If someone you love has been killed due to the negligence or gross negligence of another person or company, that party should be held accountable. Wrongful death claims include claims seeking damages suffered by the deceased person before his or her death, as well as damages suffered by the surviving spouse and children of the decedent.
To bring a claim for damages suffered by the deceased person prior to death (in legal terms, this is called a survival claim), the deceased person’s estate must have been filed for probate, and the estate representative will bring the claim.
Under the Texas wrongful death statute, a deceased person’s surviving spouse and children can recover damages for:
- Expenses associated with the injury and death of their loved one, including medical bills and funeral costs;
- Loss of support;
- Loss of consortium (i.e. loss of love, companionship and affection between the decedent and his or her surviving family members);
- Mental anguish;
- Exemplary damages if the death was caused by the gross negligence or the willful act or omission by the defendant.
When you are grieving for a loved one, filing a lawsuit is probably the last thing on your mind. But it is important to know that wrongful death and survival claims typically must be filed within two years of the date of injury.