The common assumption that most in San Antonio likely hold is that any legal action commenced after one of the parties involved has died must be a wrongful death lawsuit, and thus is limited to only those circumstances which contributed to one’s death. Yet what if your loved one had a cause of action to pursue, yet what never able to before they died? Many come to us here at the Gamez Law Firm thinking that their options for seeking legal recourse in such a situation expired with the plaintiff. If you share the same assumption, you will be pleased to know that is not the case.
Per Section 71.021 of Texas’ Civil Practice and Remedies Code, a cause of action for personal injury does not end when the one who has it dies. Imagine that your family member is slips and falls on another’s property and sustains an injury. While not life-threatening, the injury proves costly in terms of recovery and lost income. Your loved one plans to pursue legal action against the property owner, yet suddenly dies. If those circumstances are related to their injury, a wrongful death lawsuit may be an option. Yet what if they are not?
The aforementioned statute allows you to pursue legal action in your loved one’s stead. While you may not have been the injured party, as the injured party’s heir or representative, you retain their cause of action. The case would be prosecuted as though your loved one were still alive, and any compensation awarded would be meant to address the damages that they incurred.
Coincidently, the same principle holds true if you have a cause of action yet the party it is against dies. More information on a plaintiff’s legal options after death can be found here on our site.