A person might file a personal injury claim when she or he suffered an injury because of the negligence of another person. The claim seeks damages for all of the losses that the victim sustained. However, if the person succumbs to his or her injuries before resolving the claim, things can become confusing. Does it continue as personal injury? Does the insurer or court throw it out? Does it become another type of claim?
In fact, the personal representative of the deceased may pursue a survival action in place of the personal injury claim. The personal representative may also pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased’s beneficiaries.
Under Texas law, the estate of the deceased can begin a survival action if the deceased was pursuing a personal injury claim but died before its resolution. Survival actions allow the personal injury lawsuit to continue even after the plaintiff’s death.
The lawsuit will cover the same types of damages sought in the personal injury claim. That means that the survival action will claim damages like medical expenses that the person incurred before death, lost income, etc.
The personal representative brings the survival action on behalf of the estate, so damages go to the estate. The damages then distribute to beneficiaries based on the decedent’s will or based on Texas law if there is no will.
Wrongful Death Action
The survivors of the deceased can also file a wrongful death action. The wrongful death action may include the spouse of the deceased, children and parents. A wrongful death claim allows the survivors to recover damages for all of their losses as a result of the death.
A wrongful death action does not claim losses that the deceased suffered. Below are some of the damages that a wrongful death action might recover.
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost financial support of the deceased
- Lost benefits
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of inheritance
Set Up a Consultation with Julie Johnson Law
Both survival claims and wrongful death actions are filed when the person has passed on, but the types of damages included as well as the persons who may file these claims are different. Speak to a personal injury lawyer about the kind of claim you can file for compensation after the loss of a loved one and the damages the claim(s) might recover.
If you’re in the Dallas area and need legal help, call 214-290-8001 to speak with attorney Julie Johnson. You may also fill out our online contact form to request a free initial evaluation of your case.