A wrongful death action is a legal claim that can be brought by the surviving family members or estate of a person who has died as a result of the wrongful or negligent actions of another party. This type of legal action seeks to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and to recover damages (compensation) for the losses suffered by the deceased person’s family.
Examples of situations that may give rise to a wrongful death action include car accidents caused by a negligent driver, medical malpractice resulting in the death of a patient, or a defective product that causes fatal injuries. In a wrongful death case, the plaintiff (the surviving family members or estate of the deceased person) must prove that the defendant (the party being sued) acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally, and that this behavior caused the death of their loved one.
Damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death action can include compensation for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost income and financial support, and loss of companionship and emotional support. The specific damages recoverable in a wrongful death case may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific facts of the case.
Wrongful Death Actions in Texas
In Texas, a wrongful death action can be filed by the surviving spouse, children, or parents of a person who has died due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another party. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages (compensation) for the losses suffered by the surviving family members as a result of the death of their loved one.
To file an action in Texas, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s wrongful or negligent actions caused the death of their loved one. This may involve proving that the defendant breached a duty of care owed to the deceased person, and that this breach of duty caused the death.
Under Texas law, damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death action can include compensation for:
- Mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity and financial support
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of companionship and society
- Funeral and burial expenses
Texas has specific rules regarding who can file an action and the time limits for filing the lawsuit. Generally, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person’s death. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide guidance on the specific requirements for filing a wrongful death action and the damages that may be recoverable in a particular case.