Requirements to File a Wrongful Death Case in Murphy
After losing a loved due to another person’s negligence or intentional acts, knowing what to do next amidst grief can be challenging. In some cases, filing a civil claim is the best option to meet your families need after a sudden death.
However, there are certain legal requirements to file a wrongful death case in Murphy. An experienced attorney in the area could review your case during a free consultation to determine if you have grounds for civil action.
Grounds for Filing a Wrongful Passing Claim
Under state law, a person may file an unjust death claim if their loved one passed away due to injuries caused by the negligent conduct of another person. The most common incidents that could result in someone’s premature death include:
- Industrial accidents
- Worksite injuries
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Defective products
- Assault and battery
- Bicycle and pedestrian crashes
- Medical malpractice
Before an attorney in the area may take on a wrongful death claim, they will look for two legal requirements to be present in the claimant’s case: negligence and damages. In other words, another person’s reckless conduct must have directly caused the individual’s sudden passing which resulted in the family suffering losses, such as paying for emergency medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and dealing with loss of income.
For example, if someone passes away due to unsafe conditions on the worksite, their family could have grounds for civil action. Conversely, if the individual died at work because they were intoxicated or mishandled heavy equipment, their family may not be entitled to wrongful death damages.
Who Can File a Wrongful Passing Claim?
Some states require designated appointees to file negligent death claims instead of family members, but Texas is not among them. Surviving spouses, parents, and children can file wrongful passing claims in Murphy and the rest of the state, including legally adopted children. Adoptive parents may file as well if their legally adopted children passed away due to negligence or intentional tort reasons. However, it is not possible for surviving siblings to file these claims, including half-siblings, step siblings, and adopted siblings.
Both surviving family members and personal estate representatives can file direct civil claims regarding the passing of loved ones. However, if the case is criminal in nature, the prosecuting attorney’s office must file the criminal charge while the family makes its civil case.
Notably, it is vital that the family of the deceased act fast when it comes to filing a claim. The state only allows the appropriate family members or appointees to file wrongful death suits within two years of the loved one’s death, as per Tex. Civ. Practice and Rem. Code, Section 16.003.
Call a Murphy Attorney to Discuss Wrongful Death Claim Requirements
It is important to know whether or not your case meets the requirements to file a wrongful death claim in Murphy. Therefore, you should contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated associates. We are here to help you during this difficult time and determine the best course of action for your unique circumstances.
While damages cannot make up for the loved one’s death, it can be a comfort to know those responsible have been held accountable. Reach out now to learn more about what an attorney could do for you.