Wrongful Death vs. Survival Action

Barrera Law Firm Wrongful Death
If someone you know has died wrongfully, call The Barrera Law Firm for a consultation

You may know that if a person dies as the result of a personal injury, his or her estate can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. But are you aware of the legal procedure called a survival action?

Wrongful death and survival statutes
In Texas, when someone dies as a result of someone else’s negligence, wrongful acts or defective products, two laws exist to allow for actions to help families become whole again.

One is the Texas Survival Statute, which is so named because it allows a personal injury lawsuit to “survive” the death of a person. The other, called the Wrongful Death Act, allows a surviving spouse, children and parents of the deceased to bring about legal action. The deceased may be any person including a child not born alive.

How the laws work
A survival action is prosecuted in the same manner as an ordinary personal injury lawsuit. Damages – such as lost wages, medical bills, property damage, funeral expenses – are available under this statute. Recovery is offered as part of the deceased’s estate.

In wrongful death suits, beneficiaries can recover personally for the damages they incur as a result of the loss of their loved ones and not the actual injuries sustained to the deceased as in a survival action. The law is strictly construed to only allow recovery for the surviving spouse, children and parents of the deceased.

Prosecuting a wrongful death case
In many cases, a beneficiary of a wrongful death action and a survival action may be the same and two lawsuits may be brought for the same injurious conduct. In any wrongful death case, what can be recovered depends on a number of factors, including attempts to place a monetary value on both tangible and intangible benefits that were lost upon the death of your loved one.

In all wrongful death cases, it is important to seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible after an injury has occurred. This is because the law only provides a short period of time – called the limitations period – after an accident to bring a lawsuit.

At the Barrera Law Firm, we will work hard to ensure that the passing of a loved is given as much attention and respect possible. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you get the compensation you deserve!

Wrongful Death: What is it and Why Seeking an Attorney is Vital

Barrera Law Firm Wrongful Death
If someone you know has died wrongfully, call The Barrera Law Firm for a free consultation

An area that our law firm services is the area of wrongful death. Wrongful death is the unfortunate occasion where someone dies because of the negligence of another. Whether it happened at work, whether it happened on their way to work or whether it happened in some other unfortunate circumstance, anytime somebody dies because of the negligence of another that is wrongful in Texas, our firm will advise whether there is a wrongful death case that we can assist you with. People, families, individuals who have any relation to the deceased person may be included in the recovery. The estate of that person can make a claim on the insurance company, on the individual themselves, for their actions. They will have to take responsibility for their actions and if possible, answer in the court of law.

The type of damages that are available in wrongful death can be anywhere from punitive damages to economic damages to compensatory damages. Anything that the person should have been entitled to or could have been entitled to may be entered upon this, and if there is gross negligence or acts that are highly reckless the court can also consider additional damages to compensate for as well.

If wrongful death occurs when a person is at work, the area where the person is at work may be liable for damages. It is important to see an attorney regarding what kinds of damages are available to the estate of that deceased person. It is in fact necessary for that person to move immediately in order to preserve any evidence that is associated with wrongful death. Often and occasionally, unfortunately, some evidence can be spoiled or can be not preserved and not available for later action. If you get an attorney involved quickly, that attorney can put that organization on notice and if the court decides that the entity was put on notice then that organization cannot just use the excuse conveniently in court that the evidence isn’t available. The jury may have to assume the worst possible scenario in the absence of that evidence.

About Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death cases are painful. Not only are they be emotionally draining for people already trying to cope with bereavement, they also typically involve many complex legal issues. That’s why it’s important to hire an attorney who is compassionate, experienced and willing to do what it takes to fight for your rights.

You can sue for wrongful death when the demise of a loved one was caused in part or in whole by another individual’s actions.  This holds even if that individual did not intend to cause harm to the victim. Because financial compensation is typically involved, civil courts (as opposed to criminal ones) decide these cases.

Wrongful death can involve–but not be limited to–any of the following situations:

  • shooting
  • drug toxicity
  • car, train or airplane accidents
  • choking or accidental drowning
  • alleged murder
  • defective equipment or products
  • medical malpractice
  • nursing home neglect

The attorney you hire should be able to cover the costs for your case up front without asking you to pay for them. If the person is unwilling to advance these costs then you are better off choosing another attorney who is willing to help you and who will also return your e-mails and telephone calls promptly.

The right lawyer will always keep you up-to-date on any new developments in your suit. He or she will also make it a point to be your primary contact and not try to hand  your case off onto a young, inexperienced associate.  Courtesy and respect will always govern the relationship you have with this individual.

When you are searching for a wrongful death attorney, you will want to look for someone who has been specifically trained in the area of wrongful death. Also consider the size and reputation of the law firm where the attorney works as well and as the fees that lawyer charges.

You might also find it helpful to speak with the State Bar of Texas regarding the reputation of a particular lawyer. He or she should have no complaints on file with the discipline board. Be sure to also check up on the attorney’s success rate.  That person should have a history of settlements and a minimum of ten years’ experience representing clients in Texas.

The attorneys at the Barrera Law Firm understand the needs of wrongful death clients.  We have been successfully in representing such cases and are proud of the reputation we have built for  honesty and integrity. No amount of money can replace a loved one but when you work with us you can rest assured that we will seek restitution for your suffering.