A survival action is the right to file a personal injury suit on the behalf of the deceased him or herself. A wrongful death claim, similar in some respects, is a tort that’s filed by the personal representative of the deceased after death for the deceased’s decedents’ behalf. Some people confuse the two, let’s take a look at them in a little more depth.
When the negligence of another causes a fatal injury to a person, there are two different types of civil actions that may be pursued to recover damages on the victim’s behalf: a wrongful death action, and a survival action.
The Difference Between a Wrongful Death Action and a Survival Action
The biggest difference between a wrongful death action and a survival action is that a wrongful death action considers the losses of the deceased’s surviving family members, whereas a survival action considers the losses of the dead him or herself accurately.
As such, damages for the pain and suffering of the person who passed are recoverable in a survival action, whereas they are not recoverable in a wrongful death action. In other words, a survival action seeks to recover damages that the victim would have been able to recover him or herself had the injury not resulted in death.
Who can file a survival action and what damages are available?
Those who can file a survival action on the behalf of a deceased victim include the deceased’s executor of the estate, personal representative of the estate, or estate administrator.
Many of the same benefits that are available in a wrongful death action are available in a survival action. These damages include, but are not limited to, the following listed below.
- Medical expenses related to the injury and death
- Lost wages and lost benefits of the deceased
- Other economic losses related to the injury and death
- Pain and suffering of the dead
The damages that are recoverable in a survival action are the same that would be recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Time Limits for Filing a Claim
All survival actions must be filed within two years from the date of injury (a wrongful death claim must be filed in two years from the time of death). If the claim is not filed within this time frame, no damages will be recoverable.
Consult with a Wrongful Death Attorney Today
There are some important distinctions to be aware of between a wrongful death action and a survival action. If you’ve lost your loved one because of someone else’s negligence, let Cordisco & Saile LLC help you in determining which course of action is the best to pursue. To learn more about civil actions following death in Pennsylvania, contact Cordisco & Saile LLC, LLC today at 215-642-2335.