While death is an inevitable part of life, it is still a difficult event to process. This is especially true when a loved one suddenly and unexpectantly passes due to the negligence of another party. Whether it is due to motor vehicle accident, medical negligence or other form of misconduct, surviving family members have the right and ability to take legal action. A wrongful death action is a possible step to take in Texas and elsewhere.
Wrongful death laws in Texas
When deciding to file a wrongful death action, it can be challenging to move forward with the process. It is emotional and difficult to relive the events; however, such an action still needs to be timely filed. In the state of Texas, one must file the action within 2 years from the date of the person’s death.
While the loss of someone you care for is tragic, a wrongful death action cannot be filed by anyone that knows the deceased person. In Texas, only certain individuals can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes the deceased person’s spouse, children and parents and the representative of the deceased person’s estate.
When it comes to monetary losses, the individual filing the action could receive compensation for various losses. This could include the loss of financial support, loss of companionship, mental anguish off the surviving loved one, pain and suffering of the deceased, medical bills and costs related to the funeral and burial of the deceased. In some cases, the court may award exemplary or punitive damages. These are designed to punish the individual responsible for the fatal accident, especially if it was caused by a willful act or a high level of negligence.
Nothing can bring back a loved one after a fatal incident. Although no sum of money could begin to match the value of one’s life, a wrongful death claim could help offset the financial damages caused by the incident. In turn, this could help reduce the severity of the impact a fatal accident has on surviving loved ones.