Survival Actions and Wrongful Death: What’s the Difference?
After a wrongful death of a loved one, the surviving family members are grieving. However, the family members may see the death as more tragic if the negligent party took proper precautions. This result was due to carelessness. Surviving family members may possibly feel resent the other party. As we know, there is no way to bring your loved one back, but, we can help you take the right steps forward to filing a wrongful death claim to get the compensation your depending family deserves. Both survival actions and wrongful death cases provide you the option to seek compensation for the loss of a family member, but their goals and methods for doing so differ.
If you find yourself in the situation of having to deal with the loss of a loved one who passed away as a consequence of someone else’s carelessness, knowing the distinctions between a wrongful death claim and a survival action will help you make a more knowledgeable decision.
In contrast to a wrongful death claim, a survival lawsuit is not on behalf of the surviving family members. Instead, it is a legal action by the decedent’s estate to make amends for the deceased. The estate administrator of the deceased individual files a survival action. A survival action, in effect, permits an estate to pursue claims that a person would have had if they had survived the accident that killed them.
Damages in a survival action may include pain and suffering, lost gross earning capacity from the date of injury until death, and lost earning capacity minus personal maintenance costs from the time of death until the deceased person’s estimated working life.
The earnings of this kind of lawsuit flow straight to the estate since a survival action is a direct claim brought by the estate on behalf of the decedent. Any settlement or judgment obtained via a survival case may consequently be liable to inheritance taxes.
Differentiating Between Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Claims
Who can make the claim is the first distinction between a wrongful death claim and a survival action. In a wrongful death case, the surviving spouse, parents, or kids are the plaintiffs. In contrast, the personal representative of the estate brings a survival action on behalf of the deceased individual.
The second distinction between the two types of claims is the type of collectible damages. The emphasis in wrongful death cases is on the family’s losses. That includes lost support and income, the absence of the deceased’s company, and costs for medical care and funerals. A survival lawsuit, on the other hand, seeks compensation for the deceased person’s losses. It is as if the deceased had survived the accident, including damages for pain and suffering.
The third distinction is evident in the allocation of the damages. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the distribution of damages is governed by state law. Neither inheritance taxes nor claims against the estate are applicable. In a survival case, however, the distribution of damages is made in accordance with the decedent’s intentions. It is subject to both estate taxes and creditors’ claims.
Speak with an Attorney
There is a key similarity between the two categories of claims. The statute of limitations for both wrongful death claims and survival proceedings is two years. When someone you care about dies as a consequence of the acts of another individual, you should call a lawyer right away. The statute of limitations is open to exceptions, and lawsuits can be challenging. Call our office immediately at 310.943.1171. For more details, please visit our website. Visit our website for more information.