A “survival action” refers to a lawsuit that is brought on behalf of a decedent’s estate for injuries and other damages incurred by the victim prior to their death.
When a wrongful death occurs, people often overlook the fact that the victim may have experienced excruciating pain and suffering prior to their passing. Wrongful death claims do not actually seek compensation for the victim’s damages; rather, they’re designed to compensate family members for their related losses (e.g., loss of love, guidance, consortium, inheritance, etc).
On the other hand, a survival action claim seeks to recover compensation for the victim’s pain, suffering, and other related damages. Essentially, what would have been the victim’s personal injury claim (had they survived) can now be brought by the estate.
It’s worth noting that unlike wrongful death claims, there is only a one (1) year statute of limitations on survival action claims in Texas.