In Texas, there are two types of claims. The Texas Wrongful Death Statute breaks claims up into survival claims and wrongful death claims. Wrongful death claims are made by the surviving family members of a victim in order to gain compensation for their emotional and pecuniary loss. Pecuniary loss is a loss that can be defined in money terms. Many times, this can be directly related to the loss a dependent suffers when a support person dies. Survival claims are the claims of the deceased for the pain and suffering they endured before death. They are called survival claims because they “survive the death” of the person killed.
These claims are brought by the deceased person’s estate. Several inquiries are made by the jury in order to determine the amount of survival damages to be awarded including the degree of consciousness of the deceased, severity of their pain and suffering, and the duration of the pain and suffering they experienced. Survival damages may include award money for pain and mental anguish suffered by the person before their death, medical expenses for treating the person before their death, and funeral and burial expenses.