Wrongful death occurs when one person causes the death of another person through negligent actions. If you have a loved one who died because someone else was malicious or careless in their actions, then you may have a wrongful death case.
However, according to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, there are a few other qualifications required to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Only certain relatives may file this type of claim. You must be the spouse, child or parent. In addition, even if you are closely related, someone else may have the right to file before you. For example, if your son dies but he has a wife, then his wife has the right to file.
If there are no close relatives or the close relatives do not want to file a case, a personal representative of the person’s estate can file. However, if you are a sibling or someone with no legal relationship to the deceased person, you will not be able to file a claim.
Many times, in a situation where one person is responsible for the death of another person there are also criminal charges possible. If the prosecutor files charges against the person, you can still file your case. Your case may have to wait until after the criminal case is over, but you want to file as soon as possible because there is a statute of limitations for filing.
Statute of limitations
You can only file a wrongful death case within two years of the death. If you wait until after two years, the court will not hear your case, and you will not have a valid claim.