What Is the Difference Between a Survival Action and Wrongful Death Claim?

Losing a loved one is devastating under any circumstances. However, when their death is the result of someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct, the grief can be too much to bear. While nothing can erase that trauma, it may be possible to relieve some of the resulting financial burdens by bringing a wrongful death claim. Depending on the circumstances, it may also be possible to bring a survival action.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is filed to pursue compensation for damages incurred by surviving loved ones of the deceased. In some states, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim. The court will appoint a representative if there is none specified in the estate document. Compensation obtained through a wrongful death claim is distributed to beneficiaries pursuant to the state’s laws of intestate succession.

The types of damages available in a wrongful death claim vary by state but may include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of financial contributions
  • Loss of services
  • Medical bills

What Is a Survival Action?

A survival action is brought to seek compensation for losses incurred by the deceased between the fatal injury and their death. In other words, these actions are intended to pursue compensation for losses the deceased may have been entitled to have he or she survived. Recoverable damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Property repairs
  • Punitive damages

Wrongful death claims and survival actions are often combined and brought to court together.

When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim or Survival Action?

You can file a wrongful death claim when a loved one dies due to the unlawful act or negligence of another party. It might also be possible to bring a claim based on strict liability if, for example, the death occurred to a product defect. To bring a survival action, it is usually necessary for the deceased to have survived at least momentarily after the accident.

How Can an Attorney Help with My Wrongful Death Case?

A skilled wrongful death lawyer can assess the merits of your case. Your attorney will determine whether you have grounds for a claim and how best to proceed. Your lawyer can compile evidence, estimate a fair settlement figure, negotiate with the opposing party, and continue to litigation if it is in your best interests to do so. 

Connect with a Top-Rated Wrongful Death Attorney Today

Did you lose a loved one due to someone else’s wrongful act or negligence? A skilled attorney can help your family seek compensation for the resulting damages. At Attorneys for All, our network of lawyers handles personal injury and wrongful death claims on a contingency fee basis. A contingency basis fee means no attorneys’ fees unless they win your case. Contact us today at (281) 475-4535 or send an email to info@claimyourcase.com to find out more about what we do and to schedule your free consultation.