How Does a Spouse, Parent or Child File a Claim for Wrongful Death?

When somebody is killed through the negligence of another — whether in Houston or any other city in Texas — only a limited number of people have the right to seek damages for the loss.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?

Under Texas law, the spouse of a victim of wrongful death has the right to sue for damages. This includes spouses from both formal marriages and informal marriages, also known as common law marriage.

Parents of a deceased minor or adult child may also sue for damages in a wrongful death.

Children of a deceased mother or father are also within rights to a wrongful death lawsuit.

spouse rights to wrongful death claim

Types of Damages Available in Fatal Accident Cases

The damages available to family members of a wrongful death victim include pecuniary losses, mental anguish, loss of companionship and society, and loss of inheritance.

  1. Pecuniary losses include loss of the wrongful death victim’s earning capacity, advice, counsel services, care, maintenance, support and reasonable contributions of a pecuniary value.
  2. Mental anguish includes the type of emotional pain, torment and suffering one would expect when a family member has been killed.
  3. Companionship and society damages include those for the positive benefits flowing from the love, comfort, companionship and society the family member would have experienced had the victim not been killed.
  4. Loss of inheritance quite simply means the amount of money the spouse, parent or child would have inherited had his or her loved one not been the victim of a wrongful death.
  5. Punitive damages may be awarded to a spouse, parent or the children of a wrongful death victim when the actions of the defendant rise to a willful act, omission or failure to act, or gross negligence.
Contact a Lawyer Now!

Speak to a legal expert about the circumstances of your loved one's death.

Contact a Lawyer Now!

The Experience to Help You

If your spouse, parent or child was the victim of a wrongful death, contact Houston certified injury specialist Michael P. Fleming, a former Harris County attorney, today to discuss your options. If it was caused by a wreck, find a car accident lawyer with the highest credentials.

Call our Houston, Texas, office at 713-221-6800 or use our contact form.