Texas Law on Wrongful Death Cases

There are many possible scenarios for a wrongful death case. It can be due to medical malpractice, product defect, premises liability, vehicular accident, work-related injuries, and so on. The key element that would make a death wrongful would be if there was a breach in the duty of care by the defendant or the defendant’s representative that caused the death of the individual.

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code addresses the subject of wrongful death in Title 4 Chapter 71 Sub-chapter A. It defines when a case of wrongful death can be filed against a defendant, specifically if the injury that caused an individual’s death was due to neglect, carelessness, lack of skill or other wrongful act. This liability includes persons who owns, charters, controls or hires premises or commercial vehicles that transport passengers and goods which caused injuries to an individual which led to death. However, in the case of an unborn child who dies, liability cannot be ascribed to the mother or the attending physician, other healthcare professional or dispenser of drugs if death was the intended result provided consent was given.

A wrongful death action to recover damages can only be filed by the spouse, children and parents of the deceased within three months after death. If no action is filed, the executor of the deceased may do so unless specifically barred by the spouse, children or parents of the deceased. Exemplary as well as actual damages may be claimed in a wrongful death case and the appropriate awards will be determined by a jury. The death of the defendant while a wrongful death case is in progress does not nullify the action. Damages can still be assessed and brought against the estate of the deceased defendant.

Recovered damages for wrongful death cannot be garnished for payment of debts of the deceased. The proceeds of a wrongful death action will be divided among those entitled to recover in a manner to also be determined by the jury.
If you are interested in bringing an action of wrongful death in Texas, it pays to know some basic facts about this particular type of civil tort. However, you will need to travel a long and complex road so it would be best to retain the services of a wrongful death attorney practicing in the area to ensure that you get what you deserve.

One Response to “ “Texas Law on Wrongful Death Cases”

  1. Criminal defense is serious business and I am grateful that someone is writing about it.

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