Wrongful Death Survival Action
Our Houston lawyers have dealt with many wrongful death survival actions. While it may seem like a misnomer, a survival action is actually a claim brought on behalf of a person that has been the victim of a wrongful death. That is, it is a claim by the wrongful death victim for damages which the decedent could have recovered had he or she lived. Generally, accidental death lawsuit damages include:
- Medical expenses: Medical expenses in a wrongful death survival action are those incurred in treating the injuries that caused the death of the victim. As they are an expense and liability of the estate of the deceased, they can be recovered in a wrongful death suit on behalf of the estate.
- Funeral expenses: Like medical expenses, the cost of the funeral can be recovered by the estate of the deceased in a wrongful death survival action.
- Property damage: The most common property damages in a wrongful death survival action involve damages to the truck or car of the victim. If the deceased owned the car or truck, the damages for the loss of the vehicle is recoverable by the estate.
- Physical pain and suffering: While the above items of damages may be relatively minor depending upon the case, physical pain and suffering can be significant. This type of injury occurs when a person sustains a fatal injury buy remains conscious and experiences severe pain and suffering up until the time of death. The jury in this type of situation is entitled to award money damages for “conscious pain and suffering” inflicted upon the deceased up to the time of death.
- Mental anguish: Like pain and suffering, the mental anguish element of damages in a wrongful death survival action can be present when the injury victim sustains a fatal injury but remains conscious and aware before dying – this is most often present when there is evidence that the victim recognized that death was imminent.
It needs to be understood that a wrongful death survival claim is just one part of the claims that can be brought when a loved one has been killed in Houston or any other location in Texas. This type of claim is in addition to any wrongful death claim brought on behalf of any surviving children, spouse or parents. Our car accident lawyers have brought survival actions when there were no surviving spouse, parents or children. In these cases, the other heirs inherit the award of damages.