What is a survival action, and how is it different from a wrongful death claim?
When someone suffers a personal injury due to the negligence of another, they’re allowed by law to seek reimbursement of for any damages (medical bills, pain and suffering, lose wages, etc.) related to the injury through a personal injury claim. When a person is killed due to a personal injury such as a car accident, work accident, etc., the victim’s family (beneficiaries) can bring a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages the family has suffered (e.g. loss of financial support). But what happens to the victim’s personal injury claim if they later die as a result of the injury?
At one time, once a personal injury victim died, their claim died with them. The victim’s estate had no right if any to file a survival action OR wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. Since that time, states have passed laws (e.g. Texas Wrongful Death Act; Texas Survival Statute) which allow a victim’s estate to pursue these types of claims.
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (CPRC Sec. 71.021), “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.” What this means is that when a person dies as the result of the negligent actions of another person, what might have originally been a personal injury claim (had the victim lived) survives to (and in favor of) the estate in the form of a wrongful death survival action. This essentially allows the estate to be awarded damages that the decedent could have recovered through a personal injury claim if he/she had not died.
The justification for this is to prevent the responsible party from escaping liability for the pain and suffering he/she caused, simply because the victim died as a result of the injury.
Recoverable damages for survival actions.
Under the provisions of the Texas Survival Statute, the victim’s estate is entitled to seek reimbursement for damages that the victim incurred from the very moment of injury until the time of death. This means the estate can collect damages for property damage, pain and suffering, lost earnings, etc. On the other hand, if the victim died immediately because of the accident, there may not be grounds for a survival claim. If you are unsure about whether or not your family has a valid claim, seek out the advice of a wrongful death lawyer in your area by way of a free consultation.
If you have lost a loved one because of the negligence of another and are considering a wrongful death lawsuit, call our office today at 1-877-405-4313.
Speak With a Wrongful Death Attorney in Dallas For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.