What Is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Action?

Johnson, Zegen, Williams & Cannon, PLLC

Have you given any attention to what distinguishes wrongful death litigation from survival action cases? To establish the difference, you must first answer the question, “what is wrongful death?”
When someone passes away due to the carelessness or purposeful actions of another, wrongful death lawsuits are brought. These legal proceedings aim to make the offending person answerable for their conduct and pay damages to the victim’s family.

This blog post will discuss the definitions of wrongful death and survival actions under Texas law, who can file these types of claims, the damages recoverable for each kind of claim, and the statute of limitations for filing a claim.

By the end of this article, you ought to have a clearer knowledge of the distinctions between wrongful death and survival claims, so you know the advantages of pursuing a wrongful death versus survival action case.

Definitions of Wrongful Death and Survival Action

A wrongful death action is a civil case that can be filed in Texas by the surviving family members of a person who died as a consequence of another person’s carelessness or unlawful act.
Medical bills, burial fees, missed pay, and emotional anguish are some losses that can be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit.

A survival action is similar to a wrongful death action in that it seeks compensation for losses suffered by the deceased’s family. However, it is filed on behalf of the deceased’s estate rather than his or her surviving family members.

An at-fault car accident claim that resulted in death could be an example of either a wrongful death or a survival action.

Texas Law on Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

Cases concerning wrongful death and actions regarding survival are governed by Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code in Texas.

This chapter outlines who may bring these types of claims, the types of damages that may be recovered, and the statute of limitations for filing a claim.

What Is a Wrongful Death Action?

Per the laws of the state of Texas, family members of a person who passed away as a result of the carelessness or wrongful actions of a third party have the legal right to file a civil lawsuit against the third party.

A “wrongful death action” is the name of this particular kind of legal proceeding.

This kind of lawsuit is filed to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and compensate the decedent’s family for their losses, which can include medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, and emotional distress.

This form of claim tries to collect financial compensation for the damages that the dead person’s family endured as a result of the death of a family member, including medical expenditures, burial costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Who can sue for wrongful death in Texas?

In Texas, a wrongful death action can be brought by the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, and parents when the wrongful death elements are present.

Additionally, if the deceased had any dependent relatives they financially supported at the time of death, these relatives may also be able to file a claim.

Damages recoverable in a wrongful death claim

Damages for medical bills, burial costs, lost wages, pain, and suffering may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the decedent’s heirs. They may also be eligible to get money for their mental pain and loss of companionship.

Recoverable damages for wrongful death lawsuits have ranged from hundreds of thousands of dollars up to over $15.6 million in one case.

Statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Texas

In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a claim for wrongful death is two years following the date of the decedent’s death.

Any damages claim must be brought within this time frame, or the statute of limitations will bar them.

Additionally, if the deceased had any dependent relatives who he or she financially supported at the time of death, they may also have two years from the date of death to file a claim.

What Is a Survival Action?

A survival action is similar to a wrongful death action. It also seeks compensation for losses suffered by the deceased’s family.

However, the deceased’s estate is represented in this action rather than his or her surviving family members.

Who is eligible to bring a survival action in the state of Texas?

In Texas, the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate is the only person authorized to bring survival actions.

In addition, if the deceased supported any financially dependent family members at the time of their death, the surviving family members may also be able to file a claim.

Damages recoverable in a survival action

In Dallas, Texas, the average amount awarded for a successful survival action claim is approximately $1.5 million.

However, this amount may vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Also, the severity of the injuries suffered by the deceased before death plays a part.

Statute of limitations for survival action in Texas

In Texas, the statute is two years for these cases, the same as wrongful death. Therefore, any damages claim must be brought within this time frame, or the statute of limitations will bar them.

When You Should Contact an Attorney

It is imperative that you get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible if you are considering bringing a claim for wrongful death or survival after a fatal accident.

Expert attorneys can assist you in understanding the legal procedure of submitting a claim and your rights in the situation. They can also offer advice on how to pursue compensation for the damages you have sustained most effectively.

In addition, personal injury lawyers can provide you with information on the time limit for submitting a claim and will see to it that all necessary paperwork is submitted on time and properly.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Dallas, Texas

If you or a loved one has been affected by a wrongful death or survival action, contact Johnson, Zegen, Scott & Williams PLLC for a free consultation.

Our experienced attorneys are here to help you understand your rights and provide the legal advice and representation you need to pursue pain and suffering damages in a personal injury case.

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