Personal Injury Attorney
When you lose someone to negligence, you may have a wrongful death claim. When it comes to these types of lawsuits, it can be difficult to understand the ins and outs. What type of compensation can you ask for? After all, nothing will bring back your loved one. The kind of compensation you receive and the type of claim that can be filed depends on the circumstances of the person’s death. You may qualify for a wrongful death claim, survival action, or both.
The Difference between Wrongful Death and Survival Action
Wrongful death claims are exactly what they sound like. These are civil lawsuits brought by the family of a person who died at an individual or entity’s negligence or fault. The damages that the family asks for usually involve:
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- Outstanding medical bills
- Loss of income
When dealing with a wrongful death claim, you may hear about survival action suits. Generally, the executor of the estate brings survival actions. In some instances, heirs and other family members may be able to file either suit. In a survival action, the estate files a claim on behalf of the deceased. It allows the beneficiaries of the deceased to receive an award.
A survival action is not centered around the suffering of the family. It focuses on the suffering of the deceased. This is what the person could have been awarded if he or she survived. If a person survived for some time before death, lost earnings, and experienced pain and suffering, then the estate could collect compensation. However, if the person died immediately, then there would be no lost wage costs.
Wrongful death normally involves the family proving that they relied on the deceased for financial support. Often, spouses may receive loss of support until the deceased’s retirement age. Children may receive support until they turn 18. If you can prove that the deceased would have contributed to the college education of the child, then he or she may receive support through college.
No one wants to think that they will have to deal with a wrongful death or survival action suit. These are difficult times and it can be hard to consider lawsuits while you are grieving. However, it is important to explore your options as soon as possible when it comes to wrongful death claims. Consult with a wrongful death lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Houston, TX, to find out if you have a wrongful death claim or if you qualify for a survival action claim.
Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into the differences between a survival action and wrongful death lawsuit.