Losing a loved one is hard enough as it is, but when a beloved family member has been killed due to the negligence of another, the negligent party should be held responsible.
Texas law allows for wrongful death claims to be made on behalf of certain close family members (i.e. spouses, parents, and children) and claims to be made on behalf of the deceased person. The claims made on behalf of the deceased person are called “survival” claims, meaning that the cause of action survived the person’s death. Such claims are usually brought to recover damages suffered by the deceased person, including pain and mental anguish, medical expenses, and funeral expenses. In some cases, the plaintiff may also recover exemplary damages and attorneys’ fees.
Wrongful death claims, on the other hand, are brought to recover damages suffered by the surviving family members, such as loss of companionship, loss of earning capacity, maintenance, support, loss of advice and counsel, expenses for psychological treatment, funeral expenses, mental anguish, and loss of inheritance. In some cases, the plaintiff(s) may also recover exemplary damages and attorneys’ fees.
Note that in many wrongful death cases, there may be more than one type of claim that can be pursued in the same case. Often, though not always, an administration of the deceased person’s estate must be opened in probate court in conjunction with the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit. Your wrongful death attorney will be able to advise you of whether probate is necessary to pursue the wrongful death claim(s). Click here to contact your Dallas wrongful death attorney.