Wrongful Death:

Texas

 CHAPTER 71. WRONGFUL DEATH

 

Sec. 71.002. CAUSE OF ACTION. (a) An action for actual damages

arising from an injury that causes an individual's death may be

brought if liability exists under this section.

(b) A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that

causes an individual's death if the injury was caused by the

person's or his agent's or servant's wrongful act, neglect,

carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.

(c) A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that

causes an individual's death if:

(1) the person is a proprietor, owner, charterer, or hirer of an

industrial or public utility plant or of a railroad, street

railway, steamboat, stagecoach, or other vehicle for the

transportation of goods or passengers; and

(2) the injury was caused by the person's or his agent's or

servant's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or

default.

(d) A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that

causes an individual's death if:

(1) the person is a receiver, trustee, or other person in charge

of or in control of a railroad, street railway, steamboat,

stagecoach, or other vehicle for the transportation of goods or

passengers, of an industrial or public utility plant, or of other

machinery; and

(2) the injury was caused by:

(A) the person's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness,

unskillfulness, or default;

(B) the person's servant's or agent's wrongful act, neglect,

carelessness, unfitness, unskillfulness, or default; or

(C) a bad or unsafe condition of the railroad, street railway,

or other machinery under the person's control or operation.

(e) A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that

causes an individual's death if:

(1) the person is a receiver, trustee, or other person in charge

of or in control of a railroad, street railway, steamboat,

stagecoach, or other vehicle for the transportation of goods or

passengers, of an industrial or public utility plant, or of other

machinery; and

(2) the action could have been brought against the owner of the

railroad, street railway, or other machinery if he had been

acting as operator.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.003. APPLICATION; CERTAIN CONDUCT EXCEPTED. (a) This

subchapter applies only if the individual injured would have been

entitled to bring an action for the injury if the individual had

lived or had been born alive.

(b) This subchapter applies whether the injury occurs inside or

outside this state.

(c) This subchapter does not apply to a claim for the death of

an individual who is an unborn child that is brought against:

(1) the mother of the unborn child;

(2) a physician or other licensed health care provider, if the

death is the intended result of a lawful medical procedure

performed by the physician or health care provider with the

requisite consent;

(3) a person who dispenses or administers a drug in accordance

with law, if the death is the result of the dispensation or

administration of the drug; or

(4) a physician or other health care provider licensed in this

state, if the death directly or indirectly is caused by,

associated with, arises out of, or relates to a lawful medical or

health care practice or procedure of the physician or the health

care provider.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 822, Sec. 1.02, eff. Sept.

1, 2003.

Sec. 71.004. BENEFITTING FROM AND BRINGING ACTION. (a) An

action to recover damages as provided by this subchapter is for

the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and

parents of the deceased.

(b) The surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased

may bring the action or one or more of those individuals may

bring the action for the benefit of all.

(c) If none of the individuals entitled to bring an action have

begun the action within three calendar months after the death of

the injured individual, his executor or administrator shall bring

and prosecute the action unless requested not to by all those

individuals.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

 

Sec. 71.008. DEATH OF DEFENDANT. (a) If a defendant dies while

an action under this subchapter is pending or if the individual

against whom the action may have been instituted dies before the

action is begun, the executor or administrator of the estate may

be made a defendant, and the action may be prosecuted as though

the defendant or individual were alive.

(b) A judgment in favor of the plaintiff shall be paid in due

course of administration.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.009. EXEMPLARY DAMAGES. When the death is caused by the

wilful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant,

exemplary as well as actual damages may be recovered.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.010. AWARD AND APPORTIONMENT OF DAMAGES. (a) The jury

may award damages in an amount proportionate to the injury

resulting from the death.

(b) The damages awarded shall be divided, in shares as found by

the jury in its verdict, among the individuals who are entitled

to recover and who are alive at that time.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

 

Sec. 71.021. SURVIVAL OF CAUSE OF ACTION. (a) A cause of

action for personal injury to the health, reputation, or person

of an injured person does not abate because of the death of the

injured person or because of the death of a person liable for the

injury.

(b) A personal injury action survives to and in favor of the

heirs, legal representatives, and estate of the injured person.

The action survives against the liable person and the person's

legal representatives.

(c) The suit may be instituted and prosecuted as if the liable

person were alive.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

 

 

 

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