Filing a Sugar Land Wrongful Death Claim

When you have lost a loved one to a preventable accident or to someone else’s criminal misconduct, we understand that you may feel overwhelmed by the idea of adding a civil lawsuit to your plate. However, to enforce your rights under Texas civil law and protect your long-term best interests in the wake of such a tragedy, you will need to begin the litigation process quickly after your family member passes away.

The procedures and regulations involved in filing a Sugar Land wrongful death claim can be intimidating at first glance, but you have help available from a compassionate wrongful death attorney. From beginning to end, your dedicated legal counsel can make sure you understand what is expected of you from the legal system and what steps to take to maximize your chances of success.

Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Like most other states, Texas imposes specific restrictions on who has legal standing to recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. As per Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 71.004, this right is reserved solely for immediate family members of someone who passes away due to a third party’s negligent or wrongful act, and more specifically, the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, or parents.

Each family member mentioned above has equal standing to file and recover through a wrongful death lawsuit. Each may file suit solely on their own behalf or on behalf of all eligible “beneficiaries” at once. When none of these family members begin a claim within three months of the decedent’s date of death, the decedent’s “personal representative”—usually someone nominated in their will to serve as the “administrator” or “executor” for their estate—can file a claim on behalf of all eligible beneficiaries or the estate.

It is worth noting that eligible surviving family members of a deceased person can prevent a personal representative from filing a wrongful death claim if they all specifically request that the personal representative refrain from doing so. Under no circumstances, though, can other family members—like grandparents, siblings, or cousins—file or recover through this sort of claim. A local Sugar Land attorney can provide more guidance on which relatives can start filing a wrongful death claim.

How Criminal Proceedings May Affect the Filing Process

If the actions leading to a wrongful death constitute a violation of Texas state law, surviving family members or representatives of the decedent can pursue a wrongful death claim before, during, or after related criminal proceedings. Both cases would proceed separately, and the outcome of one claim would have no bearing on the other.

It is also worth noting that wrongful death cases and other types of personal injury claims are subject to a “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof, whereas criminal prosecutors must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Importantly, this means it is often possible to file a wrongful death claim in Sugar Land even if the defendant was never charged with a crime or acquitted of criminal charges in court.

Call a Sugar Land Attorney For Help Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

The exact steps for filing a Sugar Land wrongful death claim will vary somewhat depending on the specific grounds for the offense. Assistance from skilled legal counsel can be key to getting through the filing process efficiently and maximizing your chances of getting a positive result.

Our team can discuss your options and possible next steps in detail during a confidential consultation. Schedule yours by calling today.

Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC

Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC N/a
Suite 255F , 12808 West Airport Blvd
Sugar Land
TX 77478
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(832) 770-6438