Filing a Texas City Wrongful Death Action

Losing a loved one is never an easy experience, but it can feel even harder when the loss was caused by someone else’s negligent or intentionally harmful conduct. Lingering medical bills and funeral expenses add up fast, and your family may be financially impacted by the loss of your loved one’s income.

Filing a Texas City wrongful death action can provide you with the monetary compensation you need to overcome these financial challenges and help you hold the perpetrator responsible for the harm they caused. A local wrongful death attorney can guide you through this process so that you can provide your family with much-needed financial support during this difficult time.

Causes for Wrongful Death Actions

Under Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.002, a person may be liable for wrongful death if they cause a fatal injury by committing a wrongful act, which generally includes crimes of intent or by committing an act of neglect.

Intent Crimes

An intent crime is one in which the defendant either purposefully caused the injury or committed an action that they knew would cause the injury, regardless of whether the injury was the ultimate goal of the action. While this includes actions like murder, other activities such as an intentional assault that was not meant to cause death, but did, would also likely be considered an intentional cause of death because the action of the assault was intentional.

A wrongful death case is a civil court action. If there are felony criminal charges related to the cause of death, this will require a separate action and will not prevent the bereaved from filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Negligence

The legal definition of negligence applies when a defendant owes a reasonable duty of care, breaches that duty, and causes an injury. For example, the duty of care for people driving cars on the road is to obey traffic laws, drive safely, and stay alert and aware of their surroundings. An accident that was caused by a driver who was breaching that duty, such as by running a stop sign, can be an act of negligence. Any fatal injuries resulting from that negligent collision may be cause for a wrongful death action.

In some cases, multiple defendants may be liable for a wrongful death. If the death was caused by an accident with a commercial motor vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer, then the driver’s employer can also be liable, as can any other owners or lessors of the vehicle per Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 72.054. A wrongful death attorney in Texas City can help identify the correct basis for a lawsuit and the proper defendants who should be held accountable when filing an action.

Qualifying Plaintiffs in Wrongful Death Actions

Wrongful death actions are remedies generally available only to the deceased’s parents, spouse, or children, per Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.004. One qualifying family member can bring the lawsuit on the group’s behalf, or any number of qualifying members can file the case jointly. If no qualifying filer has commenced the wrongful death action within three months of the decedent’s passing, the estate administrator can bring the suit, as long as none of the beneficiaries object.

Regardless of who files the action, any awarded damages will be split among all beneficiaries in accordance with the decedent’s will. If the person died intestate (without a valid will) then the Texas intestacy laws in Estates Code § 201.001 will govern how the damages are dispersed.

A wrongful death lawyer can help bereaved loved ones navigate the complexities of Texas City estate laws and file actions so that all beneficiaries receive the assets they are owed.

Let a Texas City Attorney Help With Filing a Wrongful Death Action

A loved one’s wrongful death takes a heavy emotional toll on the people they leave behind. The grieving process can make it difficult to focus on filing a Texas City wrongful death action to get the justice your family deserves.

Our skilled team can use their knowledge and experience to help you build and present your case. Contact us now to get the care and support you need during this delicate process.

Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC

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Texas City, TX 77590
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