Wrongful Death Claims Vs. Survival Action Claims

A wrongful death claim is a legal action brought when a person dies as a result of the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party. These claims seek to provide financial compensation to the deceased’s surviving family members for their loss.

A survival action claim is a legal action that allows the estate of the deceased to recover damages that the deceased person would have been entitled to had they survived. This claim is essentially a continuation of any personal injury claim the deceased could have pursued.

Legal Basis and Purpose of Wrongful Death Claims

The legal basis for wrongful death claims stems from statutes enacted to allow survivors to seek justice for the death of a loved one. The primary purpose of wrongful death claims is to compensate family members for the financial and emotional losses they suffer due to the untimely death. This includes holding the responsible party accountable and deterring future negligent or harmful behavior.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

Typically, wrongful death claims can be filed by immediate family members of the deceased. This includes:

  • Spouses
  • Children, including adopted children
  • Parents of the deceased

In some cases, the claim can be filed by a representative of the deceased’s estate. The court often appoints this representative, and they may act on behalf of the beneficiaries named in the deceased’s will or according to state intestacy laws if there is no will. If you need help filing a wrongful death claim, contact our Kent wrongful death attorneys.

Types of Damages Available in Wrongful Death Claims

Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses resulting from the death, including:

  • Loss of income and financial support that the deceased would have provided
  • Medical expenses incurred before death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans

Non-economic damages compensate for the intangible losses suffered by the family, including:

  • Pain and suffering endured by the family members
  • Loss of companionship, care, and guidance
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish

Examples of Situations That May Lead to Wrongful Death Claims

  • Car accidents caused by reckless or drunk driving
  • Medical malpractice resulting in death
  • Workplace accidents due to unsafe conditions
  • Deaths resulting from defective products
  • Criminal actions leading to death, such as assault or murder

Legal Basis and Purpose of Survival Action Claims

The legal basis for survival action claims also varies by jurisdiction but is typically found in state statutes. The purpose of these claims is to ensure that the rights and interests of the deceased are not extinguished upon their death, allowing their estate to recover damages for injuries and losses the deceased suffered before their death.

Who Can File a Survival Action Claim

Survival action claims are filed by the personal representative or executor of the deceased’s estate. This representative is responsible for managing the deceased’s estate and ensuring that any legal claims are pursued on behalf of the estate and its beneficiaries.

Types of Damages Available in Survival Action Claims

The damages recoverable in a survival action are those that the deceased could have claimed if they had lived. This includes:

  • Medical expenses incurred from the time of injury until death
  • Lost wages from the time of injury until death
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to death
  • Any property damage related to the incident

Examples of Situations That May Lead to Survival Action Claims

  • A patient experiencing prolonged suffering and incurring significant medical expenses due to medical malpractice before eventually dying from malpractice-related injuries
  • A worker injured in an industrial accident who endured pain and incurred medical bills before succumbing to their injuries
  • A victim of a violent crime who survived for a period of time, accruing medical and other expenses before passing away

Contact Us Today

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, you don’t have to navigate this difficult time alone. Whether you’re considering a wrongful death or survival action claim, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Brumley Law Firm are here to help.

Contact Brumley Law Firm today at (833) 832-2727 or use our online form to request a free, no-obligation consultation.