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Wrongful Death Claims in Texas

August 2, 2022

Losing a loved one is difficult.  Losing a loved one because of someone else’s negligence is even harder.  Survivors are left with so many questions and few answers, wondering who is responsible, how can I seek justice, what can I do, who can help me, and could this have been prevented, along with so many other questions.

At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, our wrongful death injury attorneys help survivors get justice and answers to all of their questions. 

Survivors are left with so many questions after losing a loved one due to the negligence of another person or entity.

One of the questions all survivors eventually ask is whether there is something they can do to seek justice for the death of a loved one.  Texas law is clear, survivors can bring a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a loved one if:

“the wrongful act, neglect, unskillfulness, carelessness, or default” of one party causes the death of another party.” 

See Civil Practices and Remedies Code Section 71.001.

The next question survivors ask is who can bring the lawsuit.  Texas law allows certain relatives of a deceased victim whose death was caused by the acts of another person to pursue wrongful death actions.  Relatives include: (a) surviving spouse; (b) surviving children; or (c) parents of the deceased victim.

Next, most survivors ask what types of damages they can seek.  Texas law allows the surviving spouse, children, or parents of a victim to seek compensation for losses they have personally sustained as a result of the loss of a loved one.  The damages available in a wrongful death action in Texas include the following:

  • The lost earning capacity of the victim
  • The loss of an inheritance
  • The loss of companionship, society, comfort, and love
  • The emotional pain and mental anguish suffered by survivors
  • Lost value of household services

Importantly, there is another law that authorizes a “survival action.”  A survival action allows survivors to recover compensation for losses incurred by the victim after the accident or incident took place.  Damages available in a survival action include compensation to the victim’s estate for the pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, disfigurement, and other types of damages.  The damages in a survival action are similar to the damages the victim may have received had the accident not resulted in their death.  Damages go to the estate of the deceased for distribution, not directly to surviving family members. There are strict deadlines for pursuing legal actions after the death of a loved one.  In Texas, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There are exceptions to this rule.  You should speak with an attorney to discuss your options in seeking justice for a loved one.  If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person or entity, the wrongful death lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard, LLP can help.  Protect your rights and contact an attorney at Morrow & Sheppard, LLP for a confidential and free consultation.

Discuss your case with our record-setting work and catastrophic injury attorneys.

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