While you may have heard of a wrongful death action, you may not have heard of survival action. Both are paths to recover damages from the person found liable for the death of a loved one. However, there are some important differences between the two, including what damages are available to the person bringing the action.
A survival action is, essentially, seeking the damages the deceased person would have received in a personal injury lawsuit had he or she survived. In a survival action, the decedent’s estate, usually the executor of the estate, brings the action. Any compensation award is disbursed through the estate as opposed to the surviving family members directly receiving the award. In a survival action, available damages include:
- Pain and suffering from the point of injury to time of death
- Medical bills from the point of injury to time of death
- Lost wages from the point of injury to time of death
Basically, a survival action focuses on the suffering of the deceased individual. A wrongful death action focuses on the suffering of the surviving family members. In a wrongful death action, close family members may bring a lawsuit to recover damages for such things as:
- Grief and mental anguish
- Funeral expenses
- Outstanding medical bills due to the deceased’s injuries
- Loss of financial support
A survival action may arise in such instances as if an injured plaintiff ends up dying due to injury complications while in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit. Particularly in cases when a plaintiff has suffered substantial injuries, he or she may not survive to see the end of the personal injury case. If the plaintiff passes away mid-trial, the estate of the deceased plaintiff may continue the trial as a survival action. In the end, if damages are awarded, the estate would receive the damages that would have been awarded to the deceased plaintiff.
If a loved one has died as the result of a serious injury sustained in an accident, knowing your legal options is of utmost importance. Legal jargon is probably the last thing you want to hear in a time of extreme emotional pain, but knowing your rights is an important part of enforcing your rights to financial compensation for your losses. While nothing can truly compensate you for the loss of another, a monetary award can help keep you financially secure now and in the future.
In a time of great loss, you need to take care of yourself and your family. Our attorneys are here to relieve you of the legal burden. Let us fight for your right to monetary compensation while you continue to make yourself and your family a priority during the trying time that follows the death of a loved one. We are here for you and will work tirelessly to help enforce your legal rights. Contact us today and we will begin working to secure your financial future.