Q: Who's considered a parent when there's a wrongful death case involving the loss of a child?
When a child dies due to someone’s misconduct or negligence in Texas, surviving members of his or her family may pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
While no amount of money can ever truly compensate a parent for the loss of a child, a favorable wrongful death settlement has helped numerous Texas families heal after a tragedy.
The Wrongful Death Act
Wrongful death claims in Texas are governed by the Texas Wrongful Death Act, which permits parents to file these lawsuits for damages resulting from the loss of their children.
To support a wrongful death claim, the parent of a deceased child must prove that a defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death. Furthermore, it's also necessary to prove the wrongful death has caused demonstrable harm to the child’s parent.
Unfortunately, stepparents, grandparents, and foster parents cannot bring forth a wrongful death action, even if they were the child’s sole guardian. Individuals who do have the right to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of their child include:
- Adoptive parents. A parent who loses a legally-adopted child may file a wrongful death lawsuit under Texas law.
- Divorced parents. A divorced parent can pursue a claim for the wrongful death of their child. If the divorced couple had joint legal custody of the child, one parent is typically given the right to file a claim.
- Unmarried parents. An unmarried parent can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased child, and the custodial parent will typically pursue the wrongful death lawsuit.
You Need an Attorney
Under Texas law, surviving family members may be entitled to recover compensation for final medical bills, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.
If you’ve lost a child in a tragic accident, you need an experienced wrongful death attorney to help secure the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.