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What Is The Difference Between Survival Action And Wrongful Death Claim?


Many of you have probably heard about wrongful death lawsuits in Florida following a death from personal injury. From a bird’s eye view, wrongful death claims and survival actions seem almost similar to each other, leaving a lot of people confused. For this reason, we are going to clear things up between the two.

What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims are filed when an individual is killed because of someone else’s negligence, misconduct, or if the death was caused intentionally. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of the deceased’s family members and it allows them to claim damages for the deceased’s wrongful death. The damages include grief, pain and suffering, loss of support from the deceased’s income, medical and funeral costs, and even the loss of a guardian.

What Is A Survival Action?

While a wrongful death claim is filed on behalf of the grieving family members, a survival action is filed on behalf of the deceased person themselves. The deceased’s representative will file for a survival action to recover damages that are centered on the victim’s own pain and suffering, loss of financial income and earnings, and even the victim’s medical bills before their time of death. In addition, a survival action does not determine the death of the victim as the direct consequence of the injuries that were sustained.

In essence, a survival action is made to compensate for the damages that the deceased could have claimed in a personal injury lawsuit if they had survived. These damages are then distributed to the estate rather than being given directly to the surviving family members. Those who are named in the decedent’s will are the only people who are eligible to receive the compensation.

Who Can File For A Survival Action?

In a wrongful death lawsuit, claims can be filed by either the deceased’s representative or their immediate family members, which would usually include the spouse or the parents. On the other hand, a survival action can only be filed by the executor of the decedent’s estate.

An executor is a person who manages and makes sure that the will of the decedent is properly carried out.

Should You File For A Wrongful Death Claim or Survival Action?

Florida law allows the decedent’s family members to choose which lawsuit to file. There are a lot of factors to consider such as the gravity of the pain and suffering that the victim experienced prior to their death, the duration of their hospitalization, the severity of the victim’s injuries, and the impact of their death on the surviving beneficiaries such as the loss of a parent and a partner.
The damages that can be recovered from wrongful death and a survival action can be different and weighing the two can be complex. It is therefore important to consult a professional before deciding which action to take.

If you are in the Sarasota / Bradenton area on Florida’s west coast, contact the personal injury attorneys who have won more than $500 million dollars for their clients, and get your free case review today.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

What Is The Difference Between Survival Action And Wrongful Death Claim?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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