The loss of a loved one is always a traumatic event, and even more so when that life is taken due to the negligence of another person. Although no amount of compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, having a Houston auto accident attorney can help you find justice and relief.
Chances are you may have immediate expenses when dealing with the loss of your loved one and compensation can help you and your family find some relief. However, you might be wondering how the process works and what the differences are between wrongful death and survival action claims.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is filed when a person is killed due to someone else’s negligence, misconduct, or wrongdoing. This claim is filed on behalf of the individual’s family and is used as a way to help them receive compensation for the decedent’s wrongful death.
Compensation awarded includes both economic and non-economic damages. Some examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of support from the decedent’s income
- Medical expenses
- A loss in quality of life
- Conditions that develop following the incident like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
What Is a Survival Action?
While a wrongful death claim is filed on behalf of certain surviving family members, a survival action, however, is filed on behalf of the person now deceased. The decedent’s representative will file for a survival action in order to receive economic and non-economic compensation that would cover damages that include pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills prior to their death, among other forms of financial relief.
Essentially, a survival action is used to compensate for the damages that the deceased would have received if they had survived the incident, such as medical expenses.
The compensation for these damages is then transferred to their estate versus being given directly to the family members. The people named in the decedent’s will then receive the compensation.
Who Can File?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, a claim can be filed either by the decedent’s representative or certain family members. In the state of Texas, a wrongful death claim can only be brought up by the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents.
A survival action, however, can only be filed by the deceased’s executor. An executor is a person who manages the estate and will of the deceased to ensure everything is properly carried out.
Which Claim Should I File?
It can be difficult to decide on which type of claim to file, so having a personal injury attorney by your side is highly recommended. The damages that can be recovered from either claim can vary vastly, despite some of their similarities.
When considering the type of claim to make, consider the following factors:
- The amount of pain and suffering the victim experienced before their death
- If they were in the hospital prior to death; the total duration
- The severity of their injuries
- The emotional toll the death took on the decedent’s family
A survival action is often recommended if the deceased suffered severly before their death, and if they had major medical expenses. However, consulting with an attorney can help you determine the best route to take for seeking compensation.
Get Compensation for the Loss of a Loved One With Help From Lapeze & Johns
The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event that can cause both emotional and financial burden. Although compensation can never undo your loss, it can help families find some relief.
Lapeze & Johns has a team of experienced attorneys that can help with either wrongful death or survival action cases.