No amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one. Grief is compounded when the death was caused by the negligence of another. If you were financially dependent upon the deceased, the wrongful death may cause your life to dramatically change. At Springer & Lyle, we care about you and work diligently to obtain for you the compensation you deserve.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Texas law, wrongful death is when:
- A person dies from an injury and,
- The injury is caused by another person’s or entity’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default;” and
- The injured person would have been entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit had he or she lived or been born alive.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?
Texas law specifically defines who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The wrongful death statute states:
“An action to recover damages as provided by this subchapter is for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.” Any one of these people can bring the action on behalf of one or more of the named survivors or bring one action that will benefit them all.
Three calendar months after the death, if none of the eligible persons has brought an action, the executor or administrator of the estate may bring a wrongful death lawsuit, unless all eligible individuals agree an action should not be filed.
Damages Available to Survivors in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
“Damages” refers to the compensation the beneficiaries are entitled to receive from the negligent party or parties responsible for the death. Damages the survivors may be able to collect include:
- Medical expenses incurred by the decedent as a result of negligence.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Lost wages and earning potential of the decedent that were expected to aid the beneficiaries.
- Loss of inheritance in some cases.
- The value of household services the decedent would have provided the beneficiaries.
- The loss of the love, care, companionship, and moral support the decedent would have provided.
- Mental anguish sustained as a result of the loss.
- A spouse, putative spouse, or domestic partner may receive damages for loss of consortium.
In some cases, additional punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at fault person or entity whose negligence rose to the level of egregious conduct.
The personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you obtain the reasonable compensation to which you are legally entitled to collect for the loss of your loved one. You must bring your wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the death. If you miss the deadline, you lose forever your right to pursue the claim. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.