If a person dies as a result of personal injuries, his estate may claim for wrongful death. On the other hand, there is also a legal case called survival action. People often confuse which course of action they should take in such cases. Is there any difference between the two legal actions?
A Closer Look
State laws strictly govern survival action and wrongful death. This means both actions exist because all states allowed the passing of these types of claims. Before the existence of said state laws, the personal injury claim of the deceased died with him; his estate was powerless in pursuing claims after his death.
There are two major differences concerning both actions. First, wrongful death allows the estate to file for a lawsuit and pursue the legal procedures for a wrongful death lawsuit. Without wrongful death laws, survival laws authorize various damages to be awarded to the estate for the death of the deceased.
Wrongful death claims provide the damages for the deceased’s beneficiaries, especially those who experienced financial difficulty due to his death. Survival laws, on the other hand, allow the beneficiary to receive the damages that the deceased would have recovered if he had not died.
Damages Allowed in Wrongful Death
According to The Baim Law, an Arkansas Law Firm, the damages for wrongful death varies from one state to another, but generally focuses on the finances of the deceased and his beneficiaries.
The deceased’s beneficiaries often include his spouse, parent, children and other relatives that rely on his financial support. Primary damages include the loss of support for the family members the deceased supported for a period of time.
To be awarded damages for the loss of financial support, the estate should prove the deceased’s support and the exact amount. Children below 18 will receive loss of support; college children can also receive if the deceased would have contributed to his education.
Damages for Survival Laws
With survival laws, the state allows beneficiaries to receive damages the deceased incurred from the moment of injury until death. Apart from the deceased’s suffering, beneficiaries will receive lost earnings during the time of his death.
Families involved in such concern need not deal with it alone. It is best to consult with a legal professional to ensure the right legal course.