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The Statute of Limitations On a Texas Wrongful Death Claim

 Posted on February 09, 2024 in Wrongful Death

Death comes to everyone. It is a natural progression of life. However, when it comes to loved ones through thBlog Imagee negligence of another, death deserves compensation. A family who loses a loved one because of someone else’s reckless actions or behavior has the right to file a wrongful death claim for damages incurred by that person’s death. An attorney can discuss the situation with you and determine whether or not you have a case.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a time limit placed on a person to pursue a civil or criminal action. Concerning a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff has a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit against the defendant following a wrongful death taking place. The time allotted is determined by state law.

How Long Can I Wait To File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

The Texas statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim is two years. This means that a wrongful death claim must be brought within two years of when the death occurred. The statute describes it as “the day the cause of action accrues.” So if a loved one was in a car accident in April but dies in June, the timer for filing a claim starts in June.

There are very few exceptions to this rule that will allow an extension on the statute of limitations. The exceptions to the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims are:

  • The plaintiff is a minor (under the age of 18)

  • Negligence was discovered later

  • Unable to file a claim due to mental or physical incapacity

In the case of a minor plaintiff, the statute of limitations begins on their 18th birthday. As far as not knowing the death was due to another’s negligence, the statute of limitations begins when negligence is discovered. For those incapable of filing a claim due to mental or physical incapacity, once the plaintiff is competent again, the countdown timer will begin.

What Do I Need To File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Texas, only the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and parents can file a wrongful death claim. However, if none of the eligible family members bring a wrongful death lawsuit within 90 days of the death date, then a personal representative or executor of the deceased individual’s estate can file on their behalf.

The plaintiff will be required to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. This means proving that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person, and breached that duty, which ultimately resulted in their death. The plaintiff will also be required to show proof of damages incurred following the death of their loved one.

Contact a Fort Bend County, TX Personal Injury Attorney

We at The Hatton Law Firm PLLC believe that families deserve compensation for the death of a loved one due to a negligent party. It is not an option but a right to receive what is owed in the wake of such a tragic event. Our caring and experienced Katy, TX wrongful death lawyers are committed to getting you everything you deserve. Contact our office at 713-840-6344 for a free consultation where we can discuss your case.

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