Personal Injury: Wrongful Death Claims

BY MALA SHARMA, ESQ

The Texas legislature enacted the Wrongful Death Statute which provides the sole remedy and maximum compensation for the decedent’s spouse, children, and parents for all losses sustained as a result. Wrongful death is defined as death that occurs as the direct result of intentional, unintentional, negligent, reckless, or unskillful actions of a person or entity when the death was avoidable and there are monetary damages. This action creates a valid wrongful death claim and it is especially important when the deceased was the primary income owner or estate owner for the surviving family members.

Who can file a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
There are many parties that can file for wrongful death claims, including the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. Siblings of the deceased are not allowed to file a claim. Under Texas law, the plaintiffs of such lawsuit are in the shoes of the victim if s/he had lived. Each party may file together as a team or separately. Further, the named beneficiaries must file the claim within three-months after the death or the executor or administrator of the estate shall bring suit on behalf of the beneficiaries. There is also a two year statute of limitations from the date of death.

What damages may be recovered?

When there is a valid wrongful death claim or death caused by the defendant’s intentional act or omission or gross negligence, plaintiffs are entitled to actual damages and exemplary damages for the harm caused by Defendant. The damages awarded are shared equally among all plaintiffs entitled to recover. The recovery for wrongful death claims includes lost income that the deceased would have earned if s/he were still alive and employed, lost care and assistance, property, legal fees, mental anguish, distress, emotional pain, physical pain that the wrongful death of a loved caused on surviving beneficiaries and dependents.

Texas Wrongful Death law exists to provide a right for the surviving family to pursue a lawsuit against the negligent person or company to seek full damages and punish the wrongdoer for their negligence. It is imperative that spouses, children, or parents suffering from the wrongful death of a loved one, to contact a qualified attorney to begin working on their claim immediately. The attorney will work to prove all evidence of the egregious actions by the defendant for the highest compensation.

About the Author
Mala Sharma has been practicing family law and personal injury with her family at the Law Offices of Sharma & Associates, founded in 1997. Mala has been appointed leadership roles for the American Bar Association GP Solo and GP Solo YLD division, is Board member of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Past President of the Houston Northwest Bar Association, and prior board member of the South Asian Bar Association. She is also a member of the Houston Bar Association. Mala has also been selected as 10 Best Attorneys by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorney for 2018-2019, Top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers for 2018-2019, and Texas Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney by Attorney and Practice Magazine for 2019.
This material is available for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.

You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. If you require advice or assistance, you may contact her at office number 281-893-8644 or by email at mala@sharmalaws.net to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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