Differences Between Survival Action and Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one in an accident or due to someone else’s negligence is a heart-wrenching experience. The emotional turmoil and the financial instability that follows can be overwhelming. If the decedent had suffered injuries due to the negligence of another person, this grief can feel even more intense. 

In Florida, two types of claims can be pursued in these circumstances: wrongful death claims and survival action claims. Both serve distinct purposes and offer different forms of compensation to those affected by the loss.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim arises when a person’s death is caused by a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract by another. In Florida, the decedent’s estate can file a civil lawsuit and recover compensation related to the death and the financial and emotional losses suffered by the family. In the event a family member has passed due to someone else’s negligence, contact our wrongful death attorneys in Riverview today.

The scope of damages in a wrongful death claim is broad. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, it may include

  • The lost income the deceased would have provided
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection
  • Mental and emotional damages suffered by the family
  • Medical expenses related to the deceased’s final injury or illness
  • Funeral and burial expenses incurred by the surviving family members

What Is a Survival Action?

A survival action continues an existing legal claim the deceased had already initiated before their death. It aims to recover damages for the losses that the deceased endured due to their injuries before passing away.

Damages in a survival action may include:

  • Medical care for injuries resulting from the accident
  • Lost wages from the injury time until death
  • Lost earning capacity
  • The decedent’s pain and suffering before death

In simple terms, the main difference between a survival action and a wrongful death claim is that the damages in a survival action are incurred by the decedent before their death. In a wrongful death claim, the damages are incurred by surviving family members.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?

In Florida, a wrongful death claim is filed by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. This representative may be named in the will or appointed by the courts and acts on behalf of all surviving family members. The settlement is awarded to eligible family members, which include the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and any blood relative or adoptive sibling dependent on the decedent for financial support.

Who Can File a Survival Action?

A survival action claim, like a wrongful death claim, is filed by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. However, the compensation from a survival action is awarded to the estate, reflecting the damages incurred by the decedent rather than the family members.

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Today

Navigating the aftermath of a loved one’s untimely death is complex and emotionally taxing. Whether you are considering a wrongful death lawsuit or a survival action, having an attorney by your side is essential. A Riverview personal injury lawyer can provide the necessary guidance, help you understand your rights, and ensure that you pursue the appropriate claim for damages. Contact an attorney as soon as possible and learn how they can help you navigate these challenging times.