Wrongful Death and Survival Action – The Difference

We understand that legalities are the last thing on your mind after losing a loved one due to the actions of another party. However, it is better not to shun yourself from the legal complexities of wrongful death and survival actions in such a situation. These terms are quite confusing, but we are here to break them down for you in a simpler way.

What Are Wrongful Death and Survival Actions?

The tragic death of a person due to someone’s carelessness, negligence, and even pure intention is where wrongful death and survival actions come into play.

Wrongful death and survival actions are legal protocols that help the surviving family members or the deceased person’s estate seek proper compensation for their loss. Let’s dissect the two for better understanding.

Distinguishing Between Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

Wrongful Death Claims

These claims are supposed to provide financial relief to the beneficiaries of the deceased person. In most cases, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim. These beneficiaries may include a surviving spouse, children, parents, or anyone financially dependent on the departed soul.

Survival Actions

On the other hand, survival actions’ end goal is to seek compensation for damages to which the expired individual would have been entitled if they had survived. This route of action is usually initiated by the executor of the deceased person’s estate.

Types of Compensation

Here’s a brief detail regarding the compensation of these cases.

Wrongful Death Claims: If successful, a wrongful death claim may provide compensation for the following:

  1. Household services provided by the deceased.
  2. Consortium damages for a spouse or domestic partner.
  3. Guidance, care, nurturing, and affection provided by the deceased.
  4. Loss of financial support by the deceased.
  5. Inheritance caused by the wrongful death.

Survival Actions: Successful survival actions can provide compensation for:

  1. Pre-death medical expenses.
  2. Pain and suffering endured by the victim.
  3. Lost wages for the period between the injury and death.

The most critical distinguishing factor here is that survival actions mainly focus on the suffering and losses of the expired individual from the time of the injury till their death.

Eligibility for Compensation

You must note that not everyone can file a wrongful death suit or survival action case in court. Usually, only eligible parties can seek damages. Here’s a list of those who can do it:

  • 1. The spouse of the departed person.
  • 2. Biological or adopted children over the age of 25.
  • 3. Biological or adoptive parents.
  • 4. Siblings of the deceased if they were financially dependent on them.

Closing Note

A legal consultation is the best way to get started with your settlements. You can ask our attorney to listen to your side of the story, help you determine your legal rights, and create a plan of action that aligns with your goals. At Edwards Sutarwalla Samani LLP, we can help you fight back after a personal injury. Call us at (713) 565-1353 to get started.



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