Wrongful death and survival actions in Texas

When someone dies in a fatal car crash, or in any accident caused by the negligence of another party, family members of the deceased family might have a right to compensation.  Under the Civil Practice and Remedies Code of the state of Texas, the spouse, child or children, and the parents of the accident victim may make a claim for damages against whoever caused the death. This is known as a wrongful death claim, and the lawsuit filed to pursue the claim is referred to as a wrongful death action.

Wrongful death claims only exist because of the legislation creating them. This means that brothers and sisters of a fatal boating accident victim do not have the right to sue for wrongful death because they are not one of the relatives specifically named in the statute as having that right. 

Damages recoverable in a wrongful death action might include:

  • Loss of companionship, support and care given by the deceased
  • The emotional pain and suffering of the victim’s loved ones
  • Loss of inheritance includes the projected assets the victim might have acquired had he or she lived

Noticeably absent from the damages recoverable in a Dallas wrongful death claim are damages suffered by the deceased fatal truck accident victim. For example, the pain and suffering of the accident victim from the moment of injury until his or her death may be recovered in what is called a “survival action.”

Survival actions are also a creation of state law in Texas. Instead of the family members seeking damages for their loss, as in a wrongful death case, they, or a representative of the deceased victim’s estate, may sue for compensation for the injuries suffered by the accident victim.

A Dallas personal injury law firm might be a good source of guidance and legal advice for a family that has experienced the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident.