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What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Action?

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Houston, Texas wrongful death lawyer

Losing a loved one is an indescribable pain, especially when their death results from someone else’s careless actions. The agony of this loss cannot be erased, nor can it bring your loved one back. However, you could take legal steps to hold those responsible for their actions.

When tragedy strikes, and a spouse, parent, or child loses their life due to another’s negligence, you might have the option to pursue a survival action, a wrongful death claim, or even both. You will learn about these legal avenues in this article and explore their differences.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action against the responsible party who played a role in causing your loved one’s death due to negligence. In Texas, a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the deceased individual can initiate this claim.

To succeed in a wrongful death claim, you need to demonstrate in court that the defendant had a duty to prevent harm, failed to fulfill that duty, and this failure directly led to your loved one’s demise. You will need the help of a Houston, Texas wrongful death lawyer to prove these elements of negligence beyond a reasonable doubt. If these aspects are proven, you might be entitled to receive compensation. In this context, damages are directed towards the plaintiff and may encompass several aspects, such as:

  • Compensation for the income your deceased loved one contributed to your household.
  • Coverage of the medical expenses incurred by your loved one during their treatment.
  • Acknowledgment of the emotional distress you’ve experienced due to their loss.

What is a Survival Action?

Contrasting a wrongful death claim, a survival action takes a different legal trajectory. This type of claim centers around when your deceased family member survived the incident leading to their eventual passing. Survival actions are commonly applicable when the victim endures injuries, survives for a certain duration, and succumbs to those injuries.

The right to initiate a survival action isn’t limited to immediate family members; the deceased individual’s estate or heirs can also initiate it. The scope of compensation within a survival action encompasses:

  • Reimbursement for medical expenses accrued during the victim’s treatment.
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering the victim experienced during their final moments.
  • Recovery of wages that were lost between the accident and their eventual death.
  • Addressing any property damage incurred during the incident.
  • Covering funeral expenses incurred as a result of their passing.

When are Both Available?

Pursuing a wrongful death claim and a survival action might be viable in specific scenarios. Determining whether this option suits your case requires expertise, and seeking guidance from legal professionals experienced in wrongful death and survival action cases is essential.

The value of family holds a central place. Losing a family member is painful and could shatter the surviving members. Their ultimate goal is to offer a path toward closure while working diligently to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. If your loved one died in an accident in Houston, Texas, or due to someone else’s fault, find an experienced wrongful death lawyer ready to guide you through the legal process.

Don’t wait to act. Texas has time limits to pursue a wrongful death case.

Contact Baumgartner Law Firm for help with wrongful death litigation!

Contact our Houston personal injury lawyer for help with your loss.

Baumgartner Law Firm

6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069

(281) 587-1111