The death of a loved one due to the negligence of someone else is a situation that may allow you to seek compensation under the law. In some cases, you may have the right to sue the negligent party for wrongful death. However, there are many rules about filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
You must file your claim within a specific time. If you wait too long, then you lose the right to go to court. In addition, your case must meet certain criteria to prove a wrongful death and to prove the party you take to court is responsible. Finally, the law is specific about who can file such a case.
According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, you must have a very close legal relationship to the person who dies if you want to file a wrongful death claim. A close legal relationship means you are either the parent, child or spouse of the person. You may only file a case if you have one of these relationships. Being someone’s girlfriend or fiancé is not enough under the law to have the right to file a case.
It is also possible for the family to appoint a personal representative to file a wrongful death claim. This person can do so on behalf of the family or on his or her own if the family does not take action within three months of the death. However, the family has the final say on whether a lawsuit may go forth or not. If they refuse, the personal representative may not file a case.