Survival Actions: What They Are And How They Affect A Wrongful Death Claim

A survival action is often a separate lawsuit from a wrongful death claim. However, the survival action typically stems from the wrongful death claim. This can sometimes confuse people. Understanding survival actions a little more will help you figure it out. They're a key part in receiving the compensation you and your family deserve.

What Wrongful Death Claims Are Often Missing

When negligence leads to death, beneficiaries of the decedent can file a wrongful death claim. These claims often compensate families or estates for the various things.

  • The actual negligence
  • The loss of a provider and family member
  • Debts the family of the decedent cannot pay          
  • Medical bills and lost wages

Unfortunately, wrongful death claims typically have their own rules. They don't always work as other personal injury cases do. Because of that, you may not receive compensation for everything you should.

For example, compensation for things that fall under the umbrella of pain and suffering isn't always awarded. Your jurisdiction may even have limits on how much the negligent party can pay out. It's in cases like these that survival actions can have the most impact.

Survival Actions, and How They Can Help

If your loved one lived through his or her ordeal, they would likely press a personal injury lawsuit. Due to a wrongful death, they are not here to pursue that claim. Survival actions are basically a way for someone to press that personal injury lawsuit on the decedent's behalf.

Survival actions work more like other types of personal injury cases. It's possible to receive compensation for pain and suffering. Usually, that pain and suffering covers whatever the decedent went through from the time of treatment until the time of death.

 If death happened immediately, you or the estate can still claim pain and suffering. If there was time between treatment and death, you or the estate can claim lost wages and medical bills.

Keep in mind that each state has statutes that govern how these actions work. When survival actions occur in conjunction with a wrongful death claim, the proceedings can become a little confusing. But knowing what survival actions entail can help you figure out if there's another avenue for compensation if the wrongful death claim isn't paying everything you deserve.

Ask a Lawyer What You Can Do

Because of the way wrongful death and survival claims can overlap, it's important that you speak to a wrongful death lawyer about your options. It's also important to seek a lawyer who knows the caveats imposed by the state regarding both wrongful death and survival actions. Contact a law firm, such as Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm, for more information.