. This means that the claim must be filed before that two-year deadline expires in order for the family to preserve their right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party. Additionally, the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate can file a claim on behalf of the family if none of the eligible family members do so within three months of the death, in accordance with Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §71.004.
In the wake of a loved one’s passing, it is common for family members to be distraught with grief. Though legal necessities press themselves upon your itinerary, you and your family most likely wish to focus on coping with the loss and dealing with the emotional turmoil that often comes with the death of a loved one. Instead of trying to handle all of the complicated ins and outs of a successful wrongful death claim, get in touch with the experienced Texas wrongful death attorneys at Dallas Car Accident Lawyers for help with the legal process.
My Eligibility for a Wrongful Death Claim
There are several factors that dictate whether a person can bring a wrongful death claim after the death of a family member. Eligibility includes your relationship to the loved one as well as the circumstances surrounding their death.
The Validity of My Claim
First, a wrongful death claim can be brought only if your loved one’s death resulted from an injury that could have warranted a personal injury claim. In other words, their death must be attributable to someone else’s negligence or actions, in which case that person will be liable for compensation. Some examples of such situations are as follows.
- Products liability
- Drunk driving car accidents
- Slip and fall incidents
- Nursing home neglect
- Pedestrian collisions
Knowledgeable wrongful death lawyers can help you and your family discern whether a loved one’s death warrants a lawsuit and is likely to result in significant compensation.
My Relationship to the Deceased
Not all family members are eligible to file a claim or receive compensation for a person’s death. Even if a claim is viable, distant relatives like cousins or grandparents are not legally entitled to compensation. Texas law allows you to file a wrongful death lawsuit if you are the deceased person’s spouse, child, or parent. As stated above, the executor or administrator of the estate can file a claim if no eligible family member files the lawsuit within three months of their loved one’s passing.
When My Loved One Shares Blame for Their Death
Some cases of wrongful death result from a mixture of actions and negligence by all parties involved. Your loved one may share some of the responsibility for the events that led up to their death. For example, they may have run a stop sign while another driver was speeding and texting while driving, leading to a fatal car accident. In these situations, Texas allows a lawsuit for compensation as long as your loved one was no more than 50% to blame for the incident that led to their death.
This is called a system of proportionate responsibility, and it affects your compensation directly. If your loved one was 10% to blame for the accident, for instance, the total compensation you receive will be reduced by 10% as well. With a skilled wrongful death attorney on your side, you can provide evidence of the opposing party’s fault to evaluate your recovery.
I Can Get a Consultation With Experienced Attorneys for FREE
As a wrongful death and personal injury law firm, Dallas Car Accident Lawyers has the skills necessary to help you navigate your lawsuit. Local attorneys like us spend much of our time in the local court system, leading to relationships with opposing counsel, judges, and juries. With this experience, we have a better understanding of negotiations, jury tendencies, and possible resolutions for your wrongful death lawsuit.
To help you and your family get through this trying time and seek justice, our attorneys provide a FREE consultation during which we will discuss the details, viability, and value of your case. If you decide we are right for you, we do not collect a fee unless we successfully resolve the wrongful death lawsuit. Get in touch with us today by calling (214) 305-8277 or filling out the form on our contact page.