Can Heirs Bring a Survival Action?

When a person dies due to the negligence of another party, surviving family members are often entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim with a wrongful death attorney, like from David & Philpot, P.L. Wrongful death claims can provide compensation for losses, such as lost income, suffered by the surviving heirs of the person who died. Survival actions are used to obtain compensation for damages for pain and suffering the victim would have been entitled to, had they survived.

Persons Eligible To Bring a Survival Action

The legal definition of “heirs,” can vary from state to state. Most states consider the surviving spouse and children of the deceased person to be heirs; however, some states may include parents, grandparents or siblings. If you are unfamiliar with the wrongful death laws in your state, a wrongful death attorney should be able to evaluate your case and determine who is considered to be a legal heir who is eligible to bring a survival action.

Types of Damages That May Be Recoverable

The goal of a survival action is to obtain compensation for pain, suffering and out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from the accident that caused the victim’s death. Survival actions may be able to recover compensation for several types of damages:

  • Lost wages incurred by the victim after the accident and before death
  • Medical expenses resulting from the accident
  • Physical or mental pain and suffering caused by the accident
  • Property damage or other expenses that resulted from the accident

How Compensation Is Dispersed

Damages from a successful wrongful death claim are distributed directly to the surviving family members of the victim. However, with a survival action, compensation is paid to and dispersed by the estate of the deceased person.

Benefits of Legal Assistance

Because the laws that govern who can file what type of claim are different from state to state, a wrongful death attorney can help ensure that potential claimants receive the maximum amount of compensation they are owed by analyzing the case and determining the types and amounts of damages owed and the parties eligible to make a claim. Without legal assistance, claimants may undervalue their claim or make procedural errors that could damage their case.

The unexpected death of a loved one can be an emotionally and financially stressful time for surviving family members. Contact an experienced wrongful death attorney today to help you navigate the process of filing your wrongful death or survival action and receive the compensation you may be entitled to.