Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas? By Greg Burton on January 31, 2019

Statue of justice and lawyer's officeIf you lose a loved one as a result of another person or party’s negligence, it’s important to consider your legal options. Wrongful death lawsuits can obtain damages after the loss of a loved one, including damages for funerary costs, lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, and so forth. Attorneys G.R. (Randy) Akin and Greg Burton will provide expert counsel throughout the process, helping you make the right decisions regarding your legal claim.

Not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Texas. Let’s take a moment to consider who is able to file these kinds of cases and other related considerations. We can go over these wrongful death lawsuit issues in more detail at our Longview, TX legal office during a consultation.

Spouses, Children, and Parents of the Deceased

Any surviving spouses, children, and parents of the deceased are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. An individual may file the lawsuit singly, or the surviving spouse, parents, and/or children can come together to file a wrongful death lawsuit jointly.

It’s important that spouses, children, or parents file their wrongful death lawsuit within three months of the date of their loved one’s death.

Representative/Executor of the Deceased’s Estate

If more than three months have passed since the death of a loved one and relatives have not proceeded with legal action, the personal representative or an executor of the dead loved one’s estate can file the wrongful death claim instead. This helps get the legal process underway in a timely fashion.

Keep in mind that a surviving family member of the deceased can request the representative or executor not proceed with the wrongful death claim.

The Rights of Adoptive Parents and Adoptive Children

Both adoptive children can file a wrongful death lawsuit if their adoptive parent dies as a result of negligence. Similarly, adoptive parents can seek legal action after the death of an adopted child.

However, a child who is adopted cannot seek a wrongful death lawsuit if their biological parent dies. This is simply common sense given the legal nature of guardianship. The same restrictions apply to the biological parent(s) of a child who was adopted by another individual or couple.

What About Siblings of the Deceased?

While parents, children, and spouses can file wrongful death lawsuits, Texas state law does not permit the siblings of the deceased to seek a wrongful death case. This applies to both biological siblings and adoptive siblings.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases

We mentioned the three-month timeline for spouses, parents, and children of the deceased to file a lawsuit, but there are other important timeframes to consider. There is a statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death case. In Texas, wrongful death suits must be filed within two years of the date of a loved one’s death.

If you fail to file a lawsuit within two years, you will not be allowed to seek legal action, regardless of the nature of the case.

Speak with Our Wrongful Death Lawyers

To learn more about your legal rights and options following the loss of a loved one, be sure to contact our team of fatal injury accident attorneys. We will help you with your wrongful death lawsuit. You can reach our law office by phone at (903) 297-8929.

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Randy Akin and Greg Burton

G.R. Akin, P.C.

Randy Akin and Greg Burton have more than 50 years of combined experience. They are affiliated with several professional associations, including:

  • Texas Bar Foundation
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Gregg County Bar Association

Contact us online to ask a question or call us at (903) 297-8929.

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