The purpose of the Texas Survival Statute is to provide compensation for the victim's estate, since the victim is no longer able to fight for herself.
The new laws are a vast improvement from the laws Texas had in the past, when the victim could not make any injury claims if they died because of the incident. Even though the victim can no longer receive the compensation, she can help pay for the medical bills, loss of wages, etc., which all financially affect her estate, in addition to any pain and suffering.
In some cases, the estate falls on a close family member. In others, it falls on a court-appointed attorney. You can read more about the difference between the Texas Survival Statute and the Texas Wrongful Death Act here.
This article focuses on and outlines who can legally file on behalf of the victim under the Texas Survival Statute, and how this is different from a Texas wrongful death claim.
Who can file under the Texas Survival Statute?
Survival claims are sometimes filed by close family members, but it depends on who the representative of the estate is. If there is a will, the person indicated in the will is the representative. If there is not a will, an heir (the child, parent, or spouse) of the deceased can be the representative. If there is no surviving heir, a personal representative (another family member or someone appointed by probate court) can bring a survival action on behalf of the estate.
How is a survival claim different from a wrongful death claim?
In a wrongful death claim, there has to be an heir in order for the claim to be made. If there is no heir, there is no wrongful death claim, because the main purpose of the wrongful death claim is so that the family members of the deceased can receive justice and hold the wrongdoers accountable for their actions. Therefore, in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff or plaintiffs must fall under the category of parent, child, or spouse. In a survival claim, there is only one person representing the claim. If there is no will and there is more than one heir, an agreement between the heirs must be made on who will represent the claim.
A closer look at the Texas Survival Statute
If how all this works still seems a bit unclear, here are a few examples of how to identify whether or not there is a survival claim, and who would be able to file:
Examples to illustrate the application of the Texas Survival Statute
Speak with an attorney about your potential Texas survival claim
No one ever wants to be in the situation where they have become an estate's representative. However, it's good to know how the Texas Survival Statute works in the event that this does happen to you.
In order to file the survival claim you must show you are legally the personal representative of the estate or a nominated heir of the deceased, unlike the wrongful death claim where you only need to be a parent, child, or spouse.
It is also important to have an attorney that knows how to handles these claims and will be working for you to help you achieve justice. If you would like to begin the process of filing a claim, or just want to talk and ask questions about your case, call us at (855) 326-0000.
No case is insignificant, and our experienced and patient Texas Survival Statute attorneys would be happy to speak with you about any of your concerns, or if needed, refer you to someone else who can help.