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Can I File a Lawsuit on Behalf of a Loved One Who Died in an Accident?

About Texas wrongful death lawsuits

Vehicle accidents are common and most often, they are minor. Some car accidents are serious and result in severe injuries, disabilities, or fatalities.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS HLDI) gathers data from the Department of Transportation from all states utilizing the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Last year alone, there were over 3,500 fatal crashes in Texas.

How to Find Justice after a Houston Fatal Accident?

Although no amount of money can help you cope with the loss of a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation like:

  • Emotional trauma and grief
  • Lost earnings of the family member
  • Loss of companionship
  • Mental and emotional stress and anguish
  • Loss of inheritance and other damages

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

While many people may feel the devastation caused by the death of a loved one, Texas law allows only specific people to file a wrongful death claim.

Those allowed to file a claim include a surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. An adopted child may file a claim as long as he or she was legally adopted prior to the date of death. Notably, siblings of the deceased are not allowed by law to file a wrongful death claim. One person may file or you may elect to file as a group.

If the allowed decedents do not file a claim within three months, the executor or personal representative of the will may elect to file a claim on behalf of the estate.

What are the Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim?

There are five elements that may allow you to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You must be able to prove at least one or more of these elements are attributable to the responsible party. These five elements include:

  • Neglect
  • Carelessness
  • Unskillfulness
  • Default
  • Wrongful act

In addition, you may also file a wrongful death claim if your loved one was the victim of a violent crime. The person must have had a duty of care to the deceased person and must have acted in a negligent manner which resulted in death.

For example, in a wrongful death claim due to a vehicle accident, you will need to prove that the driver acted negligently or carelessly, which caused the accident. Negligence is the failure to act in a manner that someone of ordinary prudence would exercise in the same set of circumstances.

A wrongful death claim is a civil matter and is independent of any criminal actions that may or may not be pending in association with the death.

A wrongful death claim can be complex. It is helpful to seek legal guidance from a team headed by a vastly experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer handling these types of lawsuits.

Call to Talk with a Top-rated Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer at Baumgartner Law Firm

At Baumgartner Law Firm, we are undefeated in wrongful death lawsuits and have obtained millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Click here to read some of our many 5-star reviews or see some recent results.

We work to take care of all your legal issues during this difficult and emotional time so you can focus on your family.

Contact Baumgartner Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.

Call (281) 587-1111!






Greg Baumgartner

attorney greg baumgartner

Greg Baumgartner has practiced personal injury law since 1984. He holds not one but two law degrees and is a graduate of Trial Lawyers College. He is licensed in Texas and Colorado. Mr. Baumgartner has earned a reputation for exemplary results for his clients. And has been preeminent rated for decades and recognized by Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Expertise, Newsweek, Houstonia magazine, and many others. He has given educational talks to lawyers and many media interviews regarding personal injury cases.