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Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas

Losing a loved one is an emotionally devastating experience. When that loss is due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another party, it can be even more challenging to cope.

In Texas, individuals in this situation can seek compensation and justice through a wrongful death lawsuit. Compensatory damages may cover medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support and emotional pain and suffering.

Determining eligibility

The state only allows specific family members to bring a wrongful death claim. Eligible individuals typically include the surviving spouse, children and parents of the deceased. In some cases, other dependents may also be eligible with court approval.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations in Texas is two years from the date of the person’s death.

Gathering evidence

To build a strong wrongful death case, you will need evidence that establishes the negligence or wrongful conduct of the responsible party. Examples include medical records, accident reports, witness statements and any other relevant documentation.

Filing the lawsuit

Once you have collected sufficient evidence, you can file the wrongful death lawsuit with the appropriate court. You will need to complete the necessary paperwork, pay any filing fees and serve notice to the defendant (the party you are suing).

After filing the lawsuit, both parties will typically engage in negotiations to settle. If you cannot reach an agreement, the case may proceed to trial. At trial, a judge or jury will decide the outcome of the lawsuit based on the evidence presented.

If your lawsuit is successful, the court will distribute awarded damages to eligible family members under Texas law. Distribution amounts vary based on each individual’s relationship to the deceased.

The Texas Department of Transportation reported 4,497 motor vehicle fatalities in 2021 alone. If another person caused a crash in which your loved one died, you may be able to recoup financial damages with a wrongful death lawsuit.