If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim, you should know that there are many different ways families can recover on behalf of a lost loved one. A wrongful death action will allow you and your relatives to sue for monetary damages caused by the loss, as well as personal pain and suffering--and is a good way to hold the person at fault accountable for causing untimely death.
However, you could also be eligible to file a survival action for the injury your loved one sustained. If your loved one could have filed a personal injury claim if he had lived, a survival action allows family members to file that claim on his behalf. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible to recover under both a wrongful death claim and a survivor action.
Here are a few more things families should know about survivor actions in Texas:
- Types of recovery. Survival actions only allow a family to recover costs of injury to the deceased. This restricts damages to physical suffering, mental anguish, and medical expenses incurred before death. A survival action does not allow families to recover the decedent’s future earnings. There is also no recovery for a decedent’s conscious pain and suffering if the decedent was unconscious or was killed instantly.
- Time limit. The time limit, or statute of limitations, to bring a survival action claim are generally the same as the time period for a personal injury suit. In some cases, the limitations period can be delayed for up to one year after the date of death if no representative for the estate has been appointed.
- Representatives. Only certain relatives are eligible to bring survival action. If the deceased named an executor of his estate in his will, the executor will be considered the lawful representative of the estate. Only one representative needs to be named in the suit, as the damages will be awarded to the estate, rather than a single person.
You Should Not Wait to File a Survival Claim!
You and your family are understandably overwhelmed at this time, and it can be difficult to imagine taking on a court case. You should know that evidence in your case disappears with each passing day, making it less and less likely that you will be able to recover in your case.
Once the statute of limitations has expired in a wrongful death or a survival action, you and your family will be permanently prevented from taking legal action. That is why it is vital that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to perform a thorough investigation into the death of your loved one. Call Wayne Wright LLP today at 800-237-3334 to have us explain your rights.