The term “wrongful death” is used to refer to the death of a person who died due to a wrongful act of another person. When a wrongful death occurs, the family members of the deceased are entitled to monetary compensation for their loss. The death is considered as a wrongful death if it was caused by negligence, carelessness, wrongful actions, unskillfulness, or the fault of either an individual or a corporation.
For instance, if the death was caused because of hospital malpractice, use of a defective product, occupational hazard, traffic accidents, or drunk driving (where the victim was not intoxicated or at fault), it can be considered as wrongful death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
While classifying a death as wrongful death may be relatively straightforward, filing a claim isn’t. In fact, according to the Texas law, only certain persons are eligible to file the claim, such as:
- deceased’s surviving spouse
- deceased’s surviving offspring
- deceased’s surviving parent(s)
- deceased’s legally adopted offspring
- deceased’s legally adoptive parent(s)
- deceased’s personal estate representative
A wrongful death claim counts as a civil matter and can be filed even if no criminal charges have been made.
The Statute of Limitations
For you to be able to file a claim for wrongful death in Texas, you need to act fast. The lawsuit needs to be filed within two years since the day of the death of the deceased. If you wait longer than that, you may be barred from suing. There are exceptions to this two-year statute of limitations.
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