Generally, any death caused by someone’s negligence or deliberate actions can be considered “wrongful.” That may involve everything from nursing home deaths caused by abuse or neglect to deaths caused in car wrecks by drunk drivers.
Unlike a personal injury claim (which seeks to compensate the actual victim), wrongful death claims are designed to compensate the relatives of the victim for their losses. In addition, wrongful death actions are civil claims, so they can be pursued independently of any criminal charges the liable party may face — and in situations where criminal charges don’t apply.
What kinds of losses can be compensated in a wrongful death claim?
Wrongful death actions can compensate the victim’s survivors for a wide variety of losses, including the loss of the deceased’s financial support, their funeral and burial costs, final medical bills and the loss of their companionship. Mental anguish over the loss of your loved one is also compensable.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Texas?
Every state follows its own rules on wrongful death claims. In Texas, only the deceased’s spouse, children, parents or the representative of their estate has the ability to file a claim. Claims must (with a few exceptions) be pursued within two years of the victim’s death.
If you’ve lost a loved one, don’t assume that you’re powerless to hold the guilty party responsible. Whatever the circumstances, it’s wisest to talk the situation over with an experienced attorney.