Luke Dow Law Firm


By Luke Dow on October 05, 2015

No death of a family member is easy to handle. These unexpected tragedies can be overwhelming - especially if they result from another person's negligent or reckless behavior.In addition to the emotional trauma of a wrongful death, surviving family members may face certain financial hurdles. This is particularly true if the victim was a primary source of the family's income.

Although no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, there may be several benefits to pursuing damages against the at-fault party. This compensation can pay for funeral costs and lost income. Also, the lawsuit may prevent other people from falling victim to the same behavior.

If you have lost a family member due to another person's negligence, call the Luke Dow Law Firm. Austin personal-injury lawyer Luke Dow can assess the circumstances that surrounded the death to determine if you should file a lawsuit. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 512-518-4104.

Texas Definition of Wrongful Death

The state of Texas defines wrongful death as the death of an individual brought about by a negligent or wrongful act. The negligent individual may have acted carelessly or maliciously, and if these actions contributed directly to the death, it may be possible to file a successful wrongful death claim.

According to Texas Statutes, a wrongful death claim is a civil matter - as opposed to a criminal case. Defendants may be involved in both criminal and civil cases at the same time - related to the same offense. Even if the courts find the defendant innocent in a criminal trial, the deceased's family can still file a civil claim if they wish to pursue monetary compensation.

Who May File the Claim?

Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code details the laws pertaining to wrongful death claims. Surviving family members are free to bring a wrongful death claim; these include children, parents and the spouse.

A personal representative or the executor of the deceased's estate may also bring a claim if the family members choose not to, but he or she must wait three months before doing so. Family members can also request that no one files a wrongful death claim, and the court must respect this decision.

According to Texas laws, brothers and sisters of the deceased cannot bring a wrongful death claim.

Adult children, including those adopted by the deceased, may be able to bring a claim. Adopted children must provide legal proof of the adoption, and may not bring a similar claim against the death of a biological parent. Adoptive parents can also bring a claim in the event of the wrongful death of an adopted child.

At the Luke Dow Law Firm, we understand that no amount of money can compensate for the death of a family member, but a successful lawsuit can help prevent your family from falling into debt. Call us today at 512-518-4104 for a consultation with an Austin personal-injury attorney.

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