Texas City Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

When you are trying to process the grief of losing a loved one, procedural and administrative tasks are tough to focus on. However, in the case of a family member’s wrongful death, those tasks should never fall by the wayside.

The death of a loved one caused by someone else’s negligent or intentionally harmful conduct could make your family eligible for compensation. While no amount of money can replace a life, it can help you deal with additional expenses you now encounter without your loved one’s income for support. However, if you miss important legal requirements for the lawsuit or violate the Texas City wrongful death statute of limitations, you could be barred from collecting the money owed to your family. Working with an experienced wrongful death attorney helps you stay on track so that you can fight for the justice you deserve.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Actions

One of the most prominent procedural reasons a lawsuit fails is due to missing the filing deadline outlined in the wrongful death statute of limitations.

A statute of limitations is the timeline a plaintiff must follow when bringing a legal action to court. In Texas City, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 16.003 provides a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. Failure to file a wrongful death action within two years from the date of death may cause the judge to dismiss a case regardless of its merits.

There are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations. Generally, the deadline may be eligible for an extension if the injury was not discovered until a later date. Since the cause of action in a wrongful death suit begins when a decedent passes, this exception is unlikely to apply in most cases.

Our team can help bereaved family members follow the procedural guidelines and limitations of the court to keep their case viable. We can also help a plaintiff whose filing was delayed argue for a legal exception that allows their case to go forward.

Compensatory Limitations for Wrongful Death Actions

Another complication that can affect the success of a wrongful death action is the issue of comparative negligence. Per Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33.001, the amount of money a plaintiff may be awarded in a lawsuit can be reduced, or blocked entirely, if the jury finds that the decedent’s actions were a greater cause of their injury than the defendant’s actions were.

While they are all subject to the same statute of limitations, many wrongful death actions in Texas City are based on negligence. These are cases where one person owed a standard of care to the deceased, did not follow that standard, and caused a fatal injury as a result. A defendant may raise the defense of comparative negligence to argue that the deceased was also behaving negligently at the time of their injury, and that the deceased’s level of negligence was greater than their own.

A jury can decide which party in a wrongful death lawsuit was more responsible than the other, and to what extent each side was responsible. Under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33012, a plaintiff who is 50 percent or less responsible for their injury will have their beneficiary’s compensation reduced by the same percentage. However, when the plaintiff is found to be more than 50 percent responsible, their family can be barred from collecting any amount at all and the case may be dismissed.

Call a Texas City Attorney for Help With the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

The procedural requirements and limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit can make or break a case before it ever begins. When your family deserves compensation for the unnecessary death of a loved one, there is no need to risk your case’s viability on minute misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the law.

An experienced local attorney offers valuable support and advocates for you during this difficult time. With our in-depth knowledge of the legal system, we can help you stay in compliance with the Texas City wrongful death statute of limitations so that your case has the best possible chance for success. Contact us now to schedule your consultation. We are here to listen.

Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC

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Texas City, TX 77590
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