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What are the elements of a wrongful death claim?

The surviving loved ones of a victim of a medical malpractice mistake may be scared, confused and unsure of what to do after losing their relative to a preventable error. Although medical malpractice may be the cause of the victim's demise, their death may offer their survivors an option for seeking compensation and the recovery of their damages: a wrongful death claim.

A wrongful death claim in Texas can arise from different events, such as medical mistakes, car accidents and even criminal activity can serve as the bases for these civil claims. In order for a wrongful death claim to become relevant, a victim must lose their life due to the actions or omissions of another party.

Next, it is generally required that there be survivors who have become financially disadvantaged by the death. For example, if a parent is killed due to a medication error and their spouse and children are left with the victim's medical bills, funeral costs and no income because the victim was the breadwinner for the family, the survivors may have a claim for financial losses through their wrongful death claim.

Finally, in order for a wrongful death claim to be filed, a party must be appointed the executor or administrator of the deceased victim's estate. That party may ultimately be responsible for suing for the recovery of the surviving family member's losses and the estate may be the entity that recovers the damages through the wrongful death action because of the fatal medical mistake.

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