After a person dies, the family of the deceased will likely file a wrongful death claim. The wrongful death claim covers the damages to the family after a person’s sudden death. Survival actions, on the other hand, recover damages to the decedent before their death.
Survival actions may be used to cover the out-of-pocket expenses of the victim, such as lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and even the pain and suffering that he or she experienced while alive. When you file a survival action lawsuit, you do not receive the recovered damages directly. Instead, the damages are given to the victim’s estate. It is the executor of the estate that can disperse those funds.
Assessment on Who Can File a Survival Action
Family members are often unclear about who is considered the heirs of the decedent. It can depend on your state and the family of your loved one. For instance, in some states, the spouse and children can file a survival action as an heir. In some cases, however, grandparents, parents, and siblings may be in this category.
If you’re confused by who can file the survival action, a wrongful death lawyer can help you with determining who is qualified to bring the lawsuit.
Damages Heirs Can Recover from Survival Action Suits
When someone files a lawsuit after another person’s death, it is usually a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits pay the families for their losses. A wrongful death settlement might include pain and suffering, loss of income, funeral expenses, and other losses that the family suffered. The survival action, however, is for the victim.
The damages that you may recover in a survival action include:
- Lost wages because of an accident
- Personal property damages because of the accident
- Emotional distress prior to death
There are benefits and disadvantages of wrongful death lawsuits and survival actions. In some instances, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action.
Contact an Attorney
When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. If your loved one suffered injuries or losses before his or her death because of the defendant, you may be able to file a survival action. If you are unsure if you are eligible to file a survival action, set up a consultation with a lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt. He or she can advise you on the type of action you should take on your family member’s behalf.