Everything You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Claims


Hiring an attorney can help relieve the stress of legal complications after losing a loved one.


At Least Two People Are Dead Hours Apart After Fatal Auto Accidents

Thursday night, on May 25, 2023, a woman was hit and killed by a vehicle when crossing the street on the 1600 block of Pleasanton Road on the South Side of San Antonio, according to a San Antonio Express-News report. The driver stopped to render aid and called emergency services, and there are no charges against him at this time. Then, Friday morning at around 6:30 a.m., a fatal accident shut down four lanes of I-10 on the Far East Side of San Antonio. No further information was provided for this accident, except that there was at least one fatality. 

Did You Know?

Unintentional injury was the fourth leading cause of death in 2020, totaling an estimated 200,995 deaths, 6% of all deaths that year.


Wrongful Death Claims in Texas

A wrongful death claim can be filed for the death of an individual due to the negligent actions of another individual (usually cases like auto accident accidental deaths commonly fall under this category). There are three essential elements that must be proven in a Texas wrongful death claim:

  1. Breach of Duty – Everyone has a reasonable duty to act in a way that would not cause another person harm. If it can be proven that this duty was breached (i.e., drunk driving, reckless driving, distracted driving), then this element is satisfied.
  2. Negligence – Once it has been proven that the defendant breached their reasonable duty, then negligence must be proven. Specifically, it must be shown that the breach of duty directly caused the accidental death.
  3. List of Damages – After determining fault and cause, it is then required to show how the accidental death impacted the surviving family for monetary compensation, commonly referred to as damages. 

Types of Damages

Like a personal injury claim, there are many kinds of damages a surviving family member can sue for, including:

  • Loss of Companionship
  • Loss of Income
  • Medical Bills
  • Other Hospital Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Burial and Funeral Costs

Who Can Sue on Behalf of the Deceased?

In every state, there are limitations on who may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. In Texas, the immediate family members of the deceased (excluding siblings) may file a wrongful death claim. This includes:

  • Legal Parents of the Deceased – this excludes biological parents of children who were adopted and legally recognized as someone else’s child.
  • Legal, Adult Children of the Deceased – a child who was adopted may not file a claim for their biological parent. Additionally, they must be at least 18 to file a claim.
  • The Spouse – As with other members of the family, the spouse has two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim.

Do I Need an Attorney to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

There is no requirement to hire legal representation to file a wrongful death claim in Texas. However, when it comes to wrongful death claims, it is highly recommended that an individual seek legal counsel. The time after tragic, unexpected, and early loss is emotionally taxing and can make the legal process incredibly difficult on your own.

Carabin Shaw Wrongful Death Attorneys

If you have lost a loved one in an accident in Texas, contact Carabin Shaw today at 800-862-1260 to receive your free case evaluation. Let us help you get the full legal compensation you deserve and take the complications of the legal process off your shoulders during this trying time at Carabin Shaw. We look forward to serving you.


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