Can a Minor File a Texas Wrongful Death Claim?
The sad truth is that there are instances in which children lose their only surviving parent or both parents in a tragic event. In Texas, that minor is still able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for their parents’ death.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
When an individual loses a loved one in an accident, they are legally allowed to seek financial compensation for their loss. One option is to file a wrongful death claim.
Something to remember about wrongful death claims is that the plaintiff is not suing for the harm caused to their loved one. Instead, they are actually seeking compensation for harm that was caused to them as a result of the loss of their loved one.
When a wrongful death claim is filed, the plaintiff will normally seek damages for:
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of love and emotional support
- Loss of financial support
How Does a Minor File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?
Oftentimes, a family member of the minor can be appointed by the court to be the guardian of that minor. Upon being appointed, that guardian is tasked with taking care of the minor and given the power to bring a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the death of the minor’s parents on the minor’s behalf.
Additionally, lawsuits can be filed by a decedent’s estate or by the administrator of the decedent’s estate with the damages be provided to the child.
What Other Lawsuits Can Be Filed Following the Death of a Parent?
In addition to wrongful death, a child may be entitled to damages awarded as part of a survivor action.
Essentially, a survivor action asserts that:
- The deceased suffered pain and suffering prior to their death due to the defendant’s negligence.
- Had the deceased victim survived the incident that resulted in his or her death, he or she would be able to pursue legal action in pursuit of compensation for that pain and suffering.
- The defendant should not be able to avoid liability for pain and suffering just because the victim of their negligence died.
- Because the pain and suffering damages cannot be recovered by the deceased victim, the damages should be paid to the victim’s estate.
Similar to a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivor action would be brought by a legal guardian of the minor or someone appointed to oversee the deceased’s estate.
How Do I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit on Behalf of a Child?
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a child who has lost their only parent or both parents can seem confusing, but with the help of an experienced attorney the process becomes much easier.
Thomas J. Henry has been handling wrongful death lawsuits for more than 25 years and has experience representing children in the courtroom. If you have any questions concerning the steps necessary to file such a claim, contact our offices immediately. Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends.