Death is a natural part of life, but when a loved one dies in the hands of someone else, you want justice. In the criminal justice system, people are held accountable for manslaughters and murders, and if they are found guilty, they pay their price to society.
But what if your loved one dies through negligence? They did not lose their life in a hit-and-run like a manslaughter case, and they did not die as a result of murder. Under such circumstances, a wrongful death lawsuit may be your best course of action for pursuing justice.
So who can sue for wrongful death in The Lone Star State?
In Texas, the only family members who can file a wrongful death lawsuit are the deceased’s spouse or legal partner, children and parents (including adoptive ones). However, an adopted child cannot file a wrongful death claim related to their birth parent. Parents may file wrongful death claims on behalf of children who are under 18.
The deceased’s family can request that a wrongful death lawsuit be forfeited. However, if a qualified family member does not make this request, and does not submit their own claim within three months from the victim’s passing, the right to file a claim is automatically passed on to the representative of the deceased’s estate.
An estate representative can file a wrongful death claim
The representative of the deceased person can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family. This can be the deceased’s family member or legal representative. The compensation awarded following successful litigation will most likely become part of the deceased’s estate.
Losing a loved one under any circumstance is never easy. The death of a loved one becomes even more challenging to come to terms with if someone else’s negligent acts have caused it. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s actions or inaction, you may want to know if the law permits you to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.