Losing a loved one suddenly is heartbreaking. There’s nothing that anyone can do that will ever bring them back or make this situation right.
Although that’s the case, family members of someone who was killed in a collision may be able to collect compensation to help them recover their financial losses. Keep in mind, though, that not all family members are eligible to file a claim.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Texas?
Generally speaking, there are only a few people in a family who are allowed to file a wrongful death claim in court following their loved one’s death. These people include the deceased’s:
- Representative of the estate
These individuals are the most likely to have suffered financial losses as a result of the person’s death, so they are able to bring a case. They are able to seek compensation for losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of financial support
- Pain and suffering that the deceased went through
- Mental anguish
Punitive damages might also be awarded if the death was caused by someone who committed gross negligence.
What about a person’s partner, such as a boyfriend or girlfriend?
Normally, these individuals are not able to file a wrongful death claim in court. As an unmarried partner, it is unlikely that a court would accept them as a party legally able to collect. That being said, there may be exceptions to that rule, so it’s important to have them speak with the attorney.
Normally, the direct family members bring a case, and it would then be up to them to compensate the partner of the deceased. If the estate recovers compensation and the unmarried partner is listed as a beneficiary, then they may receive compensation in that manner as well.
Making a wrongful death claim is sometimes complicated, but if you have the right to do so, it’s important to start that case as soon as possible. There are time limits to making a claim, so allowing your attorney enough time to collect information and work on your behalf is important.