Recently, a bicyclist was struck by a car near the intersection of Ben White Boulevard and Interstate Highway 35, sustaining “critical, life-threatening injuries” that later caused his passing in a nearby hospital. While law enforcement did not disclose details of the accident, implying that no criminal charges are pending for the driver, the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit may still be on the proverbial table. A civil wrongful death suit will not, obviously, bring back a lost loved one, but it can help provide some financial stability while you and your family try to get back on your feet if you experience this type of tragic event.
Not every death is wrongful, even if it occurs in an accident. Sometimes they simply happen, unfair as it may seem. However, if you believe that your loved one’s death occurred due to someone else’s careless or negligent conduct, filing a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court can be a way to try and at least get some closure. Texas law holds that a person can be found liable for someone’s passing, and the damages incurred from it if the death happened due to that person’s (or their agent’s) “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.”
Be advised that only certain members of the decedent’s family, or the personal representative of their estate in some situations, may file a wrongful death suit in Texas. Generally, spouses, parents, and children by blood or completed adoption are the only survivors who are able to file - others like siblings or cousins are considered, rightly or wrongly, to have too remote a relationship to the deceased to be affected enough to warrant a filing....