What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Law in Texas

In our justice system, all court cases fall under one of two categories of law: civil or criminal.  Civil law is defined as the body of laws regulating private matters, whereas criminal law is the body of laws dealing with crimes and their punishments.  When someone kills another person, that falls under criminal law.  When someone is seeking monetary compensation for injuries they have suffered, that falls under civil law. Therefore, personal injury attorneys, like ourselves, would be classified as civil lawyers.

What is a Personal Injury Attorney

Another way to think of a personal injury attorney is as an accident lawyer. Car accident lawyers, 18 wheeler accident lawyers, and work injury lawyers would all qualify as personal injury lawyers, as would medical malpractice or product liability lawyers. Each of these lawyers is tasked with representing clients that have been injured in an accident, and helping them get the maximum compensation possible. However, they do not just represent those injured in accidents.  A personal injury attorney also represents the immediate families of individuals that lost their lives in fatal accidents.  These cases fall under wrongful death law, which can be described as the taking of the life of an individual resulting from the willful or negligent act of another person or persons.

What is Needed To File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas

In Texas, there are four distinct elements that must exist to file a wrongful death claim. First, the person’s death must have been caused by the conduct of another person or entity.  Second, the person must have been negligent or strictly liable for the individual’s death.  Third, there must be a surviving spouse, children, dependent or beneficiary. Fourth, and finally, the person’s death resulted in monetary damages.

How Long Does a Person Have To File A Wrongful Death Claim in Texas

There are two different statutes of limitations that govern wrongful death claims in Texas. One involves how long the deceased individual could have waited to file a claim after his or her injury happened. The other covers the length of time a spouse, child, dependent, or beneficiary has to file a claim after their family member’s death.  In both cases, the length of time is two years.