Who May Bring a Death Claim

Wrongful death claims are governed by the Texas Wrongful Death and Survival statute. The statute only allows recovery for a specific group of people: the surviving spouse, any surviving children, any surviving parents, and the deceased’s estate.

While these categories may seem simple, there are several issues associated for each. For example, a surviving spouse includes not only a spouse by formal marriage, but also a spouse by common law marriage. For children, a suit can be brought by natural and adopted children, but not by step-children. For parents, suit can be brought by natural and adoptive parents, but not by step-parents, foster parents, or others who raised the child without going through the formal adoptive process.

You may notice some significant omissions. Sadly, a sibling may not bring a wrongful death claim even though the loss of a sibling can be devastating. Similarly, grandparents are not listed in the statute and cannot bring wrongful death claims.

Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP maintains offices in Austin, Texas. However, our attorneys and lawyers represent clients throughout the state of Texas, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Forth Worth, El Paso, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Round Rock, Georgetown, Lockhart, Bastrop, Elgin, Manor, Brenham, Cedar Park, Burnet, Marble Falls, Temple and Killeen. By Brooks Schuelke

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