Wrongful death on the road can come from any direction. Accidents caused by intoxicated or distracted drivers, drowsy truckers or collisions involving motorcycles can all result in the need for a wrongful death case. 

Families often seek a wrongful death lawsuit for loved ones who have died as a result of negligent or unsafe conditions or behaviors. Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code designates who is eligible to file a suit and who can be held liable in what circumstances. 

Who can file a suit? 

Surviving spouses, children or parents can initiate a wrongful death case. They may all act, or some can take action on behalf of the others. Unfortunately, siblings are not eligible to file a suit under Texas state law. One or more of these parties must file the lawsuit within two years of the decedent’s death. However, unless the family requests explicitly that no legal action be taken, the decedent’s estate executor must prosecute within three calendar months of the death. 

Who is held liable? 

Businesses, public and private transportation companies and their employees are common examples of those held liable for wrongful death. Trucking accidents, for example, are a major cause of wrongful death. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, 96% of those who died as a result of collisions with a large truck occupied the passenger vehicle. Both the driver and the company that owns and manages the trucks could be liable if the injury that caused death was the result of neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or any kind of illegal activity.