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Can I sue for wrongful death if I am not related to the person?

by | Feb 19, 2019 | Wrongful Death |

Wrongful death laws vary greatly from state to state. When you can file this type of lawsuit suit and whether you can file the suit at all depends on the law of your state. In Texas, the right to file for wrongful death, according to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, is only available to close relatives.

Specifically, you may file such a suit if you are the spouse, child or parent of the deceased person. Generally, the spouse gets the first chance to file a lawsuit in the case. However, only these people can file. It does not matter if you were close with the person, such as the person’s boyfriend or girlfriend. They law does not recognize the rights of anyone else to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

There is one exception. If the person who died has an estate and has appointed an executor or administrator, that person may file the lawsuit. However, this person may only do so on the behalf of the estate or the spouse, children or parents. If any of those people object to the lawsuit, then it cannot continue. For example, if you are the spouse and you do not want a wrongful death lawsuit, you can object and the executor cannot file it.

Wrongful death is a difficult issue. You may not want to go through a lawsuit, but you should be aware you have the right to compensation when someone else’s negligence led to the death of someone you love. This information is for education and is not legal advice.