Skip to main content
Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death and Survival Actions in Texas

Losing a loved one is tragic, and losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can feel like an absolute nightmare. With so much to process, it can be difficult to think about filing a wrongful death suit or survival action.

At The Stewart Law Firm, our team of injury attorneys has worked with many families in Austin and throughout Texas to fight for justice after the death of their loved one. Our team is here to help you through this process if you, too, are grieving.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at wrongful death and survival actions in Texas, what they are, and who can file them.

What is Wrongful Death in Texas?

In Texas, a wrongful death claim is brought forward when an individual dies due to the legal fault of another person or entity. 

This could include numerous circumstances, such as negligent driving resulting in a fatal accident, a defective product leading to death, or a fatal mistake in a medical procedure. The goal of a wrongful death claim is not just to bring justice but also to provide financial compensation for the losses suffered by the deceased’s family.

Notably, under Texas law, the damages awarded in a wrongful death claim may cover loss of earnings, loss of companionship, mental and emotional anguish, and sometimes, punitive damages. It is worth noting that Texas has a statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. In most cases, the claim must be filed within two years of the deceased’s death, though there are some exceptions.

Survival Actions vs. Wrongful Death Claims

While wrongful death claims are important, it’s crucial to understand survival actions too. While they may seem similar, survival actions and wrongful death claims serve different purposes and offer different kinds of compensation.

A survival action is brought forward in Texas to cover the damages that the deceased would have been entitled to if they had lived. Essentially, the claim “survives” the death of the individual. This may include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering experienced before death, and even property damage related to the incident causing death.

On the other hand, a wrongful death claim is filed by the surviving family members for their loss due to the death of their loved one. This could cover loss of companionship, future earnings, and emotional distress.

Both wrongful death and survival actions aim to provide financial relief for different aspects of a tragic event. Understanding these differences is key to knowing what your family may be entitled to in the aftermath of a loss.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim or Bring Survival Action in Texas?

Under Texas law, individuals who can file a wrongful death claim are typically close family members of the deceased. This includes the spouse, children (including adopted children), and parents of the deceased. 

If these individuals do not file a claim within three months of the death, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate may file the claim instead, unless a family member specifically requests them not to.

For survival actions, the representative of the deceased person’s estate is the one to file the claim. This is often the executor or administrator of the estate, as appointed in the deceased’s will or by the court.

Trust The Stewart Law Firm With Your Texas Wrongful Death Suit and Survival Actions

Trust in our team at The Stewart Law Firm to be your guiding light through the legal complexities, helping you navigate to a resolution that respects your loss and aids in your healing. Reach out today to learn more or to get started with your case.

Skip to content