If your loved one’s death was caused by the negligent acts of another person, there are two types of lawsuits that you may be able to file: a wrongful death claim and a survival action. It’s important that you understand the difference between these two lawsuits so you know all of your legal options. Take a look at wrongful death claims vs. survival actions:
Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that can be filed by certain members of the victim’s family in order to recover compensation for their losses. In California, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the victim’s spouse, partner, children, and other members of the family that were financially dependent on the victim. These surviving members of the victim’s family may be able to recover compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of income.
A survival action is also a civil lawsuit, but there are several differences between this type of lawsuit and a wrongful death claim. First, the representative of the victim’s estate is the person who files a survival action. If the victim did not appoint anyone, the decedent’s successor-in-interest will be able to file a survival action instead. Second, whereas a wrongful death claim compensates the victim’s family members, a survival claim compensates the victim’s estate. Why? The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate family members for losses that they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s death. However, the purpose of a survival action is to compensate the estate for damages suffered by the victim prior to her death.
For example, let’s say your loved one was involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver. She sustained serious injuries and was admitted into the hospital for treatment, where she remained for several days before passing away. In this case, a survival action could be filed to recover compensation for medical expenses the victim incurred prior to her death. To put it simply, a survival action claim is similar to a personal injury claim that the victim would have been able to file had she survived.
Taking legal action may be the last thing on your mind after losing a loved one, but it’s important to explore your options with the help of an attorney.
If you have lost a loved one, contact personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law . James Rush will help you understand your legal options so you can recover the maximum amount of compensation for your loss. Contact our law office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.