Questions often surface concerning wrongful death cases when the decedent lived for a time after the accident. This involves what is called a survival action being filed in addition to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by the estate’s representative against a negligent party. Such negligence can be due to a variety of things, including motor vehicle accidents, criminal acts or malpractice by a physician or surgeon. The requirements for filing a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- Someone died as a result of negligence or intent
- Family members have suffered financial loss due to the person’s death
- A representative has been chosen to handle the estate
What Is Pecuniary Loss?
A wrongful death suit revolves around the loss of financial support and other services the decedent provided. Included in this is the loss of inheritance and funeral and end-of-life expenses. Pecuniary loss is calculated using several factors. This includes the decedent’s ability to earn, his or her life expectancy and other factors. Experts can be used to establish pecuniary loss.
Survival actions belong to a special class and differ from wrongful death lawsuits. They describe the personal injury the decedent experienced prior to his or her death. For instance, in a car accident, the individual may not die on impact but instead survive for a period of time before dying. It is this period of time that a survival action targets. They are called survival actions because the personal injury survives the person. A survival action can be filed alongside a wrongful death lawsuit.
The personal injury implicit in a survival action includes the following information:
- The conscious suffering and pain the person experienced
- The level of consciousness of the injured person prior to death
- The degree to which the person was aware he or she was dying
- The level of pain the individual experienced
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit and a Survival Action
If a family member has died due to the negligence of another, filing a wrongful death lawsuit with or without a survival action is necessary for the family to overcome the financial loss the person’s death caused. David Azizi offers compassion, understanding and legal expertise to his clients in this difficult period. Call David 24/7 at 800-991-5292 for a no-obligation, free case evaluation. He is available on nights and weekends.