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.
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.
- 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.
- Mental anguish includes the type of emotional pain, torment and suffering one would expect when a family member has been killed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.