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Filing a Wrongful Death Case in Texas

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The loss of a loved one is an accident, takes a tremendous emotional toll on family members. Our undefeated Houston wrongful death lawyers can help you seek justice.

Wrongful Death Claims

Filing a Texas Wrongful Death Case

Baumgartner Law Firm understands the impact of losing your loved one and the grieving process. When a loved one dies, in addition to the emotional trauma it can also cause significant financial hardship. We want to help you through the process of making a wrongful death claim.

Every state has laws that hold persons or entities legally accountable for causing the death of another due to neglect, carelessness, or other reasons. These laws are designed to ease the financial burden on the victim’s families.

We cover how Texas defines a “wrongful death” as well as the Texas laws and process for a wrongful death claim.

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Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Texas

The Law in Texas

Texas Statute Section 71.002 states that if “neglect, a wrongful act, unskillfulness, carelessness, or default” by one party causes the death of another, a wrongful death claim if:

Further, Sec. 71.002 explains the Cause of Action as:

If liability exists under this section, a person is liable for damages arising from any injury that causes an individual’s death…[and] was caused by the person, his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act…[or] the injury was caused by an unsafe or harmful condition [of a utility or] machinery under the person’s control or operation.

The Process: Who May File a Texas Wrongful Death Claim?

Texas Wrongful Death Claim Law clearly defines who may file a claim as follows:

    • Surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased–they may file the claim individually or as a group.
      • If none of the above file a wrongful death claim within ninety days of the death, the deceased person’s representative or Executor of the Deceased’s Estate may file the claim
      • A surviving family member may specifically request that the claim not be filed.
      • Under particular circumstances, if the act or omission occurred in another state or a foreign country, it may still be possible to file a wrongful death claim in Texas.
    • If a child was legally and fully adopted, they could file a wrongful death claim for the death of an adoptive parent.
    • Adoptive parents are eligible to file a wrongful death claim on their adopted child
    • An adopted child may not file a wrongful death claim for the loss of  a biological parent
    • Survivor siblings may not file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a biological or adopted sibling

Criminal Charges are Different

Wrongful death is different from a criminal homicide case. In a criminal case, the charges are filed by the prosecuting attorney; the penalties for criminal homicide include probation, imprisonment, fines, or other sanctions. However, even if criminal charges are filed, a wrongful death claim may also be submitted.

Texas Wrongful Death Compensation and Damages

Damages awarded in a Texas wrongful death claim are paid to surviving family members or to the deceased’s estate; they are intended to compensate not only for financial losses but also:

  • Emotional and mental suffering
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of inheritance they could have assembled had they lived an expected lifetime
  • Loss of love, companionship, and comfort
  • Medical bills related to the injury that resulted in the death

Exemplary Damages

In Texas, Exemplary Damages (known as punitive damages in other states) may be awarded if a fatality is caused by gross negligence or a willful act or omission. The intended purpose of awarding punitive damages is not to cover financial losses, but rather, to punish an individual or entity and to deter similarly egregious behavior in the future.

Common wrongful death incidents include:

  • Construction Accidents
  • Criminal Acts
  • Dangerous Chemicals
  • Equipment failure
  • Falls
  • Car Accidents

In a wrongful death claim, damages awarded are based on the relationship to the deceased–the court or a jury determines the amounts and proportions. If you have questions about the loss of a family member talk with a preeminent rated and undefeated Houston wrongful death lawyer about your case. Call (281) 587-1111.

Need an Attorney for a Wrongful Death in Houston?

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Texas Wrongful Death Claim

Texas has a specific statute of limitations for filing a claim–two years unless one of the clearly defined exceptions apply. For more information and details, talk to an experienced Texas wrongful death lawyer at Baumgartner Law Firm

Settling A Claim

Wrongful death claims typically take years to settle—the average claim in Texas takes between one to three years.

If you believe you may have a wrongful death claim and would like more information about the Texas Statue on Wrongful Death or have questions about filing a Texas wrongful death claim, the top-rated attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm in Houston can assist with your case. Call (281) 587-1111.

Talk with a Top-Rated Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer at Baumgartner Law Firm

Baumgartner Law Firm has been winning record multi-million-dollar settlements in wrongful death cases in Texas for decades. See some of our 5-star reviews!

We are undefeated in wrongful death lawsuits. And have decades of experience in identifying potential defendants, and negotiating with the defendant’s insurance companies. We have been protecting the families of wrongful death victims in Houston and across Texas for over 35 years, fighting for and getting maximum compensation in every case.

We selectively accept cases to best represent our clients…and unless we win, we don’t get paid. Contact us for your free consultation today.

Call (281) 587-1111