Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Texas
How Long do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
Because time is limited to file a lawsuit after a loved one’s life is taken, it is important to begin working with an attorney as soon as you are able. In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is just two years, as per Texas statute 16.003. The Houston wrongful death attorneys here at the law offices of Michael P. Fleming have experience in all types of wrongful death claims and will work swiftly, efficiently, and carefully to aggressively pursue the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Family Members are Often Reluctant to Bring Wrongful Death Claims
When it comes to filling claims, family members of the victim are more reluctant to bring the claim than for any other type of personal injury claim in Texas. Family members often dispute whether or not to bring the claim and will delay or hesitate to follow through in pursuing maximum damages when the insurance company inevitably offers a low settlement to begin with. There are many reasons for the hesitancy and squeamishness that many family members have when it comes to filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, and these reasons are completely understandable.
In the months after the death of a loved one, it is time for grieving, being with other loved ones, and remembering the life of the deceased. Family members may feel guilty for the death in some way, regardless of how unfounded these thoughts may be, and may wish to forgive the negligent party because forgiveness is sometimes an advantageous tool to move on in life for some people. Insurance companies know the difficulty that most people have with filling wrongful death claims, and use this to their advantage. When no family member (spouse, child, or parent) has filed a wrongful death claim within three months of the death, the executor of the victim’s estate may file the claim, as per statute 71.004, though a family member may block this claim.
Do Not Wait too Long
Two years may seem like plenty of time, but it will likely take more than a year simply to settle a wrongful death lawsuit, meaning that the longer you wait, the less time there is to first pursue a settlement offer and less time to negotiate. Most personal injury and wrongful death cases are settled out of court, which is usually less expensive and much faster than going to trial. However, going to court, or the threat of going to court, is a necessary tool for negotiating a desirable settlement, and the more time you have the better. If you wait too long, your ability to seek damages for you and your children will be lost forever.
Call a Houston Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Wrongful death cases need to be investigated soon after the accident to preserve evidence and so that eye-witness statements can be taken. Therefore, even though the statute of limitations is two years, it is an important consideration to hire a lawyer so the accident can be properly investigated and so that your attorney has time to adequately prepare. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. today so they can start the investigating your case 713-221-6800.