What is a Survival Action in Texas Wrongful Death Cases?
- January 8, 2015
- Wrongful Death
Litigation for a wrongful death can arise from a variety of different causes. Depending on the cause of death and the circumstances surrounding the case, there is a range of different legal theories that may apply. One type of legal action that a wrongful death attorney may attach to the claim is that of a survival action. While this type of case is typically in connection with a wrongful death claim, there are situations where it can stand on its own.
What is the Purpose of a Wrongful Death Claim?
To explain the difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action, it is necessary to provide a brief description of the purpose of a wrongful death claim. In essence, a wrongful death claim is intended to compensate the surviving family members or beneficiaries of an individual that lost their life as the result of another party’s negligence or intent. Compensation can be awarded for the lost earning capacity of the deceased, the mental anguish of the family and the loss of support and comfort. Basically, the claimant is trying to recover compensation for what they have lost as the result of the death.
The Basics of a Survival Action in Texas
With a case that involves a survival action, the claimant is suing on behalf of the decedent. The idea is that if a person is injured in some way, the party that is responsible should not be let off the hook simply because the person dies. The litigation works much in the same way that it would if the person were still living, with the surviving heirs being the individuals filing the case against the defendant. The Texas state law regarding survival actions reads as follows:
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.
Compensation in a Survival Action
The compensation in a survival action can include all of the same types of compensation that the deceased would have received had they lived to file the claim. Compensation can be awarded to cover any financial losses that were suffered like medical expenses and lost wages and it can also cover non-economic damages that the decedent may have suffered like pain and suffering or mental anguish.
Relationship Between Survival Action and Wrongful Death Claims
As mentioned above, a survival action will often be in connection with a wrongful death claim. However, there are situations where a survival action has no connection to a wrongful death. As an example, if a person where to suffer an injury in a car accident and have a legitimate injury claim and then the individual were to die of a cause unrelated to the accident, the family of the deceased could possibly bring a survival action in regard to the car accident injuries.
When a person dies suddenly and as the result of another person’s actions, it can be difficult for the surviving family members to make sense of the situation. This can make it difficult for them to consider their rights to compensation and for them to understand if compensation is even due. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to consult with a Dallas wrongful death lawyer to make sure that you understand and protect your rights.