Wrongful Death in Texas: What You Need To Know

Two family members mourn at the funeral of a loved one who was the victim of a wrongful death

A wrongful death can be a life-shattering tragedy for all parties involved. A  “wrongful death” is defined as a death as the result of a wrongful act of another person or entity. In Texas, the law differs from other states, so it’s important to know how the law works in the Lone Star State in particular. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of the statute in Texas and how you should navigate the tragic situation.

Texas Wrongful Death Statute

The wrongful death statute in Texas is defined as the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” that results in the death of a person. Wrongful death covers a number of areas, such as car collision, pedestrian accident, and drunk driving accident. More serious claims include manslaughter and even murder. In these cases, the key element is proving the negligence of the offending party, which can lead to recovering damages. Lawsuits under wrongful death have a statute of limitations in Texas for two years following the date of death. Its only exceptions are:

  • The plaintiff of the wrongful death lawsuit is a minor child.
  • Negligence of the named defendants weren’t known during that two-year period.
  • A mental or physical impairment of the plaintiff prevented them from filing the lawsuit during the two-year period.
  • Fraud.

It is important to note that wrongful death is a civil claim, and can be filed regardless of any criminal charges being present. 

Not Just Anyone Can File

In Texas, as in many other states, the filing of a wrongful death claim is also restricted as well. You often need to be a spouse or part of the immediate family of the deceased to file a claim, either through blood or adoption. If not, you need to be the personal representative of the estate of the deceased individual. 

Aranda Law Firm, Experts in Wrongful Death Claims

Here at Aranda Law Firm, we know how life-changing a wrongful death event can be. We’ll fight tooth and nail for your case, and help you navigate this difficult period. If you or someone you know is interested in filing a claim, contact us today!