The sudden loss of a loved one is an undoubtedly traumatic and stressful experience. The purpose of a wrongful death claim filed after such a tragedy is to compensate survivors of the decedent for their financial and personal losses. However, it can also be necessary to account for losses sustained by the deceased person’s estate after a wrongful death.
Recovering these losses generally requires filing a separate negligent death claim called a survival action. A seasoned wrongful death attorney at Roberts Markland LLP could help when pursuing this type of case. Even if you have experience with civil litigation, working closely with a Houston survival actions lawyer could be crucial to achieving a positive case result and effectively protecting your long-term interests.
Both wrongful death claims and survival actions stem from the same cause of action—namely, the right that a deceased person would have had to file a personal injury claim against the person responsible for their harm had they survived their injuries. Both claims are meant to seek recovery for different types of losses; in particular, survival actions are intended to allow recovery payments that the decedent would have sought through a personal injury claim if still alive.
As a knowledgeable attorney in Houston could explain, a successful survival action claim can account for both economic and non-economic forms of harm a deceased person experienced between when they were hurt and when they passed away from those injuries. Common recoverable damages include:
Therefore, an accident or wrongful act which causes near-instantaneous death generally cannot be the basis for a survival action. However, surviving family members could still pursue restitution through a wrongful death claim.
Only a deceased person’s estate representative—typically the administrator or executor for their estate nominated either in the decedent’s will or by a court without valid estate planning documents—may file a survival action in Houston, ideally with a skilled lawyer’s help. They can file a survival action at virtually any point before, during, or after a related wrongful death claim, and both claims may proceed simultaneously without directly impacting the outcome of the other.
However, like other personal injury claims, there is a two-year filing period for survival actions beginning from when the decedent’s injury occurred, after which point litigation will almost certainly be impossible. This is a notable difference from wrongful death claims, for which the two-year filing period begins on the deceased person’s death date.
Pursuing a survival action after someone else’s premature death can be a particularly complex endeavor, even compared to wrongful death litigation. Moving forward with this type of case without guidance from seasoned legal counsel could limit your potential recovery and prevent you from obtaining the compensation you should be entitled to as a representative of the decedent’s estate.
A Houston survival actions lawyer is available to provide custom-tailored guidance and support throughout the entire legal process. Call our attorneys at Roberts Markland LLP today to schedule a consultation.