When a person is tragically killed as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the family is often left with many unexpected expenses. When that person required hospital care or surgery prior to death, these bill can cost the family hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There is a way to recover these expenses that the deceased incurred after an accident or injury but before the person passed away. Known as a survival action, this type of lawsuit helps the estate of the deceased to pay bills that were incurred before death.
Survival Actions vs. Wrongful Death Cases
Most people are aware that when a person dies as the result of someone negligence, that person’s family has a right to sue for the loss of their loved one, including damages for the pain and suffering that the person’s death caused to the family.
Those cases, known as wrongful death cases, compensate the family for the loss that they have suffered. In contrast, a survival action is not meant to compensate the family. Instead, these lawsuits look for compensation for the deceased’s estate and help cover costs like medical bills and other expenses.
In a survival action, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate brings the lawsuit. This person “steps into the shoes” of the deceased, and brings a lawsuit for pain and suffering as if the deceased were still alive.
When Can You File A Survival Action?
Whenever a person survives an accident or injury caused by someone else, his or her representative can bring a survival action. Whether the deceased lived for only minutes after the accident, or held on for months, survival actions allow the estate of the deceased to recover the compensation and damages that the deceased would have deserved had he or she lived.
These damages can include things like lost wages and medical expenses. A survival action can include any penalties or punitive damages that the deceased may have received, but cannot include damages for pain and suffering.
Often, a survival action is filed in conjunction with a wrongful death lawsuit. One or both of these claims may be appropriate depending on the circumstances, and an experienced injury attorney can let you know more about your options.
At the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., our knowledgeable staff of medical and legal professionals can evaluate your injury case and help you understand your legal rights. If you would like to speak with an experienced Beverley Hills personal injury attorney, contact Dr. Bradley I. Kramer today by calling (310) 289-2600 or use our online case evaluation form to have your claim reviewed for free.