In the days and weeks after a death in the family, it is normal to be overwhelmed with mourning, final arrangements, and notifying family members. Probably the last thing on your mind is getting an attorney and filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. However, as time goes on, it is also normal for surviving family members to have increasing questions about:
- What happened to cause the death
- Whether the accident should have been prevented
- Whether negligence contributed to its cause
As more information about the accident and the cause of death is collected, sadness and grief may be compounded by the realization that a loved one’s death should have never happened. This is the point when many families make the decision to file a wrongful death claim. However, it’s important to understand that surviving family members in Texas only have a limited amount of time to do so.
Surviving Family Members Have a Limited Amount of Time to File Wrongful Death Claims
In most situations, the deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas is two years from the time of the loved one's death. Families that try to file a case after this statute of limitations has run out will be barred from doing so. However, if new information and evidence about fault in a loved one’s death comes to light years later, families might still be able to file a case. In these kinds of cases, families have two years from the date of the discovery of the new information to file their cases. Other exceptions to the two-year rule might include some cases regarding minors or those with special needs.
Take Action as Soon as Possible After the Death of a Family Member
Ultimately, as soon as you believe someone is at fault for your loved one's death, you should contact an attorney in your state who has experience with wrongful death cases. These cases are often highly complex, and preserving evidence is very important. It is often easier to collect accurate evidence, such as photos and witness statements, immediately after the accident and with the help of an attorney. Speaking with an attorney as soon as possible helps you protect your rights, understand what needs to be done, and stay aware of how time limits will apply in your case. If you wait until the time limits are about to run out, it may be impossible to collect important evidence or allow enough time for even an experienced attorney to prepare a strong case.
Learning of your loved one's death is difficult enough, but having reason to believe the death was caused by someone else's negligence is unbearable. We urge families to act as soon as they can after an accident occurs. If you have questions about time limits in a wrongful death case, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced attorneys today at 1-877-724-7800.