Awards & Associations
Survival Action Overview
A survival action is similar to a wrongful death claim, but a survival action is basically a lawsuit that attempts to claim the damages that the deceased person would have been able to recover if they had lived through their injuries. Since the person who died is not able to file an injury lawsuit themselves, the survival action allows the estate of the deceased person to claim that compensation on their behalf for the injuries, pain and sufferings that they endured after the injury and before their death. It is recommended that the family of the deceased work with a top rated wrongful death attorney to achieve best results with their claim.
Difference Between Wrongful Death And Survival Actions
The difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action is that a wrongful death lawsuit is an effort to claim the losses that the family incurred due to their loved one’s death. This would be for medical bills, funeral costs and any other monetary costs that were associated with the death of that person. When the injured party does not pass away from the injuries right away, a survival action is presented in order to receive compensation for the medical bills and other monetary costs of treating them before their death that was due to the injuries incurred from the accident.
So to be clear, wrongful death is claiming losses from the person’s death and a survival action is claiming compensation for the losses from between the time of the accident and the time of death. Since the person who died may have had to endure days, weeks or months of medical expenses from treatment, those costs are compensated for with a survival action instead of a wrongful death action. Both a wrongful death claim and a survival action can be pursued at the same time by the family or heirs of the deceased, but the wisdom of pursuing one or the other, or both, is open to interpretation, and the decision will necessarily vary depending on the circumstances of each individual case.
Detailed Look At Survival Actions
Let’s look at a detailed example of survival actions for clarification. Let’s say that a person is injured in a car accident due to the negligent actions of another person. The injured party sustains severe injuries such as broken bones, lacerations and head trauma. The person would be in the hospital getting treatment for their injuries and the entire time they are still alive they are experiencing a lot of pain and suffering throughout the process. Then later down the line, their head trauma becomes very serious and ultimately causes their death. A survival action would basically be a personal injury claim against the negligent party that caused the accident in order to get compensation for the medical expenses and other economic losses that the injured person endured before their death.
Who Can File A Lawsuit?
There are limitations on who can file a wrongful death claim or a survival action, which depends mostly on who relied upon the deceased person for monetary support or the persons who would be responsible for covering the costs of the person’s death like medical bills, funeral expenses, burial expenses, etc.
Since compensation is intended to be reparations for the family members who lost monetary support, household services, lost income or wages, loss of companionship, pain, suffering and more, the list of eligible parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit are as follows:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- Siblings of the deceased under certain circumstances
- Personal representative of the surviving family
- Sometimes other parties may be eligible depending on the situation(discuss this with your lawyer)
A survival action is brought on behalf of the estate of the deceased person. In many cases, it is brought by the same claimant or claimants as a wrongful death, but that requires appointment as the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. If you are an eligible party to file a wrongful death or survival action claim, make sure you do it within the timeline of the wrongful death statute of limitations in Colorado or you could be out of luck. Though the statute of limitations for both actions is 2 years, there are subtle differences.
What Types Of Damages Can Be Claimed?
In a survival action, the damages claimed are economic, and related to the cost of medical treatment or care that was provided to the deceased person prior to his or her death. These are damages that cannot be claimed in a wrongful death action, which compensates the surviving claimants for different economic damages, as well as the emotional loss suffered due to the death of a loved one.
Why You Need An Attorney
Survival actions need to be handled by an expert if you want to maximize the potential compensation of your claim. This can be a daunting task for anyone that doesn’t deal with this type of thing day in and day out. Our wrongful death and survival action attorneys are very experienced in handling these types of claims and have had many favorable outcomes for our clients over the years. Our attorneys know exactly how to present your case so that the other party cannot refute your claims and has to pay up for the damages that they caused.
When you need the best wrongful death lawyer, call Rector Stuzynski LLC. With our expert attorneys and friendly, helpful staff, you can rest assured knowing that your case is in good hands. We handle everything for you from start to finish so you can grieve in peace and get back to normal life as fast as possible with the easiest transition after dealing with the loss of a loved one. We are here for you 24/7, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us over the phone any time or feel free to stop by our office in Colorado Springs, CO to speak with our lawyers in person.