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Are Texas Wrongful Death Claims Different from a Survival Actions?


Texas law recognizes two distinct types of claims for an event where someone dies: a wrongful death claim and a survival action claim. These claims differ in who they are filed on behalf of, what damages are being sought, and who those damages will be paid to. Still, in some circumstances, both can be pursued in the same lawsuit.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, one option is to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In such a case, the family is not actually suing for harm caused to their loved one – instead, they are suing for the harm that was caused to them as a result of the loss of the deceased person.

A second option that may be available to you is that of a survival action. The name can be confusing at first as the claim is actually filed for a person who has passed away, but understanding the purpose of the claim also helps to explain its title.

When a survival claim is filed on behalf of a deceased person, the victim’s family is essentially asserting that:

  • The person died because of the defendant’s negligence.
  • This negligence caused pain and suffering to the person before they died.
  • Had the person survived, he or she would have been able to pursue legal action against the defendant to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
  • The defendant should not be able to avoid liability for pain and suffering just because the person died.
  • The pain and suffering damages should be paid to the deceased person’s estate.

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