Can You Sue Someone Who Is Dead in Texas?

Were you or a loved one recently injured in a negligence-based accident? If you were, a personal injury lawyer can explain how you can sue someone who is dead in Texas. In actuality, you cannot sue a deceased person, but you can sue their estate. The process can be more complex than a traditional personal injury case.

You do not have to navigate this complicated process on your own. A lawyer in your area can help you understand each step of your financial recovery journey. Most will start by evaluating your case and listening to your version of events. They can investigate your accident and the decedent’s estate. Your lawyer will also help you build a solid case and fight for the best possible monetary outcome.

How Is Suing a Deceased Person’s Estate Different from Suing a Living Person?

When someone causes an accident and you are injured, you generally deal with the at-fault party and their insurance company. If they were uninsured, you may have to seek damages from them personally.

If the person responsible for your accident and injuries passed away before your case was resolved, the process can be much more complex. If they were uninsured and you seek damages from their estate, it can be challenging.

A personal injury lawyer can help you understand this daunting process. They can also make sure you can contact the appropriate representatives after the defendant’s demise.

How do I Identify and Contact the Appropriate Party?

If you already had a lawsuit in progress prior to the defendant’s demise, the representative of their estate is required to notify you. The notice you receive will specify additional notification and filing deadlines that apply to your case.

If your case was not already in progress, you may need a personal injury attorney to help you contact the appropriate parties. This can be difficult on your own. Your attorney will also investigate the probate process to ensure your case is filed well within the allotted time. They will also explain the statute of limitations that typically governs personal injury cases.

How Much Time do I Have to File My Lawsuit?

Whether you seek financial recovery from the at-fault party directly or from their estate, you are still required to comply with the statute of limitations in addition to other filing deadlines.

According to Texas law, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file your personal injury lawsuit. Texas law also generally gives you two years from the date of the incident that caused a loved one’s demise to file your wrongful death lawsuit.

Your case is more likely to be settled outside of court, but your lawyer may file your lawsuit anyway. Doing so protects you from losing your right to take your case to court if a settlement cannot be reached.

How Else Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

Suing an estate can be a daunting and involved process. You do not have to manage the process on your own while simultaneously coping with your physical recovery. The lawyer who represents you can take the legal complexities and hard work off your plate. They will:

  • Investigate your accident
  • Compile compelling evidence
  • Investigate the probate process
  • Draft and file your case
  • Handle all case-related communication
  • Locate and interview witnesses

Your lawyer will also handle the negotiation process with the decedent’s insurance. If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will represent you in court.

What Damages Can I Obtain by Suing the Deceased Person’s Estate?

You can recover the same damages from the decedent’s estate that you would otherwise recover. Your lawyer can help you pursue financial recovery for the following economic and non-economic damages:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Current and future loss of income
  • Treatment-related travel expenses
  • Property damage or total loss
  • Physical disability or disfigurement
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional distress

If your family lost a loved one due to the deceased party’s negligence, you could also recover various wrongful death damages. Your lawyer will explain the damages you are entitled to and the family members who can file a wrongful death action.

Contact Our Case Evaluation Team

Since 2002, our personal injury law firm has helped injured clients recover damages from negligent parties. If you or someone you love was involved in a negligence-based accident with a now-deceased party, we can help you sue the dead person’s estate in Texas.

Learn more about your financial recovery options and how hard our personal injury lawyer will fight for you. Contact our case evaluation team at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® today.