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Who can bring a wrongful death claim in Texas?

When a loved one dies, the lives of the deceased's survivors can be forever changed. Not only is there the emotional loss to contend with, but there are typically financial losses as well. These losses may be especially acute when the loved one's death was caused by the negligence of another party. When that happens, it may be possible to pursue a wrongful death claim. However, it is important to understand who has standing to commence such an action.

Under Texas law, only a surviving spouse, a child, and the parents of a wrongful death victim can benefit from the compensation awarded through a wrongful death claim. However, a surviving spouse, a child, or a parent of the wrongful death victim can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of all.

In addition, if three calendar months have passed since the victim's death and none of the aforementioned parties have brought a wrongful death suit, the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate can commence such an action. However, this is not permissible if the surviving spouse, a child, and the parents have all requested that such action not be taken.

A wrongful death claim can be based on a variety of situations. For example, if a person dies due to a car accident caused by a negligent driver, an act of medical malpractice, or an act of violence, then pursuing a wrongful death claim may be an option worth looking into. However, not just anyone has standing to file such an action. It is important to understand who can pursue a wrongful death claim to ensure that the filing is lawful and can proceed accordingly.

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