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Texas Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims

Losing a loved one is an incredibly painful experience, and when that loss is caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the grief can be compounded by a sense of injustice. Amid this emotional turmoil, it’s crucial to remember that you have legal options available to seek this justice.

Texas law allows the family members of a deceased person to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party, but this right is not indefinite. The statute of limitations sets a strict deadline for taking legal action, and failing to meet this deadline can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation for your losses. A wrongful death lawyer in Texas can help you navigate the complexities of this claim.

How Long Do You Have to File a Texas Wrongful Death Claim?

The statute of limitations is a legal time limit for filing a lawsuit. Although they may seem restrictive, these laws are crucial because they ensure that legal claims are brought forward in a timely manner, while evidence is still available and memories are fresh.

In Texas, the wrongful death statute of limitations is two years from the date of the person’s death. This means that if you don’t file your claim within two years, you may lose your right to seek compensation through the legal system, regardless of the merits of your case.

It’s important to note that Texas also has a 10-year statute of repose for wrongful death claims. This is the ultimate deadline for filing your case, regardless of when you discovered the negligence or wrongdoing that led to your loved one’s death.

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

In certain circumstances, the statute of limitations may be delayed or paused, effectively extending the time you have to file a wrongful death claim. This is known as tolling the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations may be tolled if you want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased parent, but you were a minor child at the time of their death. In this case, your statute of limitations does not begin to run until you turn 18 years old, giving you two years from your 18th birthday to file a claim. However, you are not required to wait; another eligible party can pursue a wrongful death claim while you are still a minor.

If the negligence that caused your loved one’s death was not immediately apparent or was fraudulently concealed by the responsible party, the statute of limitations may not begin to run until you become aware of the negligence or fraud. Additionally, if you were mentally or physically incapacitated at the time of your loved one’s death, the statute of limitations may be tolled until you regain competency.

Speak to a Texas Wrongful Death Attorney as Soon as Possible

Given the strict time limits and the complexity of wrongful death cases, it’s essential to consult with a Texas wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can evaluate your case and determine the appropriate filing deadline, taking the necessary steps to initiate your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

A wrongful death attorney in Texas can also help you understand your rights, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, schedule a free legal consultation today to discuss your case and explore your options.