What Is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Action?

When the loss of a loved one occurs, due to someone’s negligence or any wrongdoing, legal issues may get even more complicated. In such cases, wrongful death and the survival action are two legal concepts that are often talked about. Although both are related to the death of a person, they serve different purposes within the field of personal injury law. In this blog, we will discuss the main distinctions between wrongful death and a survival action.

What is a Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim is brought by the family members or the beneficiaries of a deceased individual. These claims are intended to reimburse the family for the damage they have incurred because of the death of their loved one. In the case of wrongful death, the damages include the loss of financial support, the loss of companionship, and also emotional distress.

What Are Some Key Aspects Regarding Wrongful Death?

  • Plaintiffs:  The plaintiffs in a wrongful death claim are generally the immediate family members including spouses, children, or parents.
  • Damages: The purpose of damages in wrongful death cases is to provide compensation to the family for the monetary and also emotional losses that they incurred as a result of the loss.
  • Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit depends on the jurisdiction, and failing to act within the specified time may lead to the loss of the right to initiate the case.

What is Survival Action?

Survival Actions target the injuries that the deceased sustained before his or her death. In contrast to wrongful death claims, the survival actions are brought by the estate of the deceased person to recover the damages suffered by the individual due to the negligent actions that caused their death.

What Are Some Key Aspects of Survival Action?

  • Plaintiffs: A survival action is brought by the personal representative or the executor of the estate of the deceased person.
  • Damages: The damages sought in survival actions are intended to compensate the deceased person for the various harms he or she suffered, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and prior to death.
  • Continuation of the Deceased’s Rights:  Death actions enable the continuation of the deceased person’s legal claims long after the death.

What Are The Key Differences Between Survival Action and Wrongful Death?

The difference between wrongful death and the survival action is very important to understand when dealing with legal matters after the death of a family member. Although both legal ideas refer to the consequences of another person’s negligence, they cover the same subject from different perspectives—compensating the surviving family members in one case and justice for the deceased individual in the other. 

In the case of wrongful death, the emphasis is on the losses suffered by the surviving relatives.

Survival action is concerned with the losses that occurred to the deceased before their time of death. Wrongful death provides compensation to the family members for their own losses. Survival action is an action aimed at compensating for the losses of the deceased person.

Having legal advice and guidance is a must for those who have to deal with such delicate matters to ensure that the appropriate legal actions are taken, depending on the specifics of the loss of a beloved one. Make sure to speak with a Bakersfield wrongful death lawyer to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

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