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Who is liable for wrongful death?

If you go through the death of a spouse, parent or child in Texas, you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This does require that the cause of death is someone else’s negligence or willful disregard for the safety of others. Many such cases come from car accidents, but any situation where someone else is responsible for your loved one’s death may qualify. If you choose to file a lawsuit, you will need to know who is at fault.

Some cases are very straightforward. For example, someone driving his or her own vehicle causes the death of your spouse in a car accident is a simple situation where the driver is at fault. However, there are other situations where figuring out who is at fault is a bit more difficult.

To know who to file the lawsuit against, you need to see what the law says about fault. According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, general liability lies with the person whose actions directly caused the fatality. However, there may be additional parties at fault.

If there is an owner of the property or vehicle that directly caused the death, then that person may also be at fault. This is especially true if an employee caused the incident. An employer may be responsible if the employee was negligent or careless. If the employee lacked proper skills or was unfit for the job, fault may also fall on the employer. Unsafe conditions that were under the control of the owner and led to the accident are also a liability for the owner.

Wrongful death is a tricky situation. The rules are rather strict, and sometimes proving who is responsible is confusing. It can help to seek the help of someone with knowledge in this area. This information is for education and is not legal advice.