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What if an Accident Victim Dies During the Process of an Injury Claim?

Posted on behalf of Anderson Cummings on Jun 17, 2022 in Personal Injury

rose on a gravestone The loss of a loved one can be emotionally traumatizing. Especially when his or her death was due to the negligent actions of another person. If your loved one passed away from car accident injuries after an injury claim was already in progress, you wonder if you have options for continuing the legal process.

Our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers are prepared to help you determine your rights as an heir or executor to your loved one’s estate. We offer a free consultation with no obligation to take legal action.

Let us fight to protect your interests and those of your family. We are prepared to help you pursue the compensation you need.

What is a Survival Claim?

A survival claim allows the estate of the person who has died to pursue a personal injury claim in the same manner an accident victim would have had he or she survived to the end of the legal process.

The families of victims who die before their claim finishes may wonder if they still have any recourse for compensation for the pain and suffering their loved one endured before his or her death. However, the Texas Survival Statute allows surviving family members to pursue compensation on behalf of their loved ones in what is called a survival claim.

To successfully recover compensation in a survival claim, there are certain elements that must be proven. They are as follows:

  • The person bringing forth the claim is a representative of the decedent’s estate
  • The decedent had a cause of action to bring forth a personal injury claim before dying
  • Someone else’s negligent actions resulted in the decedent’s injuries

It is important to note that if your loved one dies from a condition or in another accident unrelated to the one that left him or her injured, you may still be able to pursue a survival claim.

What Damages May Be Recovered in a Survival Claim?

Compensation that may be recovered in a survival claim varies depending on the facts of the claim and the types of damages suffered. Generally, the type of compensation awarded in these claims is similar to a personal injury case, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Cost of property repair/replacement

Family members who bring forth a survival claim may be able to recover future damages just as one would in a personal injury claim. However, these future damages may not be as inclusive as a wrongful death claim.

How Does a Survival Claim Differ From a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims and survival claims have many overlapping processes. However, they greatly differ in many ways.

When a person files a survival claim, it is because a personal injury claim was either already in progress before the injury victim passed or there was cause to file one prior to the victim’s death. In either case, the person survived the accident but died before the compensation could be recovered. In a wrongful death claim, the person whose family is making the claim did not survive the accident.

The damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim are generally more expansive and cover more suffering experienced by the family of the decedent. For example, loved ones may be able to recover compensation for the loss of consortium due to the death of a spouse. This type of compensation may not be available in a survival claim.

When it comes to lost wages, how soon after the accident the victim died also matters. In a survival claim, the family members may only be able to recover the wages lost prior to the person’s death. Whereas in a wrongful death claim, the surviving family members may be able to recover compensation for loss of future earning capacity if they were dependent on the person who died.

Both types of claims are strictly governed by state statutes, so it is important to speak with an attorney who knows and understands Texas law regarding these types of claims.

Call Us Today

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent actions, you have the right to pursue compensation for damages suffered. However, the legal process to do so may be complicated. When you are grieving for a loved one, the last thing you want to think about is dealing with the insurance company. That is why you should strongly consider speaking to our experienced attorneys.

Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience helping injury victims and their loved ones pursue compensation and have successfully helped recover millions on behalf of our clients.

Do not hesitate to call to learn more: (817) 920-9000