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What are the Critical Details of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

— January 11, 2023

A civil lawsuit is brought to provide compensation to a grieving family for economic and non-economic losses. 

A wrongful death occurs when a neglectful act of another person directly results in loss of life.

In Texas, wrongful death may be defined as “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default that causes the death of a person”.

A wrongful death claim is a civil remedy that allows certain surviving family members to hold individuals, companies, or government agencies responsible for intentional or unintentional actions that cause death of a family member. 

A civil lawsuit is brought to provide compensation to a grieving family for economic and non-economic losses. 

If you and your family have suddenly lost a loved and cherished member, contact an injury lawyer to learn more about your rights and the steps you need to take in the future.

A personal injury action survives to and in favor of the heirs, legal representatives, and estate of the deceased person. The action also survives against the liable person and the person’s legal representatives.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The parties that have the sole right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas include:


The deceased person’s spouse typically has the first right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The surviving spouse generally is the one that brings a lawsuit for wrongful death.


Children of the deceased have as much right as a surviving spouse to file a wrongful death lawsuit.


If the deceased was not survived by a spouse or children, then parents can bring a wrongful death lawsuit.


If none of the individuals entitled to bring action have begun the action within three calendar months after the death of the injured individual, his or her executor or administrator can bring and prosecute action unless requested not to by all those individuals entitled to bring the action. The proceeds received in the form of damages still go to the deceased’s heirs.

Types Of Damages In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In general, a deceased victim’s family may be entitled to recover compensation for:

  1. Medical costs that the deceased victim incurred as a result of the injuries prior to death.
  2. Loss of the deceased victim’s expected income.
  3. Funeral and burial costs.
  4. Loss of inheritance as a result of death.
  5. Value of services that the deceased victim would have provided.

These damages are quantifiable and reimbursable. There is no cap on recovery of these damages.


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  1. Damages for surviving spouse’s lost companionship and protection.
  2. Damages for pain and suffering.
  3. Damages for loss of consortium.
  4. Damages for loss of care, guidance, and nurturing that the deceased would have provided to his or her family.
  5. Damages for minor children’s lost parental companionship, instruction and guidance.

These damages are difficult to calculate. In Texas, there is no cap on recovery of such damages unless the case is a medical malpractice claim.


These damages do not compensate for any losses. Exemplary damages, also known as “punitive damages,” may be available in a Texas wrongful death case if the death was the result of a “willful act or omission or gross negligence.” The purpose of exemplary damages is to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct by committing reckless actions through malice.

If you’re dealing with a wrongful death situation, it’s essential to contact a San Antonio wrongful death lawyer who can expertly handle a wrongful death claim to avoid causing additional pain and heartache to the surviving family. 

Call an experienced San Antonio wrongful death attorney for a free case evaluation right away.

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