Wrongful Death Attorney Houston, TX
When a loved one dies as a result of an injury, the spouse and/or the children may decide, because of the circumstances, to file a wrongful death lawsuit with a wrongful death attorney Houston, TX trusts at John K. Zaid & Associates. There is another legal case called survival action. Are you aware of the difference between the two lawsuits?
Both survival actions and wrongful death suits are strictly controlled by state laws. The particular state has passed laws allowing these types of suits to be brought to court. Prior to the state’s laws for wrongful death and survival action suits, when the deceased passed, the loved ones or estate could not file a personal injury claim.
The two biggest differences between and survival laws and the wrongful death laws are as follows:
- In a wrongful death lawsuit, the law entitles the loved ones or estate to even bring a wrongful death lawsuit and begin the legal process for processing a wrongful death lawsuit. Without the wrongful death laws in place, no one could even file a lawsuit for wrongful death.
- There are different type of damages awarded based on survival laws and wrongful death laws.
Wrongful death law allows the loved ones to give the beneficiaries of the deceased, those suffering financially because of the death of their loved one, damages or compensation.
Survival Laws let the estate recover damages that the deceased would have compensated for had they lived. These include pain and suffering, lost earnings, etc.
Although wrongful death claims are controlled by the laws and procedures of each state, there are some statements in common to all wrongful death laws. These include:
- The types of damages or compensation permitted in a wrongful death suit
- How an individual is selected to act as an agent for the estate
- Who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim as a representative of the estate of the deceased
Types of Damages Awarded
- The primary type of damage is compensation for financial support provided by the deceased for his or her immediate family for a specific period of time. Proof must be given by the family member that the deceased supported them financially an or what amount of money. If there are minor children, loss of support can be extended through college if it can be proven that the deceased would have helped financially support their college needs. A widow or widower may receive loss of support if they can prove that the other spouse provided for them. This support can continue until the presumed retirement age of the deceased, typically 65 years old. If other family members can prove the deceased supported them as well, they may also be eligible to receive damages.
- Other damages may include reimbursement for funeral expenses. The children of the deceased may also be awarded compensation for ‘loss of nurture and guidance’. Seek the guidance from an attorney for the limitations of damages in your state.
Survival Law Damages
- Survival laws permit the estate to be awarded compensation only from the moment that the deceased received the injury until the time of death. Therefore, survival damages can include limited lost earnings and pain and suffering until she/he died.
- If the accident kills the deceased instantly, the estate can only recover pain and suffering damages.