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What Is Survival Action?

Experienced Lawyer

If someone you love was recently killed by another person’s actions, you probably have a lot on your plate. You may not have given much thought to pursuing legal action against the person who caused your loved one’s death. When you eventually start to consider these matters, it is important that you understand what survival action is and how it is different from wrongful death action. This guide will go over this distinction.

The Difference

There are all sorts of minor legal differences between these two concepts, but for the most part you can leave these differences to your attorney. The most important thing that you need to know is how it affects the damages you can claim. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you can claim damages to you that resulted from the death. This can include:

  • Funeral costs
  • Burial costs
  • Loss of support
  • Loss of companionship

Basically, any way you suffered, either financially or otherwise, you can be compensated through wrongful death action. Survival action, on the other hand, covers all the damages that were done to the deceased. The easiest way to think of it is to imagine what the damages would be in a personal injury lawsuit that the deceased would file if he or she survived. Survival action damages may include:

  • The pain and suffering of the deceased
  • The medical bills of the deceased
  • The Lost wages of the deceased

As you can probably tell, the extent of survival action damages depends heavily on how long the victim survived. If he or she died immediately after a car accident, then these damages will be limited to pain and suffering, and even that may be greatly limited or impossible if the death happened instantly. However, if the victim spent days, weeks, months, or even years between the injury and death, there is probably a huge amount of damages to be compensated for. Remember, the death has to be the direct result of the actions the defendant took.

Punitive Damages

On top of the damage you can claim, the judge may also assign the defendant punitive damages. These are damages assigned strictly to punish the defendant for his or her actions. You and your attorney will have no control over whether punitive damages are assigned, as well as how big those punitive damages are. Punitive damages are more common in cases where the injury was caused intentionally. Speak to an attorney, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer, in  Lakewood FL,  to learn more about punitive damages, survival action, and what damages can be claimed.



Thank you to the experts at David & Philpot, P.L., for their contributions to wrongful death law. 

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