Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
When a loved one dies due to the fault of another in Texas, state law is on the side of family members affected by the victim’s death. Obviously, nothing can bring a lost family member back, but the law recognizes that family members can suffer not only emotionally but financially for years to come after an accidental or intentional death, and thus family members may bring a wrongful death suit against wrongdoers and their employers to recover those damages.
Immediate Family Members and Wrongful Death in Texas
Under Texas law, the spouse, parents, and children (including those not yet born at the time of the death) may all act as plaintiffs in bringing a wrongful death suit, even if the children are adults at the time the parent is killed. They can all act together in bringing a wrongful death suit, or one or more of them can act on behalf of all of them in bringing the suit.
If none of these individuals acts to bring a wrongful death claim within three months of the death, an executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate can bring a claim on their behalf.
Financial Recovery in a Texas Wrongful Death Action
If a jury finds in favor of the plaintiffs in a wrongful death suit, they are entitled to recover the following types of monetary damages:
- The financial support that the deceased would have provided over the years had he or she lived, including any lost inheritance
- The value of the support, guidance, and companionship that the deceased would have offered the family members for the remainder of his or her life
- Damages for the mental pain and anguish suffered by the family members due to the death
- “Exemplary” damages above and beyond the losses suffered by the family members when the defendant’s actions were intentional or grossly negligent (note that family members of victims of violent crimes can bring a wrongful death action even if the defendant was not found guilty of a crime)
The jury may apportion the damages to the individual family members. In many cases, wrongful death cases do not necessarily go to trial or a final verdict, and an experienced wrongful death attorney can negotiate a significant wrongful death settlement outside of court with the wrongdoer and/or their employer if the deadly act occurred in the scope of employment.
Work With Experienced Dallas Wrongful Death Attorneys
The Kelley Law Firm PC in Dallas, TX represents the rights of family members of victims killed by the wrongful acts of others. We have successfully recovered numerous 7-figure settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients, and are passionately committed to obtaining the maximum financial recovery that our clients deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation regarding your wrongful death matter.