The specific terms of wrongful death claims are determined by state laws. Most states have different laws concerning what is considered as a case of wrongful death, who is permitted to file a claim, the statute of limitations on such cases, and other details. In Texas, wrongful death claims can only be filed by close family members of the deceased person or an estate representative.
The only family members who can file wrongful death claims in Texas are the deceased person’s spouse, parents, and children, including adoptive parents and children. Adopted children are not permitted to file a wrongful death claim related to the death of a biological parent, however. A parent may file a claim on the behalf of a child under the age of 18.
Family members can ask for a wrongful death claim to not be filed. If qualified family members do not make this request and do not file their own claim within 3 months of the victim’s death, the right to file a claim goes to a representative of the deceased person’s estate.
A representative of an estate may be a family member of the deceased person, an attorney, or another type of legal representative. Estate representatives can file a wrongful death claim on the behalf of the deceased person’s family members or take over the claim if the family chooses not to file their own claim. The compensation from a wrongful death claim will most likely go to the deceased person’s family members or heirs, or will become part of the deceased person’s estate.
The wrongful death laws of Texas are more restrictive than some other states. In Texas law, siblings are prohibited from filing a wrongful death claim on the behalf of their deceased brother or sister.
In most cases, non-relatives are completely barred from filing wrongful death claims (except in cases where a legal representative is responsible for the claim). A non-relative may be able to file a wrongful death claim in rare cases where they can exhibit their financial dependence on the deceased person.
If your loved one was killed because of another person’s negligence, contact Daspit Law Firm today. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
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