Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Survival Actions
It is always a sad time when a loved one dies, but when that death is caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another party, family members are often left devastated by the loss. There are many law firms that have been advocating for victims’ families for more than number of years in obtaining justice for the death of their loved one. It is about finding the right one for you and your family.
Legal Options for Families
When a person is killed in an incident or accident caused by someone else, the state law allows the victim’s family to bring forth two different actions against the party responsible for the death, a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action. Each addresses different factors.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by members of the victim’s family. Although each state has its own tort laws, in general, the following parties can file the lawsuit:
- Spouse, children, and adopted children
- Parents of an unmarried child
- Domestic partners
- Parents of a fetus killed in the accident
- Anyone who can prove a financial dependency to the victim
A representative of the victim’s estate may also bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit. Any money awarded is then dispersed among the victim’s family. If there is no representative of the estate, the court can appoint one.
The damages awarded in a wrongful death case can include funeral and burial expenses, the emotional anguish the victim’s death has caused, loss of care, nurturing, and guidance the victim would have provided, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and the value of service the victim would have provided, i.e. childcare if the victim was a stay-at-home parent.
The second legal option a family has against the at-fault party is a survival action. This type of legal option is only available if the victim did not die immediately after the incident that caused their death. For example, a car accident victim who initially survived the accident but ends up dying because their injuries are too severe to recover from.
The purpose of the survivor action is to compensate the victim for the losses they suffered during the time they were injured and their death, similar to a personal injury claim for victims who survive their injuries.
These losses can include the pain and suffering the victim had, the medical bills for emergency and other medical treatment, loss of wages, and the disability the injuries caused. Any money that is awarded in a survival action lawsuit becomes part of the victim’s estate and is distributed according to any estate plans the victim left or according to the intestacy laws of the state they lived in.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Most law firms understand that no amount of money will ever make up for the loss of a loved one. But most law firms also understand that these deaths often leave families both emotionally and financially devastated. If you would like to find out how a legal team can help, call an office near you to set up a free consultation with a compassionate and top wrongful death lawyer Houston, TX has trusted for years.
Thank you to our contributors at John K. Zaid & Associates for the above information.