Wrongful death not only involves a loss, but a loss that should not have occurred. These cases can result from motor vehicle accidents, medical mistakes, work accidents, birth injuries, property liability incidents, defective products, and nursing home abuse or neglect. When considering a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s important to understand what constitutes a wrongful death and who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
Defining Wrongful Death
The state of Texas defines “wrongful death” as a death that occurs due to a person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” Therefore, a person responsible for a death occurring under these circumstances can be held liable for the resulting damages, including:
- Medical costs resulting from the fatal injury
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of care, maintenance, and support
- Anguish, or pain and suffering
- Lost inheritance
- Punitive damages
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Although many are affected by the wrongful death of a loved one, only certain people may file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Texas. Those who are eligible to file on behalf of the deceased are the surviving:
- Parents, including if the deceased was an adopted or biological child
- Current spouse
- Biological children, including adults
- Adopted children, including adults; however, an adopted child may not bring a wrongful death suit on behalf of a biological parent
- Executor of the deceased’s estate
If a surviving parent, child, or spouse fails to bring a wrongful death claim within three months of the death, the personal representative or executor of the deceased’s estate may file the claim, unless specifically forbidden by a family member.
An Attorney Can Walk You Through Your Claim
If you’ve suffered the loss of a child, spouse, or parent, you may have many questions about the process of a wrongful death lawsuit. The legal team at the Cain Law Firm is here to help you better understand the details of your case, possible outcomes, and recovery potential. To speak with a representative of our firm, call us at (817)-573-4300 today.