Step-by-Step Advice for Families Navigating Wrongful Death Claims

When a loved one has died as a result of an accident caused by negligence, it's important to seek justice. It's important to hold an at-fault party accountable for creating a hazardous environment or situation that led to the death of another person. And filing a lawsuit for unlawful death may be the best way to pursue justice in this situation.

So, who can file a claim for wrongful death in Dallas and in Texas at large? Read on to learn more about your legal rights after a loved one has died at the hands of a negligent party. In the meantime, if you have questions about how to file a claim for wrongful death, do not hesitate to contact an attorney.

Please get in touch with the Dallas wrongful death lawyers at the Rasansky Law Firm for a free consultation if a loved one has died in an accident in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. After hearing the specifics of your case, we will determine whether we can assist you in pursuing justice through a claim or lawsuit.

What is Defined as Wrongful Death?

First, what is wrongful death? A wrongful death in Texas is essentially the result of the misconduct or negligence of another individual, business, or organization. This could include carelessness, intentional misconduct, gross negligence, or any other form of negligence.

A lawsuit or claim for wrongful death seeks compensation or damages from the person or parties determined to have caused or contributed to the victim's demise (in the form of monetary compensation for lost income, for example).

Therefore, the liable or at-fault party may be held liable for losses such as lost wages, funeral expenses, loss of earning capacity and future earning potential, emotional trauma, and more. Why is this important? Well, had the victim not perished as a direct result of their accident, they would have been able to emotionally and financially support their family for the duration of their lives.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

In the state of Texas, the immediate next of kin (such as a spouse, parents, or children) of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, a victim's siblings are not permitted to file a lawsuit for wrongful death.

Other family members or associates of the estate or individuals designated in the deceased person's will are also prohibited from filing. The deceased's offspring must be legal adults, and they must be his or her legal children.

The same holds true when it comes to parents who sue on their children's behalf. They may only file a lawsuit if the deceased victim was legally recognized as their offspring in Texas. Keep in mind that any person filing for wrongful death has three months, starting from the death date, to initiate a claim. Only a personal representative may be authorized to file if that timeline is not met.

Personal Representatives in Wrongful Death Claims

What is a personal representative? This person generally manages the deceased's affairs. For instance, it may be the executor of the deceased's estate or an administrator.

If the victim's family does not file a petition within three months, this representative will have two years to file from the date of death.

Damages For Wrongful Death

In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be awarded a variety of forms of compensation. You can first seek compensation for lost wages. For example, if the deceased was the sole breadwinner or contributed most of the money to the household, their death significantly changes that household's total income. Future earnings may also be considered. Perhaps the deceased had just obtained a high-paying position, and a comfortable retirement was virtually assured.

In this situation, you can file a lawsuit to replace financial benefits. People also provide for one another in non-financial ways. Perhaps the deceased was your source of emotional support, or maybe your deceased spouse was an exceptional parent who was able to manage the home in ways you were unable to. It is impossible to quantify the value someone adds to your life. However, a robust settlement award can alleviate some of the burdens as you work to reclaim your life.

Additionally, you can sue for pain and suffering. This is particularly true if you have been unable to return to work or even lost your job due to the trauma or stress you've endured from the loss of your family member. If and when you win your case, the damages are divided among family members based on the severity of their losses. For instance, the parents of the deceased may receive a lesser portion for their pain and suffering, while the spouse may receive a much larger sum for their loss of consortium and income.

Texas Law on Wrongful Death

Certain parties could file wrongful death claims under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code if another person or business's unlawful actions, negligence, incompetence, omission, or default caused the death.

Again, keep in mind that only a select few individuals are permitted to file a wrongful death claim under Texas law. If you're unsure about your ability to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a victim, consult a Texas attorney as soon as possible.

Contact the Rasansky Law Firm in Dallas

Our team of experienced wrongful death attorneys is proud to represent clients in all forms of personal injury cases. We have devoted ourselves to assisting victims in obtaining the justice they deserve, and we will be by your side throughout the intricate legal proceedings that follow a fatal accident. Following the death of a loved one in the greater Dallas area, we can assist you if you have suffered mental anguish, loss of consortium, or other damages.

Our attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are willing to discuss your potential case with you and your family at an initial free consultation. From there, our skilled and empathetic team can answer any queries you may have about future legal services for you and your loved ones. Contact Rasansky Law Firm immediately at (214) 617-1816.



2525 McKinnon Street #550 Dallas, Texas 75201

Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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