Losing a loved one is an extremely painful and emotional event for family members and friends, especially when it is a loss that could have been avoided. When someone dies due to the negligent or careless actions of another, the pain is often more intense for those left behind. A wrongful death attorney handles lawsuits for families who have lost a loved one due to the negligence or purposeful act of another individual or organization.

Under Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, wrongful death claims can be filed in the state of Texas by certain specific parties if the death of another is determined to have been caused “by the person’s or his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” (Situations by which this might occur include general negligence of another individual or group of individuals including any crash resultant from drunk driving, a crash due to distracted driving (such as with mobile phone calling or texting while driving), medical malpractice by a doctor or hospital, use of a defective product, and more.) Texas statutes permit only the non-minor children, parents, or the spouse of the deceased person to file a wrongful death claim.

Grieving family members are covered by a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim; in Texas, a claim must be filed within two years of the death of the family member. However, it is advisable to start the process as early as possible because recording evidence as soon as possible after the event can be helpful. Note that some wrongful death cases necessitate flexibility as far as the statute of limitations is concerned. There are four exceptions under Texas law that might merit an extension for claim filing beyond two years. These exceptions are if the claimant was a minor at the time of death if the specific responsible party or his/her role in the death is unknown; if the responsible party is found to have committed fraud; or if the claimant was unable to file within the time limit due to his/her own injuries or illness.

Those left behind when a loved one dies due to a wrongful death event face long-term grief. But they also must deal with financial stressors at the same time, such as funeral costs and loss of household income. Filing a lawsuit can help because a wrongful death lawyer can advocate on behalf of the survivors, to uphold their legal rights during this time of personal grief and financial hardship. While legal action cannot bring back your loved one nor sufficiently soothe your sense of loss, it could help in another way: if someone you love was killed as a result of negligence or purposeful actions by another party, you may be entitled to justice under Texas law in the form of monetary compensation.

Texas wrongful death lawsuits are complicated and the complex code of law that applies to them, including the statute of limitations and any potential exceptions, is difficult to understand. Having a caring and competent Texas wrongful death attorney on your side is key to navigating the legal system in these cases. Reeves Law, PLLC, located in Austin, Texas, handles a variety of legal cases, including personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. The experienced professionals at Reeves Law are committed to providing personalized attention to every client to ensure the most favorable outcome possible in your case. If you need the services of a wrongful death attorney, contact Reeves Law for assistance.