Most people have heard of the term “wrongful death,” but often times people wonder what a wrongful death claim entails.
In Texas, a wrongful death claims a claim that certain family members can bring if another person recklessly or negligently causes the death of a family member.
Elements of Texas Wrongful Death Claim
To have a wrongful death claim in Texas under the Texas Wrongful Death Act, you need the following elements:
- The plaintiff is a statutory beneficiary of the decedent.
- The defendant is a person or corporation.
- The defendant’s wrongful act caused the death of the decedent.
- The decedent would have been entitled to bring an action for the injury if he or she had lived.
- The plaintiff (statutory beneficiary) suffered actual injury.
Statutory Beneficiary Requirement
Simply put, in Texas to be a “statutory beneficiary,” the plaintiff must be either a spouse, child, or parent of the person who was killed. These are the only people who can bring a wrongful death claim in Texas. Unfortunately, siblings and close friends are excluded from making wrongful death claims in Texas.
Another confusing element of the Texas Wrongful Death Act is the requirement that the plaintiff (statutory beneficiary) suffered an “actual injury.”
Texas statute and courts have defined actual injury as damages the plaintiff actually suffered. Generally, there are four basic types of damages recoverable in a wrongful-death action: (1) pecuniary losses (money), (2) mental anguish, (3) loss of companionship and society, and (4) loss of inheritance.
Get the Help & Guidance You Need
If a loved one has been killed by the negligent or wrongful actions of another person, you probably have a lot of questions, and Texas law on this topic is difficult to understand.
We know you probably have a lot of questions, and we are here to provide the help and guidance you need during what is certain to be a difficult time. We offer a FREE 5-Point Case Evaluation in writing from one of our wrongful death attorneys that will help you understand your case, and offer guidance. To get your FREE case evaluation, call us now at (210) 910-4357 to get started.
You can also talk to one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys for FREE by calling (210) 910-4357.