If your loved one sustained serious injuries and passed away after a car crash, work incident, or medical malpractice, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit. Essentially, you have to show that your loved one would have had a viable personal injury case against a negligent party had they survived. Not just any family member can file a lawsuit though. A San Angelo, Texas wrongful death lawyer from our firm can tell you more about the next steps.

Who Can File the Wrongful Death Suit?

A family member of the deceased can file a wrongful death suit, but certain relatives have priority. The following can make a claim:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • The children of the deceased
  • The parents of the deceased

Priority goes in that order. So if the decedent has a spouse, they would have the right to sue before the children or parents would. If the decedent has no spouse or children, then the parents would be able to sue.

There is also one more person who can file a wrongful death suit in Texas. The personal representative of the decedent, also referred to as the executor. If none of the above family members file a suit within three months of their loved one’s death, the executor can take legal action.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Suit?

A wrongful death suit has the same statute of limitations that a personal injury lawsuit does. It must be filed within two years of the death of your loved one. If you try to pursue a case after this point, it is likely to be thrown out of court no matter how compelling it is.

How Long Will It Take to Win Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit?

It is difficult to say how long a wrongful death suit will take. We can negotiate with insurers and other parties to get you a fair compensation offer, but that can take time. There is also the possibility of going to trial, which can make this process take longer. Fortunately, many cases like this do end up settling. We would say that you can expect to spend somewhere from a few months to a bit over a year pursuing damages.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

You are not required to hire a lawyer, but an attorney can do a lot to help you with a wrongful death case. We can:

  • Handle all communications on your behalf
  • Connect you with expert witnesses who can enhance your case
  • Calculate fair compensation
  • Remind you about important dates and deadlines
  • Help you hold all liable parties accountable

Schedule a Free Case Consultation

If you want to learn more about your legal options, contact the Mathis Law Firm. We can schedule a free case consultation and tell you more about what our attorneys can do to assist you in this difficult time.