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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

What Is the Texas Survival Statute? | Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys

The Texas survival statute is a legal provision that allows the estate of a deceased person to file a personal injury lawsuit that the victim could have filed themselves before they died.

This means that if the deceased person suffered an injury caused by someone else's wrongful act and did not sue before they died, the surviving family members can file a legal action on behalf of the estate.

Generally, the purpose of the survival statute is to ensure that any injury claims that the departed individual had before death are not lost.

The estate's legal representative may file a lawsuit under the Texas survival statute act, which is a separate and distinct cause of action from wrongful death claims.

The Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Statute

The Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Statute

Losing a loved one is never easy, and dealing with the aftermath can often be overwhelming.

Not only are family members dealing with the emotional trauma of their loved one's death, but they may also be facing significant financial losses due to towering medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses related to their loved one's passing.

The surviving spouse or children of the deceased individual can recover compensation through a wrongful death claim or a survival statute act (sometimes both). While these two legal options are similar in some ways, they are also different.

  1. Wrongful Death Claim

The wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action taken by the surviving family members of the deceased. It is usually done to recover reimbursement for the losses they have endured due to their loved one's death.

Generally, the whole purpose of a wrongful death action is to compensate surviving family members for the financial and emotional damages they have sustained.

In a Texas wrongful death act, the remaining family members must prove that the departure of their loved one was due to the wrongful act or gross negligence of another party.

Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed against individuals, companies, or other entities that may have contributed to the individual's passing.

On top of that, Texas wrongful death actions can help immediate relatives recover compensation for various damages, including medical bills incurred before the loved one's death, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, loss of consortium, and more.

In Texas, there is a wrongful death statute of limitations that outlines specific requirements and regulations for filing wrongful death claims.

  1. Survival Statute

On the other hand, Texas' survival claim is a legal action filed by the deceased individual's estate to recover damages for the injuries and suffering that the person experienced before their death.

Unlike wrongful death claims, survival actions are not meant to compensate immediate family members for their losses.

In Texas, the survival statute allows the deceased person's estate to file a personal injury action that the deceased could have filed before they died.

This means that the estate can seek compensation for medical expenses incurred before the injured person's death, lost wages, and pain and suffering the victim experienced before they passed away.

The key difference between a Texas wrongful death claim and a survival action is who can file the personal injury claim and what damages are recoverable.

Immediate family members can file wrongful death claims to seek compensation for their losses.

However, survival actions are filed by the estate to recover compensation for the deceased person's losses before their death - which they could've filed themselves if they didn't die because of their personal injury.

What Are Wrongful Death Claims?

Wrongful death actions are devastating and emotionally grueling legal proceedings that take place when a person dies due to someone else's negligence or intentional act.

Family members can claim compensation under the Texas wrongful death act for the following:

  • Loss of support

  • Companionship

  • Economic damages

  • Non-economic damages

When filing a wrongful death claim in Texas, it is crucial to prove that the defendant's negligence caused the victim's death.

What Happens in Survival Claims?

In a Texas survival statute act, remaining family members and the estate of the departed person can recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages, such as medical expenses incurred before death, burial expenses, funeral expenses, mental anguish, etc.

They may also recover damages for lost financial support and services that the perished person provided to the family members before their death.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help the surviving spouse (or parent(s), sibling(s), etc.) determine the compensation they may be entitled to receive from the personal injury lawsuit.

Survival claims may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the departed person's injuries before they died. To bring a survival claim, the legal representative must prove that the deceased individual had a personal injury claim or cause of action before they passed away.

Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas is two years from the date of death. If a claim is not filed before the statute of limitations expires, the trial will be barred, and the plaintiff will lose the right to recover compensation from the at-fault party.

Statute of Limitations for a Survival Claim

Statute of Limitations for a Survival Claim

The purpose of a survival claim is to recover damages that the injured person could have received if they had not died before they could file a personal injury cause of action against the defendant.

According to Texas law, the statute of limitations for a survival claim in personal injury cases is two years from the date of the injured person's death or six months after the incident.

Final Words

The Texas survival statute act provides that a personal injury cause of action survives the departed individual and may be pursued and defended by the legal representative of the deceased person's estate.

This means that if a person was injured due to the wrongful action of another person, and that individual died before they could file a personal injury lawsuit, their legal representative may file a survival claim on their behalf. They can also provide insight on questions like, "What is the dead man's statute in Texas?"

The complexities of the law can be overwhelming, and even the slightest error or omission in the legal process can result in the loss of valuable compensation.

It is essential, therefore, to seek the advice of an expert attorney to help navigate the legal proceedings and secure the justice and compensation that the victim and their family deserve.

With a motto that says, "We Go to War for You," Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help clients secure fair compensation for their losses.


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