Road accidents caused by drunk driving are some of the most tragic because they are completely preventable. The far-reaching consequences include extensive property damage, legal ramifications and- in a worst-case scenario- death. If you find yourself in a situation where your loved one has lost their life in a senseless drunk-driving accident, it may be possible to file a wrongful death claim against the person responsible.
What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil action which may be brought by the victim’s close family against the individual responsible for the death. Grounds exist when the death occurred due to the action or inaction of another person. When they are successful, wrongful death claims are a means of obtaining financial damages from the at-fault party.
It’s important to note that there are in fact two different types of claim which can be made in the aftermath of a drunk driving death. These are the aforementioned wrongful death claim, and also a survival action
What is the difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action in Texas?
Both wrongful death claims and survival actions may be brought following a death due to drunk driving, but that is where the similarities between them end.
A wrongful death claim, as explained by a top rated West Houston negligent death attorney, is designed to provide compensation to the victim’s family for the death of their loved one. A survival action, on the other hand, is designed to obtain the monetary compensation the victim would have been eligible to receive had they survived the incident.
Under Texas law, wrongful death claims may be filed by the spouse, parents or children of the victim, as a means of obtaining financial recompense for the losses they have suffered. But a survival action may be pursued on the beneficiaries’ behalf by a representative of the victim’s estate, or the executor under Texas probate laws. This may be an individual who is not involved in the wrongful death claim at all. Both the beneficiaries and the value of the compensation may be completely different from those in a wrongful death suit.
Compensation in a wrongful death action is awarded based on factors such as the loss of household income caused by the victim’s death, and more generally based on the loss of the support they would have been able to provide. In a survival action, however, compensation is awarded for expenses such as medical costs incurred by the victim before they died, as well as the pain and anguish caused by their injuries.
Speak to an experienced specialist in drunk-driving death claims
If a member of your family has been the victim of a fatal drunk-driving accident, it’s essential that the person responsible is called to account. The impact of the incident has no doubt left you reeling, but it’s also a good idea to fight for financial security in the aftermath of this catastrophic loss.
Of course none of this will bring back your loved one, but it can be an important means of getting your family back on their feet. Give us a call at the Stephens Law Firm for a free consultation with one of our specialist attorneys.