When your loved one is a victim of an accident and is severely injured, it can be a very a difficult time in your life. Taking care of your injured loved one while they recover can be a financial burden not only of them but also on you. Together, you decide that filing a personal injury lawsuit is what’s best to help recover lost wages, medical expenses and the pain and suffering your injured loved one is going through. But then, something tragic happens – your loved one dies in the middle of his pending lawsuit. What do you do? What are your legal rights? There are currently two options available: filing a wrongful death claim as well as filing a survival action.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you are family or a loved one of someone who was killed due to someone else’s negligence (whether immediate or a few weeks after the fact), you have the right to file a wrongful death claim for damages. Damages include pain and suffering while your loved one was injured, current and future income they may have been lost during your loved one’s injury, funeral expenses and outstanding medical bills associated with your loved one’s injuries.
A survival action is slightly different. You are seeking damages on behalf of your now-deceased loved one. In layman’s terms, you are continuing the personal injury case. Usually, the person who files for a survival action is the executor of your loved one’s estate. The estate files a survival action to seek damages relating to the pain and suffering of the victim, medical bills and lost earnings, similar to what your loved one could have recovered in a personal injury lawsuit if they would have survived. Any compensation awards to the estate is then dispersed directly to the estate and then distributed according to the victim’s last will and testament.
If your loved one died at the hands of someone’s recklessness, give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your case. You might be entitled to file a wrongful death claim and/or a survival action.